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Social worker follows winding path to becoming sexual therapist

Erin McPherson. Photo courtesy of the

Erin McPherson. Photo courtesy of the

Erin McPherson dreamed of going onstage and majored in theater.

Some of her first jobs were delivering singing telegrams and selling shoes. Then McPherson became a child advocate at Woman House (later Anna Marie’s Alliance), a shelter for women who have been battered and their children.

Working at the shelter inspired her to go back to college for a master’s degree in social work. She eventually became a private therapists and counseled people who came in with sexual issues.

So McPherson, MSW, LICSW, found herself going back for more training to learn more about sexuality.

McPherson is now one of just 14 people in Minnesota certified as a sex therapist by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists, according to this profile on

“One of the reasons I’m so passionate about it is because our culture is so sex-negative,” she said. “Sex is everywhere, and it’s negative when we don’t talk about it. That’s had an impact on individuals and couples about what’s normal when it comes to intimacy and how they feel about their bodies. I have a desire to help people develop a good sense of sexual self.”

Cheers to the newspaper for profiling McPherson. She demonstrates one of the many services social workers provide and how diverse the social work profession can be.

Social workers provide services to clients from all walks of life. To learn more visit the National Association of Social Workers’ “Help Starts Here” consumer website.


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