Sexuality is intrinsic to one’s being and a birthright. Yet, it often gets omitted from the therapy session.
Jennifer is available for consultation on matters relating to intimacy, sexuality, sex education, sexual health, gender and sexual diversity. A therapist doesn’t need to be a sex therapist to be open to their client’s sexuality. There is much you can do to support your client’s sexuality and it can greatly deepen the therapeutic alliance when clients know you are not afraid of broaching this intrinsic aspect of their humanity. Contact me for rates and availability.
There are many reasons therapists don’t talk about sex, sexuality or sexual health in session:
- Because most therapy academic programs don’t teach/emphasize it
- Therapist is unsure of the role it plays in the treatment
- Lack of clarity for one’s own sexuality and one’s own judgments or morals
- Unsure how to raise topic and handle what is brought up (may feel need to know all the answers)
- Fear of naming the behavior or issue and of offending client
- Uncertainty about what can be done/what is possible
- Our own assumptions about a person’s sexuality, relationships, behavior, orientation or presentation
Why should therapists include sexuality as part of assessment and therapeutic process?
- Because sexuality is an integral part of us and affects everything we do.
- It is a bio-psycho-social construct and therefore is our responsibility as a therapist
- Because when we don’t we are communicating that it isn’t important to well-being and we burden our clients to bring it to us
- Because medications your clients are prescribed (and elicit drugs) can affect their sexual health and functioning.
- Because 40-100% of people with medical conditions like cancer, infertility, high blood pressure, MS, Lyme Disease, physical disabilities/chronic pain along with environmental issues like lifestyle overcrowding, work stress, family stressors, financial stressors and raising children all effect SEXUAL SATISFACTION! (Journal Public Health Med. 1997 Dec;19(4):387-91)
- Estimated prevalence of sexual dissatisfaction in the general population is 52% for men and 63% in women (Arch Sex Behav. 1990 Aug;19(4):389-408).
- Because you might just be the one person who they can confide in without fear of judgment and this could change their life and maybe even yours!