How Therapists’ Sexual Issues Influence Treatment

An enormous part of our culture, sexuality is a big part of our lives. Not surprisingly, therapists have personal issues around sexuality, issues that influence and sometimes even determine the course of treatment. This workshop will explore many of those issues, examine how they affect our work, and suggest a model for becoming more comfortable and nonjudgmental about our clients’ (and perhaps our own) sexuality.

Some common therapists’ sexual issues that will be covered include:

  • Basic mistrust of sexual energy
  • Anger at men/women/sex
  • Willingness to help clients define what’s sexually “normal”
  • Discomfort/unwillingness to accept certain variations
  • Desire to prove sexual liberalism or morality
  • Fear of sexuality
  • Misinformation about biology, psychology, sociology, or anthropology of sexuality
  • Over-identifying with a client or client’s partner

We will also look at some of the ways therapists collude with clients’ disempowerment around sexuality:

  • Not understanding how the media, church, and government conspire to disempower people sexually
  • Not challenging clients’ beliefs about others’ sex lives
  • Inappropriately self-disclosing about sexual feelings
  • Believing that sexual trauma dooms clients’ sexuality
  • Letting clients identify themselves primarily as sexual victims
  • Not confronting clients’ self-diagnoses
  • Getting caught up in the sexual content of what clients say

After completing this seminar, you’ll be more comfortable and confident with clients’ sexual material; more conscious of our culture’s impact on both your and your clients’ sexual attitudes; and better able to support clients in articulating and creating what they want from sex.