Leja Wright, PsyD, is a 2022 graduate of the Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, Seattle.

Dissertation Committee

Chris Heffner, PsyD, PhD, Committee Chair

Dug Lee, PhD, ABPP, Committee Member

Sara Beth Lohre, PsyD, Committee Member


clinical psychology training, clinical competence, interpretive phenomenological analysis, human sexuality, LGBTQIA

Document Type


Publication Date



Sex is an integral part of human nature and identity (Sanabria & Murray, 2018), yet many clinical psychology programs may not offer adequate sexuality training. This study explored clients’ needs for support surrounding sexuality, clinical competence in human sexuality, and the availability of human sexuality training in doctoral psychology programs across the United States. In an effort to create a large sample size, I randomly chose 25 doctoral psychology programs to examine the nature of their sexuality trainings or sex education. Only two of these programs offered classes or trainings, though neither of the programs required the courses for program completion. Due to the qualitative nature of this study and availability of subjects, I chose to interview six locally based individuals who sought therapy from a clinical psychologist within 10 years of this study. Most subjects reported that while sex and sexuality were important factors in their therapeutic endeavors, their therapists lacked awareness or comfort around discussions of sexuality. The findings in this study suggest that the (a) lack of human sexuality training in doctoral psychology curriculums and (b) overall dissatisfaction of the six individuals I interviewed may indicate a need for further studies examining quality and availability of human sexuality training in doctoral psychology programs, and (c) the lack of training offered by doctoral psychology programs may limit clinicians’ clinical competency. This dissertation is available in open access at AURA ( and OhioLINK ETD Center (


Leja Wright, PsyD, 2022

ORCID Scholar ID# 0000-0002-8367-2608