Painful Sex: Working with GPPD (Genito-Pelvic Pain/Penetration Disorder)

This online course is for psychotherapists, clinical counsellors, and mental health or health care professionals looking to expand their existing skills and awareness for working with clients experiencing pain during sexual intimacy.



The course encourages you to critically examine your own personal beliefs, biases, stories, and reactions to sexual pain and existing treatments, and consider how these show up in your office as you relate to clients.



Our goal is to help you become a GPPD-informed practitioner by helping you expand your knowledge around working with Genito-Pelvic Pain / Penetration Disorders by: 


  • Introducing you to many tangible issues and fundamental concerns including relationship issues with GPPD clients
  • Helping you increase your confidence, competence, and tools for working with clients who suffer from painful intercourse and/or painful genitals 
  • Introducing you to screening, assessment, and types of referrals
  • Providing ways to identify your own sexual biases and stigma that may impact your work with clients
  • Giving you practical resources to implement in your practice immediately and share with clients

This training has been pre-approved for twelve (12) CEC’s from the Canadian Counselling & Psychotherapy Association.






Genito-Pelvic Pain/Penetration Disorder (also known as GPPD or GPPPD) is a condition that causes cis-women and those with female genitalia difficulty and/or pain with vaginal penetration or penetration attempts. An estimated 6.5 to 45% of older women and 14 to 34% of younger women experience some form of variation of these conditions. 


Historically, GPPD was thought to have been caused by either physical complications or psychological and sexual difficulties, however recent studies show it is a combination of biomedical, cognitive, affective, behavioural, and interpersonal difficulties.


This condition can impact relationship satisfaction, as well as psychological well-being, and can result in feeling deprived, confused, and guilty.


As care providers, we must understand how to recognize GPPD, the best treatment options available, and how to take an approach that is sensitive to the pain clients might be experiencing.


Topics covered include:

    • Different types of GPPD and how the symptoms present
    • Understanding the prevalence, significance, and impact of GPPD for clients

    • An exploration of other common concurrent genito-pelvic pain conditions and how you can tell the difference
    • An overview of common causes of GPPD  (biomedical, psychological, and relationship factors)
    • Clinical considerations for working with clients suffering from genito-pelvic pain
    • How to do basic screening and assessment for GPPD so clients can get the proper treatment
    • An overview of best medical treatment practices
    • An overview of best psychotherapy treatments
    • Barriers to accessing mental and physical healthcare for clients
    • Case studies and personal stories
    • Suggested readings, worksheets, resources
    • Plus much more…


We also have in-depth interviews from experts in the field, such as Pelvic Floor Physiotherapists, Sexual Pain Researchers, as well as those who have suffered from GPPD themselves, to help you navigate the broad range of impacts that GPPD can have. 

And throughout the program you will be encouraged to thoughtfully and critically examine your own personal stories, biases, and reactions to sexual pain, and how they relate to client’s presenting concerns – all from the comfort of your own home at your own pace.


Watch in-depth expert interviews with members of the GPPD community and allied professionals. They share their personal experiences and what they feel practitioners need to know to work with this community ethically and effectively.

Discusses Causes and Treatment of Female Vaginal Pain

Dr. Caroline Pukall

Clinical Psychologist | Director of the Sexual Health Research Laboratory (

Pelvic Floor Therapist Explains GPPD and how to treat it

Marcy Dayan

Registered Physiotherapist | Founder of Dayan Physiotherapy & Pelvic Floor Clinic

Community Member and Sexual Health Advocate discusses GPPD

Emily Sauer

Founder - Ohnut | Sexual Health Advocate



When you register for “Painful Sex: Working with Genito-Pelvic Pain/Penetration Disorder (GPPD)” you also get 6

months free access to our “Sex and Gender 101” mini course ($97 value).

Sex and Gender 101 has been pre-approved for (2) CEC’s with the CCPA (Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association 


This course is an introduction to sex and gender for mental health and wellness professionals that covers essential and foundational terminology and concepts to help you understand, and begin conversations around, sex and gender with clients. As with most topics related to human bodies and sexuality, in-depth conversations around sex and gender are often missing from most clinical training programs. This means unless therapists have lived experience beyond typical sex and gender “norms”, clients become their teachers.


We want to help change that.

It is essential that helping professionals do their own work when it comes to understanding sex and gender. In a world focused on a gender-binary of male or female, and assumes cis-gender as the default (you only identify with the gender you were assigned at birth), unless intentional effort is made to unpack bias and stigma, harm can easily be caused to clients.

That’s where “Sex and Gender 101” comes in. Enjoy this course as a bonus when you purchase “Painful Sex: Working with Genito-Pelvic Pain/Penetration Disorder (GPPD)

Painful Sex: Working with Genito-Pelvic Pain/Penetration Disorder (GPPD) Terms and Conditions

More information about the program and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) can be found below. If you have any further questions, you can reach us here or at

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does this course take to do?

Participants report this program typically takes approximately twelve (12) hours to complete. However, it may take you longer depending on a few factors such as:


  • How fast you read
  • How many notes you like to take
  • How much time you take reviewing resources
  • How much time you take to explore the personal reflection questions
  • And pre-existing knowledge of the subject matter
How many Continuing Education Credit (CECs) is this course eligible for and with what associations?

This course is pre-approved for twelve (12) continuing education credits (CECs) with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA).  We anticipate this course would be eligible to receive CECs from other associations but cannot guarantee this.  Please check with your specific accrediting organizations to determine CEC eligibility prior to taking this program if CECs are a determining factor for your registration. 

Will I be able to call myself a "Sex Therapist" if I complete this course?

No. Being a “Sex Therapist” means you have done in-depth clinical training and research in the field of sex therapy, and have received clinical supervision from someone qualified in this area. 

Will I get a certificate at the end?

Yes. Upon successful completion of a quiz (a score of 80% or higher) to show completion and comprehension, you will get a digital certificate of achievement for your records.

How long do I have access to the program?

You will have access to the program and resources for six (6) months from the day you register.

How much does the "Painful Sex: Working with Genito-Pelvic Pain/Penetration Disorder (GPPD)" course cost?

This program costs $297 CAD.

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