Dr. Sara

Learn about Dr. Sara's story, body of work and sources of inspirations

Speaking

Engage Dr. Sara as a speaker on culture and satisfying relationships for your next event.

Consulting

Dr. Sara's consulting work for individuals, couples, professional and organizations.

Training

Training workshops for healthcare and mental health professionals.

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About Dr. Sara

Sara Nasserzadeh, PhD DipPST[1] is a Social Psychologist, COSRT[2]-accredited psychosexual therapist and AASECT[3]-certified Sexuality Counselor and Training Provider. In addition to maintaining local private practices in Palo Alto and San Francisco, she has been globally active in the field as a professional trainer, plenary speaker, research and clinical supervisor, media commentator and thought leader.

Dr. Sara also advises Fortune 500 companies, UN-affiliated institutions and governmental organizations on issues such as Customer Insights, Qualitative Market Research, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), User Experience (UX) and Program Evaluation as a consultant, subject matter expert and trainer.

Dr. Sara has worked intimately with the press and media to educate the public on most sensitive topics such as human sexuality. She created, produced and hosted a BBC World Service Radio and Online program named the Whispers that was aired for three consecutive seasons and won the BBC World Service’s Innovation of the Year Award “for putting delicate matters in a sensitive manner”. Her current BBC Persian TV segments on sexual health and relationship issues reach over 6 million viewers across the globe.

Dr. Sara’s leadership roles at professional organizations include:

  • Chair of the North American Organizing Committee for the World Sexual Health Day
  • Elected member of the Advisory Board and Chair of the Middle East Sexual Health Committee at the World Association of Sexual Health (WAS)
  • Member of WAS’ standardizing working groups for sexuality education as well as psychotherapy, which devise the standards of practice for these professions
  • Elected Board member of the American Association for Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) and Chair of the Communication Steering Committee

[1] DipPST: Postgraduate Diploma in Psychosexual Therapy, [2] COSRT: College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists, [3] AASECT: American Association for Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists

Dr. Sara recently published her second book, Sexuality Education Wheel of Context with Dr. Pejman Azarmina. The Wheel of Context for Sexuality Education was created as a practical framework to ensure that educators, advocates, and researchers in the field of sexuality education maintain a holistic perspective on a selected number of key contextual factors that may influence, hinder or catalyze our work. The Wheel of Context may also help provide a greater appreciation for the communities we serve and ultimately lead to more desirable outcomes for our programs or projects. It is not only a tool to build consensus and alignments at the onset of a project, but also a medium to facilitate dialogue among stakeholders, create solutions out of conflicting ideas and a measure to deepen our understanding about the root causes of unforeseen barriers and resistance that we may face.

Dr. Sara also co-authored the Orgasm Answer Guide with three esteemed colleagues, which received AASECT’s Book Award Honorable Mention in 2011. Her other awards include the World Association for Sexual Health runner up award for “Excellence and Innovation” in sexuality education (Sydney, 2007) and Pfizer’s “Innovation Award” for her efforts in setting up a global Customer Insights Council for the company (New York, 2010).

Selected Publications

Here is a list of peer reviewed articles, podcasts, white papers, policy reports, books and book chapters that I had the privilege to work on. Please get in touch if you would like further information on any of these.

  • Nasserzadeh, S. (2018- in press) Psychology of Orgasm. International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health (ISSWSH).
  • The Thoughtful Counselor, January 2018 . An account of my personal journey and tools for counselors who which to me more contextually aware.
  • Nasserzadeh, S. (2017) (Invited Review) ‘Becoming Cliterate, why orgasm equality matters by Dr. Laurie Mintz (2017) Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0092623X.2017.1384160
  • [Contributor] (2017) “Keeping the Faith in Sexual and Reproductive Health and Reproductive RightsReligious Affirmations of SRHR – II“, UNFPA Publications, 2017. UNFPA. Office of Multilateral Affairs Branch, UN Inter-Agency Task Force on Religion and Development. White paper. April 2017, New York. U.S.A.
  • Nasserzadeh, S., Azarmina, P. (2017) ‘Sexuality Education Wheel of Context. A practical guide for sexuality educators, advocates and researchers’. Amazon books.
  • [Contributor] (2017) “Declaration of Sexual Rights. United Nations, World Health Organization and World Association for Sexual Health interagency Task Force on Sexual Rights. June 2017, Minnesota. U.S.A.
  • Nasserzadeh, S. (Review) Sexual revolution edited by Hekma G and Giami A (2014) Journal of Sex and Relationship Therapy. Published online May, 2017.
  • Nasserzadeh S, Ribner D (2016) ‘Challenges of Culture’. Invited Guest Editor for Journal of Sex and Relationship Therapy, Vol 33 (3), August 2016. In press.
  • Nasserzadeh S (2015) ‘Comprehensive sexuality education: encouraging and opposing forces’.
  • Arab Youth Newsletter, UNFPA.
  • Nasserzadeh S (2015) ‘Ethnicity and cultural context of sexuality’ in 3rd edition of ‘ABC of Sexual Health’. Wylie, K. (Ed.). Wiley Publishing, Chester,
  • Nasserzadeh S (2015) (Review) ‘Sexual revolution’ edited by Hekma G and Giami A (2014) Journal of Sex and Relationship Therapy. [In press]
  • Nasserzadeh, S (2014) Working with Couples within their cultural contextDrSaraNasserzadeh-MESSM-2014-NZL-Feb. Middle East Society For Sexual Medicine (MESSM) News Letter, 3rd issue.
  • Nasserzadeh S (2013) ‘What suggestions should be put forward to ensure that a post-2015 development agenda has a lasting impact on challenging inequalities faced by children and young people?’ Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Available online: http://www.worldwewant2015.org/node/3246431
  • Nasserzadeh S (2012) (Review) on ‘Living West, Facing East’ (2012) Sanjakhdar F, Journal of Sex Education
  • Ingham R, Stone N and Nasserzadeh S (2010) ‘Introduction to special issue’, Sex Education, 10(4): 333-334.
  • Nasserzadeh S (2009) ‘Sex therapy: a marginalized specialization’, Archives of Sexual Behavior, 38(6):1037-8.
  • Komisaruk B, Whipple B, Nasserzadeh S and Beyer-Flores C (2009) ‘Orgasm answer guide’, The Johns Hopkins University
  • Nasserzadeh S (2009) ‘Sexuality education in Iran: personal reflections and professional experiences’ in Schroeder, E. and Kuriansky, J. (eds.). (2009) Sexuality Education: Past Present and Future. Westport Connecticut.
  • [Contributor] The Centre for HIV and Sexual Health, National Health Service (2009) ‘Pleasure: Why and how to raise the issue of sexual pleasure in sexual health work with young people’.
  • [Contributor] Marston C, King E (2009) ‘Factors that shape young people’s sexual behaviour: a systematic review’, The Lancet, 368 (9547):1581-1586.
  • Nasserzadeh S (2007) ‘Challenges of Muslim immigrants: a psychosexual perspective‘, Psychotherapy in Australia, 14(1):
  • Ohlrichs Y, Nasserzadeh S, and Doherty M (2007) ‘The International Platform of Sexuality & Relationship Education’, Sex Education, 77(3): 331-
  • [Contributor] World Association for Sexual Health (2007) ‘Sexual Health for the Millennium, A Declaration and Technical Document’.
  • [Contributor] Bradford M, Hoggart L and Young D (2007) ‘The sexual health needs of unaccompanied minors in Enfield and Haringey’, Enfield and Haringey Teenage Pregnancy
  • Nasserzadeh S (2007) (Review) on ‘The science of orgasm’ (2006) Komisaruk B, Beyer-Flores C, Whipple B, Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University The Obstetrician & Gynecologist, 9(4):284.
  • Hoggart L, Nasserzadeh S and Shamash M (2006) ‘Young people, sex and choices: a study of young motherhood in Haringey’, Middlesex University
  • Nasserzadeh S (2005) ‘What voices need to be included in the development of sexual health education curriculum’, Youth Net, Family Health International.
  • Azarmina P, Nasserzadeh S (2004) ‘Access to sexual health information in Iran’, INASP Newsletter 27.
  • Abdy M, Bowman E, Murphy J, Nasserzadeh S, Newton M (2003) ‘Project plan, 24 hour Resource Centre for Islington, Stuart Low Trust.
  • Azarmina P and Nasserzadeh S (2000) ‘My doctor’, in 6 volumes, health for public, Teymoorzadeh Publication, Tehran.

Press and Publications

Inverview: Why Size Actually Does Matter

In this Glamour Magazine article written by Kaitlin Menza, Dr. Sara argues that popularity of a large ‘male package’ is overrated.

Featured: Six of the Best Love Doctors

Dr. Sara believes in using a holistic approach for a healthy mind and body. In her interview with Harper’s Bazaar, we learn that to feel sexy, we need to be both physically and psychologically fit. She describes her holistic approach in treating sexual problems at her practice in London.

View on Website View Screenshot

Article: Dr. Sara on France’s Muslim Face-Veil Ban

In an article by genConnect, Dr. Sara as a social psychologist provides her perspectives on changing cultural norms in response to this controversial news from France.

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Interview: Ultimate Sex Tips from the Women Who Know Best!

An interview with the Daily Mirror: 25 tips from Dr. Sara and 5 other top sexologists in England on how to put the ‘x’ back in your sex.

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Press Release: Dr. Sara Nasserzadeh to Star in NAKED IN A FISHBOWL

A press release announcing Dr. Sara’s guest star performance in Naked in a Fishbowl in 2011. According to Dr. Sara, “It will be a pleasure to join the talented cast of Naked in a Fishbowl. I will use any channel to get accurate sexual health information to people out there.”

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Radio

Dr. Sara Joins the NPR Worldview to discuss the cultural context of banning a popular movie in India. March 2015, NYC Studios.

Dr. Sara Joins The NPR Worldview to discuss the influencing factors around “The culture around silence” around sexual molestation and abuse.

“THE WHISPERS” (DAR-EGOOSHIHA)

Dr. Sara was the creator and host of this award-winning radio/online program on sex and relationships for the BBC World Service, Persian section. In this photo, Dr. Sara is receiving the BBC World Service Award for the Innovation of the Year from Mark Thompson, Director-General of BBC in February 2007.

Listen to the Whispers

WBEZ WORLDVIEW INTERVIEW AT NPR STUDIOS, NYC

Dr. Sara joins Worldview to shed some light on the sexual realities of the Middle East at the NPR studios in New York, April 2012.

Listen

SEX IN ISLAM – ABC RADIO NATIONAL

Dr. Sara was interviewed by ABC’s (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) leading religion journalist Stephen Crittenden twice, first when she was invited by the UNESCO Institute of Education in Hamburg in 2002, and then when she was attending the World Congress for Sexual Health in Australia in 2007. The Religion Report was a program that covered religious affairs in Australia and around the world from 1999 to 2009.

Videos

Big Think

Dr. Sara on Big Think talking about love, chemistry and lofe without sex. Available here.

New Dawn Show

Two segments discussing health benefits of sex and orgasm.

gen|Connect|U

Two episodes on genConnect about faking organism and the secrets of sex.

Q & A with Dr. Sara

Question: “My partner only likes anal sex. Is he gay?”

Naked in a Fishbowl

Dr. Sara improvising on an off-Broadway show in New York.

Coming Soon!

Speaking

From the Stage

Dr. Sara offers keynote lectures, plenary sessions and training programs across the world. She has delivered over 500 professional presentations and workshops across 15 countries and more than 200 workshops for the public.

Her audience range from MDs, psychologists, therapists, counselors, researchers and educators from one side to executives, board members, policy makers and UN officials.

Here is a list of organizations that invited Dr. Sara to benefit from her expertise and unique perspectives:

Stanford University, Apple Health Center, UNESCO, Royal College of Physicians, Royal College of Nursing, College of Sex and Relationship Therapists, UNFPA, World Population Foundation, World Association for Sexual Health, European Federation of Sexology, University of Tlaxcala, Tehran Medical School, SUNY Medical School, Wagner College, Asian Federation for Sexology, Porterbrook Clinic, Institute of Education, University of London, Cornell University, Oxford University, Cambridge University, Pfizer Inc, Johnson & Johnson, Boehringer Ingelheim, Feminine Weapon and Columbia University.

The issue of culture literacy, competency and humility has been one of the most sought-after areas that Dr. Sara is talking about. She brings a unique cross-cultural perspective weaving the intricacies of Western vs. Eastern cultures, but also the importance of family values, education, socioeconomic status, religion, spirituality, personal values and core beliefs  in shaping one’s sense of culture.

Her talks on culture has been customized based on the target organization or venue:

  1. At professional conferences and meetings, Dr. Sara talks about the importance and role of culture in evaluating patients and clients coming from varying backgrounds and cultures.
  2. At corporations, this talk morphs into interpersonal dynamics, corporate culture and cultural humility in dealing with challenging employee relationships.
  3. Elsewhere, Dr. Sara is invited to talk about how programs, services and products can be developed and marketed in a culturally-sensitive manner.

Over the past few years, Dr. Sara has developed a unique model to analyze contextual matters that can increase the chances of success in any setting or profession.

Psychologists, counselors and therapists benefit from this talk by learning how to incorporate the wheel of context in understanding their patients’ or clients’ problems and offer more effective advice or therapies.

Executive and business professionals use the wheel of context to broaden their understanding of market dynamics, historical events, culture and other factors to better plan for commercialization and marketing of their products and services.

The wheel of context has also been used extensively in topics such as sexuality education, psychosexual therapy and client assessment. It was created as a practical framework to ensure that educators, advocates, and researchers in the field of sexuality education maintain a holistic perspective on a selected number of key contextual factors that may influence, hinder or catalyze our work. It also helps provide a greater appreciation for the communities we serve and ultimately lead to more desirable outcomes for our programs or projects. It is not only a tool to build consensus and alignments at the onset of a project, but also a medium to facilitate dialogue among stakeholders, create solutions out of conflicting ideas and a measure to deepen our understanding about the root causes of unforeseen barriers and resistance that we may face.​ Visit wheelofcontext.com for more information and free downloadable resources.

Coming Soon!

Consulting

Dr. Sara’s practice and the process of Sex & Relationship Consulting is designed to enable clients to discover insights which they then an use to optimize their relationships, personal or professional. You can book your appointments for a consultation with Dr. Sara individually, as a couple or with a small group of friends. If you have any questions before booking your appointment, please visit the contact page and we will get back to you soon.

Common areas of work

  • Dating advice: how to find the right match, how to connect to the person you like and how to best express yourself
  • Relationship Consultation:moving from arguing to talking, balancing a demanding job and a fulfilling relationship, and managing expectations.
  • Sexuality Counseling:overcoming relational, emotional and physical issues, communicating what partners want in a non-threatening way, defining what is ‘normal’ and what is not in relationships, pain issues and lack of interest.
  • Communication advice: creating the most genuine and effective verbal and non-verbal communication strategies that could help you form and grow your relationships with co-workers, employees and your employer.

Initial Consultation

This is the first face-to-face consultation or virtual session that you individually or together with your partner will have with Dr. Sara. It takes about 120 minutes where you will describe your concern(s) in detail. She will ask you specific questions and at the end of the session, you and Dr. Sara will set realistic goals for the process of your work and decide what path is the best way forward.

Individual and Couples Consultations

Ongoing consultations are scheduled at the beginning of each month. They will be on a weekly basis initially and take 50 minutes each. You can attend the sessions together as a couple or individually, depending on how it suits your program. Dr. Sara and you will review your progress every six sessions. After you achieve your goals, you will arrange for appointments every other weeks and then once a month or every other months. After that, you can book ad hoc sessions as boosters! Your commitment to the process and the homework you are assigned to determines your level of success.

Confidentiality

The content of the sessions will be kept confidential unless harm to yourself or a third party is evident. You will be informed before any information discussed with anyone else. If you are a public figure, please inform us in advance so the appropriate measures could be taken to secure your privacy/confidentiality on your arrival and departure.

Disclaimers

Dr. Sara Nasserzadeh is an Accredited Psychosexual Therapist by The College of Sex and Relationship Therapy (COSRT) in the UK and a Certified Sexuality Counselor by the American Association for Sexuality Educators Counselors and Therapists (AASECT). She is not a mental health practitioner and if needed she would make suggestions for your referral to a professional in that field. Dr. Sara practices within the scope of sexuality and relationship consulting, which are not covered by insurances.

Past Clients’ Experiences

“Working with Dr Nasserzadeh was my secret weapon — she was my business (and sometimes personal) Cyrano de Bergerac.  As a C level executive working with a largely male senior team and board, Dr Nasserzadeh’s astute insights and communications strategies proved critical in helping me navigate my way through numerous tricky conversations and situations.  I am deeply grateful for her wise counsel and feel lucky to have her in my life”. 

– Jules K., C level executive of tech startups, formerly at Google. 2016 

Clare: “We had been having problems, fighting and arguing. Couple’s therapy wasn’t really working but when we met Sara and she introduced elements of both relationship and sex coaching, I felt we are moving somewhere. We were unlucky the first two times round so having a third counselor who was helpful, non-judgmental, positive with a constructive advice restored my trust.

Sara was a true coach. [She] gave me also inspiration for future once problems were overcome in order to maintain good and healthy relationship ‘in the kitchen and in the bedroom’. It wasn’t always easy, but the end result was worth it. The process did not cure my issues overnight but it helped me be aware of how to see things more calmly and clearly. Now I can say, it was the best thing to happen to us! We learned about each other, we learned about ourselves, and we learned about relationships in general. It was difficult, and frightening at times. We worked through a lot of what was going on for us, and we’re better off for having been in couple’s therapy alone. Now we have a little boy and future does not seems daunting any more. We have some useful tools from Sara”.

Gabriel: “It seemed as though we were spending more time angry with one another than happy together. Looking back, I know now that I was being self-righteous and seeing Clara as the problem. For example, I would focus on how she said things and getting uppity about that. Sara coached past that to listen to what Clara was actually saying and really respond to that, rather than making a knee-jerk response.

Sara helped me to look at my own behavior and understand how I was creating my own rut and then getting stuck in it. Her guidance helped me unlearn some of my worst habits, and really connect with Clara instead. I think going to her saved our relationship. We’re now very happy together and the proud parents of a wonderful son, conceived and born since our time with Sara” 

– Clare & Gabriel TK. 2013 

“My goal is to start something similar to the Manhattan Sex Therapy Group that we formed 10 years ago in New York City. A community of highly-skilled and trained professionals who continue to grow together. I would also like to make this growth as systematic as possible.”
 
Many professionals in the field receive ad hoc training on various topics. While professionals may feel very knowledgeable, they may not be sure how much they know or how much they don’t. It becomes only apparent when they are faced with a new client or a new presenting problem, what may be missing or polishing. This consultation group and training is designed for professionals to acquire skills to practice with confidence.
 
The two-hour modules will consist of a whole hour dedicated to bringing new advances in the field and practical skills that can be used in everyday practices. The HAT training is built  into these sessions providing a valuable addition to professional’s current knowledge and skill sets. The Training hour of these sessions are AASECT CE eligible. We can also work out a way to offer CE to other providers if you are interested.

About the Program

  • Selection: Due to high demand and time restrictions registration is first-come-first-serve.
  • Registration: Please fill out the registration form and submit payment to secure your spot (details in links)
  • Number of Participants: There are 6 slots available in both groups, total 12 participants will be accepted to ensure the quality of the sessions as well as a fair distribution of time among the members
  • Sessions: 10 sessions in total (each 2 hours)
  • Format: First hour training on a specific topic (AASECT CE eligible) and second hour, consultation of cases
  • Address: Dr. Sara’s office Palo Alto (Hamilton Avenue)
  • Start date: Friday, November 10 (first sessions) and the second Friday of each month thereafter.
  • Timing: Option 1: 9-11 am // Option 2: 1-3 pm 
  • Fee: $150 per session ($1500 for 10 sessions)
  • Missed sessions: If you miss a session, you will receive the material for the training hour of that session.
  • Dropping out: Your spot will be yours for that year unless you decide to drop out all together in which case you are refunded for the remainder of the sessions and someone else will take your spot (with the agreement of the group members).
  • Speakers/Trainers: The majority of the training will be presented by Dr. Sara; some sessions might have guest speakers for the training hour segment to ensure the most updated and relevant information delivered on the given topic.

Who can attend?

Due to the experimental nature of the training, attendance in person in mandatory.

  1. Clinical and Counseling Psychologists
  2. Marriage and Family Therapists
  3. Clinical Social Workers
  4. Professional Clinical Counselors
  5. Educational Psychologists
  6. Mental Health Counselors
  7. Others: Physical Therapists and Nurses who joined our groups before

Dr. Sara offers management consulting to national and international organizations in the following areas:

  • Developing Integrative Customer Insights Strategic Plan (including; design, leadership training and evaluation)
  • Reviewing national sexual health programs
  • Reviewing and evaluation of school-based sexual health education programs
  • Producing culturally sensitive material for sexuality and relationship education
  • Designing Communication Strategies to address inter-generational gaps in companies
  • Leadership development
  • Training the Trainers for Sexual Health (educators and health care professionals)
  • Accessing hard to reach groups including socially marginalized young people, teenage mothers, cultural and religious minorities (5 main world religions)
  • Effective communication strategies for leaders and managers

Past Clients

  • Takeda Pharmaceutical, US and Global (design and development of Customer Insights Model and Practice)
  • Pfizer, Inc. New York (development of the Integrative Customer Insights Model)
  •  New York State Department of Health (school-based sexuality education material K-12)
  • Johnson and Johnson, US and Global (women’s health products, Customer Insights)
  • Pfizer, Ltd. Walton Oaks, UK (psychosexual care for the survivors of breast and prostate cancer)
    • Bohringer Ingelheim, US (women’s sexual health products)
  • Voluntary Action Camden, UK (peer-education program for community outreach sexual health education)
  • Policy Studies Institute, UK (teenage mothers and unaccompanied minor projects)
  • World Population Foundation, Netherlands and Pakistan (consultant for sexual health national programs)
  • United Nations Population Fund (Advocacy for Comprehensive Sexuality Education)
  • World Association for Sexual Health (strategic planning for the association)

Training

Dr. Sara provides a range of services to professionals and practitioners whose work directly or indirectly involves human sexuality, psychosexual issues, sexual health and complex relationships. For healthcare providers and mental health practitioners interested in the assessment and treatment of psychosexual issues, she has developed a unique program that holistically addresses different dimensions of assessments, diagnosis and treatment of such problems. This program is called Holistic Assessments & Therapies (HAT) for psychosexual issues and she offers it either over 3 years (each year consisting of 10 monthly blocks) or as an intensive one-day introductory workshop. More information about these programs are available in the next tabs.

SAR with Dr. Sara

Sexual Attitude Reassessment

5 Senses and Beyond: Assumptions, Perceptions and Expectations

Discover insights & optimize relationships through this unique SAR experience.

What is SAR?

SAR is a process-oriented, structured group experience to promote participants’ awareness of their attitudes and values related to sexuality, and to assist them in understanding how these attitudes and values affect them professionally and personally. SAR is an in-depth exploration of one’s values, beliefs and attitudes and includes experiential, audio-visual, panel experiences. This SAR is unique in that it focuses on our five senses.

Who can attend?

  • Professionals working in the field of human sexuality,
  • Graduate students with an interest in sexuality and related subjects, and
  • Anyone who would like to explore their values, beliefs and attitudes.

To book a SAR and for questions please contact us.