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Sorting Out Sex

Working Therapeutically with Sex, Sexuality & Sexual Difficulties

For human beings, sex is much more than its basic biological function of reproduction simply to propagate the species and we have developed recreational, rather than reproductive, sex to a greater degree than most other primates.

This powerful force of raw life energy is subject to many taboos, along with birth and death. People are often embarrassed, afraid, suspicious, self-conscious, anxious… when it comes to the topic of sex.

Laughter and other forms of displacement activity are common reactions to the mention of sex. The expression of sexual feelings and drives are subject to many different cultural and religious beliefs and prohibitions. Humans do not simply follow their sexual impulses as other mammals do. We are expected to think, feel and act in certain prescribed ways in relation to sex, but often without any explicit information or teachings about what we should do, mostly the focus is on what we should not do.

Different societies have had different attitudes towards sex throughout history, ranging from regarding sex as an expression of Tantric mysticism to that of a necessary but shameful activity, not to be discussed in polite society.

Most people are very ill-informed and uneducated about sex and our early beliefs and thoughts about sex are a confusing mixture of things that we have heard from our peers and from media representations of sex. This Module addresses a very important issue which is crucial to the human psyche and our survival as a species and yet, due to widespread taboos about the subject, many therapists even those who are very experienced, feel varying levels of discomfort and uncertainty when working with psychosexual issues. Sexuality is a highly sensitive issue and needs intelligent and highly empathetic therapy to achieve a positive outcome for the client who presents with a problem in this area. Therapists need to be able to work safely and competently with both males and females, and to have a sound knowledge of the psychological sexual processes of both genders. They must also have a thorough understanding of physiology, the sexual personality and the dynamics of sexual interaction, as well as being able to create an environment, both psychological and physical, where the client may feel assured of total confidentiality.

This 2-day short intensive CPD course provides an overview of the development of the various approaches employed in mainstream Western models of sex therapy and the most commonly presenting sexual difficulties. It will provide the professional therapist with an effective knowledge base as well enough information to desensitise the subject so that the methodology taught can be confidently employed. The course materials are based on tried-and-tested methods which are client-centred and focused more on practicalities than theory, covering every important aspect from the moment of first contact with the prospective client through to the end of a successful course of therapy.

We will also consider the Eastern model of sex as a form of energy, not only a source of pleasure and for the purpose of biological reproduction.

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