About Shari Cohn

What experience do you have in providing psychotherapy, sex therapy and sexual addiction treatment?

I am a clinically trained and experienced psychotherapist and sex therapist with over twenty years experience providing psychotherapy and sex therapy in the Madison Wisconsin area. I am a Wisconsin state Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) providing services at Midwest Center for Psychotherapy and Sex Therapy (MCPST) which is an outpatient mental health clinic located in Middleton Wisconsin in the greater Madison Wisconsin area.

Among the specialized treatment issues I address in psychotherapy, sex therapy and sex addiction counseling are:

I am a member of the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) and the Society For The Advancement of Sexual Health (SASH).

I am a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT) credentialed through the International Institute of Trauma and Addiction Professionals (IITAP). I trained with Dr. Patrick Carnes, the pioneer in the field of sex addiction treatment and research, and Certified Sex Addiction Therapist associates. The CSAT is a clinical certification facilitated by Dr. Carnes and CSAT associates. Dr Carnes is the internationally known and respected sex addiction therapist, researcher and author of Out Of The Shadows, the seminal book on sex addiction, and many other books on sex addiction. In the CSAT training program I learned and showed proficiency in Dr. Carnes’ proven task-centered approach to treat sexual addiction.

I have achieved Level 2 EMDR Certification. EMDR or Eye Movement Densensitization and Reprocessing is an information processing therapy which has been shown by research to be an effective treatment to ameliorate symptoms of both acute and chronic Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

I completed an internship in sex therapy as part of my Master of Science in Social Work clinical training.

I participate in ongoing clinical training, coursework and conferences in psychotherapy, sex therapy and sex addiction treatment.

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What is your approach to therapy?

My goal in therapy is to provide professional, compassionate assistance to clients who are struggling with challenges in their life. I am not judgemental. I am respectful. I have clear boundaries. I am not abusive. These basic beliefs are integral to the work I do especially with clients who have experienced abuse and boundary violations.

I believe that the foundation of effective psychotherapy is a good collaborative relationship between the therapist and the client. I work hard to make this happen.  I continually ask for feedback from clients about how helpful I am being in assisting them to reach their goals. I listen to feedback from clients and ask them to listen to my perspective. We work together as a team to support them in reclaiming sexuality and reclaiming their life.

Compassion and understanding alone are not enough to help people to identify their patterns of coping that are no longer working for them or to stop doing behaviors that are dangerous for them or others or to learn new skills. This is where I use the professional training and clinical skills I have developed in almost thirty years as a mental health professional.

I assess the clients’ needs and work with them to use the tools that will be most helpful to identify and reach their goals. I provide effective strategies to deal with the problems clients are facing – ranging from cognitive behavioral strategies to deal with depression and anxiety to specific sex therapy strategies to help with sexual dysfunction to clear performable tasks to address sexual addiction and compulsivity. Among the other psychotherapeutic approaches I use include insight oriented psychotherapy, psychodynamic psychotherapy, transactional analysis, interpersonal reconstructive therapy, relaxation techniques, art therapy, gestalt therapy, bibliotherapy and EMDR.

While the specific treatment approaches vary depending on the issues individuals are addressing, the services I provide include:

  • Evaluation
  • Treatment Planning including goals and methods to achieve goals
  • Individual Psychotherapy
  • Couples and Marriage Counseling
  • Family sessions
  • Community Support sessions
  • Group Psychotherapy
  • Coordination of services with other treatment providers
  • Referral as needed

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What are your professional credentials?


  • MSSW – Master of Science in Social Work received at University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Social Work – 1985
  • BA – Bachelor of Arts in Human Behavior and Institutions at University of Chicago – 1977
  • 1977-1983 – Graduate level coursework and clinical training in psychotherapy and mental health at Northeastern Illinois University, Forest Hospital Postgraduate Center and Illinois School of Professional Psychology
  • 1983 – current   Ongoing participation in conferences, coursework and clinical training on psychotherapy, sex therapy and sexual addiction treatment.

Licenses and Certifications

  • Wisconsin Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) # 2984-123
  • Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT)
  • Academy of Certified Social Workers (ACSW)
  • Eye Movement Densensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Level 2 Certification


  • National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
  • American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT)
  • Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health (SASH)

Sex Addiction Treatment Training

  • Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT) Certification facilitated by Dr. Patrick  Carnes and CSAT associates.
  • I completed over 140 hours of classroom, individual and group supervision toward completion of my Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT) Certification credentialed by the International Institute of Trauma and Addiction Professionals (IITAP). I continue to participate in ongoing training in sex addiction treatment in order to maintain my certification.