Although anxiety can account for the vast majority of sexual dysfunction, the medical or biological origins of sexual difficulties cannot be understated. As clinicians, it is imperative to have knowledge of the major biological contributors and an understanding of the impact of disease, illness, surgery, and medications on the sexual functioning of the individual.
When we consider work with children, adolescents, and families, the therapeutic task becomes nuanced and complicated. The role of fathers and mothers relative to sexuality with their children is vital to their children’s long term development. This course will take students through concepts of foregrounding and backgrounding in parental roles, and how this can have positive long term results. Understanding how we might discuss father and mother involvement with their children from the perspective of sexuality can prevent eating disorders, and other pathologies, and can launch children toward effective adult relationships. This course will be based on the work that won AASECT’s Patricia Schiller Prize in 2012.
Society has often given us very rigid guidelines for what represents healthy sexual functioning, and many of these guidelines confuse play for performance. This course examines the vast array of sexual play and representations of healthy sexual functioning alongside sexual dysfunction (such as rapid ejaculation and sexual pain). This course will be focused on pleasure and play as a central concept in the enactment of sexual activity.
Substance abuse can have a profound impact on one’s relationship to their body and bodily sensations. This course looks at the consequences, both short and long term, of substance abuse on one’s sexuality and sexual functioning, as well as examining the implications for more positive treatment modalities for therapeutic substance abuse treatment that does not exclude sexuality.
From the womb until end-of-life, our sexuality never stops evolving and changing. This class looks not only at the biological and physical aspects of sexual development, but also it’s relational, spiritual, and emotional dimensions. Students will examine how each area of development affects the others in ways that either encourage or impede further growth.
There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to sex. What may sound thrilling and edgy for one individual or couple, can feel repulsive and scary to another. The same goes for how we organize our relationship or relationships. We will explore the many subcultures that exist in the sexuality community, the various forms of open relationships (polyamorous, swinging), and the means of working with these populations in a way that feels informed and open.
Any degree of sexual trauma can serve to undermine a sense of safety in yourself, your body, your relationships, your sexuality, and the world. The body can become a dangerous place to live, and therefore sex can become confusing or scary, or both. Healing is a process of taking back your needs and desires, learning to articulate and exercise consent on their behalf, and reclaiming your body and sexuality as yours. This course dives into the intricacies of work with sexual trauma, including the introduction of a somatic (body/sensory awareness) approach to treatment.
Sex is so much more than penetration, and yet, as a society we seem to have a very narrow script for what sex is and should be. We believe that a more expansive definition of sex, including a much more lengthy menu of pleasurable sexual behaviors, is necessary and beneficial in working with people of all physical and mental abilities. This course teaches students ways in which we can work with our clients to rewrite their sexual scripts, introduce new or different routes to pleasure, accommodate potential physical factors and obstacles, and move individuals toward the sex they desire.
Some people describe sex as transcendent, an experience that takes them outside of themselves. With increasing societal exposure to practices such as tantra, the idea of spirituality as an inextricable component of sexuality has become ubiquitous. Some find that connection to be positive and fulfilling, while others find it tied into feelings of shame and guilt due to religious dogma or childhood upbringing. This course explores the spiritual connection with sexuality; how it’s evolved, how to strengthen it’s presence, and how to heal from spiritual wounds related to sexuality.
Each of us learns in a different way, or do we? Talking about sex confronts a person’s spiritual, moral, and personal positioning. Understanding ways of effectively delivering information in order to maximize the storage and integration of the content, especially in sex therapy, is crucially and ethically important to the success of treatment and the overall arc of the therapeutic process. We can empower our clients with information, or cause overwhelm. This course helps clinicians navigate that landscape.
Sex and intimacy are often conceptualized as inextricably connected. However, the extent to which they are connected can often pose problems for the couple or individual. Anxiety around closeness and vulnerability can lead to a felt sense of disconnection or “checking out” when engaging one’s sexuality with a partner. This course not only teaches intimacy skills, but looks at how to treat these struggles with intimacy and closeness. The paradoxical concept of distance in maintaining intimacy will also be described.
Erotic fantasy plays a very important role, not only in providing a safe place for the ongoing development and exploration of one’s sexuality, but also in working through various aspects of everyday life and struggles of the past. In this sense, fantasy is not only fun, but healing. This course looks at erotic fantasy as a mechanism for growth and therapeutic treatment, in addition to discussion of it’s place in the context of the couple.
Sex toys and devices can be used simply for fun or to enhance sensation and erotic experience, but for some they are a necessity in their route to pleasure. It is our obligation as therapists to stay informed and up to date with the latest in the wide variety of sex toys on the market. This course explores the vast world of sex toys as well as their usefulness with sexual difficulties.
This course looks at the relationship between anxiety and out of control sexual behaviors, as well as addressing it’s complex origins and the function the behavior may serve in the life of the individual. Implications for treatment are examined at length, using recent research and contemporary sex therapy practice.
How do we account for power? How do we facilitate discussion on the ethical issues of positioning and accountability (Tilsen, 2013)? How can we develop therapeutic transparency? How we communicate is essential to doing the work around sexuality. This course illustrates the various venues through which communication occurs: verbally, non-verbally, and electronically; in addition to discussing self-disclosure, personal vulnerability, and issues of transference and countertransference on the part of the therapist.
Paraphilic behaviors, such as exhibitionism or voyeurism, can be scary, shocking, and even traumatic. And yet others, like sexual sadism and masochism, can be part of a fun, thrilling, and connecting experience between two consenting partners. This course explores the absence of boundaries in specific paraphilias, and the importance of boundaries and consent in the pleasure experience of others. Various treatment methodologies will be explored for those paraphilias that may be deemed harmful or deviant.
How you were raised, where you were raised, and familial, societal, and religious messaging around sex play a huge role in one’s sexual development and approach toward sex. This course explores the impact of these dimensions, looks at current societal attitudes as well as others, discusses sex-positive parenting, and teaches students methods for working with, and either strengthening or healing from the social and cultural aspect of sexuality.
How has technology changed the way we “do” intimacy? How has it influenced one’s relationship to their own sexuality and their partner’s? How does cyber sex enhance and/or hinder sexual expression? This course will provide exposure to various cyber sexuality venues and the latest in technological advancements expanding this arena.
This course introduces students the vast array of theory and perspectives concerning the development and/or origins of pedophilia. The course exposes students to voices from those who have been outspoken around pedophilia, both those within the community, and those who advocate for a new approach to therapeutic treatment. Treatment modalities, their controversy and evolution, are explored at length.
Students will explore the complexity of desire, including the role personal factors, relationship dynamics, and medication/diagnosis can play in it’s absence. The effectiveness and limitations of medications such as Cialis, Viagara and Flibanserin are explored and their role and influence on our current view of desire as a society is scrutinized.
This course integrates the entirety of the course material while emphasizing aspects of the person of the therapist. Role play, case analysis, and self reflection assist in developing a sense for who each individual is as a therapist, their personal style, and the level of comfort and ease they bring to their work with clients. This course challenges each student to critically reflect on their development as a sex therapist throughout the duration of the program.
Joe Winn is a licensed independent clinical social worker, certified sex therapist, and certified supervisor of sex therapy. He has been practicing since 1995 and self employed in private practice since November of 2003. In addition to his generalist practice, Joe’s areas of specialty include LGBTQQIAA client populations, gay male couples, and issues related to substance dependency and recovery. Joe has taught and lectured on clinical topics including family therapy, the delivery of health care services to sexual and gender minorities, sexological perspectives on the assessment and treatment of sexual compulsivity, clinical interventions with intersex, transgender, and gender non-conforming clients and their families, differentiating BDSM/Kink from interpersonal violence in intimate partner relationships, and LGBT elders and sexuality. Joe has also co-lead numerous Sexual Attitude Reassessment seminars through The Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health. Particular areas of interest include gender role strain and the construction of human sexuality, intersectionality and its impact on worldview and sexual functioning and pleasure, collaborative supervision, and integrating a sexological worldview into generalist practitioner assessment, intervention, and clinical practice.
AASECT Certified Supervisor of Sex Therapy
Paula Leech, LMFT, CST received her Bachelor’s Degree in Family and Human Development at Arizona State University and then went on to receive her Master’s Degree in Family Therapy at the University of Massachusetts at Boston. Post family therapy licensure, she became AASECT certified as a Sex Therapist and has worked with individuals, couples, and families in private practice in Quincy, Massachusetts for the past six years. Prior to focusing her efforts on SSSHC, Paula volunteered with several organizations including: AIDS Action Committee, Boston; AIDS Project Arizona; and The Men’s Action Life Empowerment (MALE) Center. She has worked with at-risk youth in a group home environment, empowering and educating teens around issues of sexuality and sexual development. Paula is passionate about bringing couples and individuals toward a greater sense of intimacy and a thriving sexual life. She presents at Universities and is an educator and sex therapy supervisor as part of SSSHC’s Sex Therapy Certification program.
Gina Ogden is an award-winning sex therapist, family therapist, researcher, teacher, and author. She is founder of the Relational Sexuality Network, an international collaboration of practitioners whose mission is to expand the practice of therapy and sex therapy beyond limiting notions of function and dysfunction to include a wide range of diversity and experience. She conducts retreats and trainings internationally, lectures widely, leads online courses attended by professionals all over the world, and has appeared in the media from talk radio to the Oprah Winfrey Show. She supervises and trains sex therapists, physicians, nurses, social workers, family therapists, and other health providers in the Four-Dimensional Wheel approach, to broaden their understanding of sexual experience. She conducted the only nationwide survey on integrating sexuality and spirituality.
She is the author of ten books so far. Her most recent books for a general readership (all published by Trumpeter) are: The Return of Desire (2008) and The Heart & Soul of Sex (2006). The 3rd edition of Women Who Love Sex, was published in 2007. Her books for a professional readership (all published by Routledge) are: Expanding the Practice of Sex Therapy: An Integrative Model for Exploring Desire and Intimacy, (2012) and Extraordinary Sex Therapy: Creative Approaches for Clinician (2015)—an edited collection of innovative and creative approaches from colleagues in the US and the UK. Her 4-D Wheel workbook for clinicians is : Exploring Desire & Intimacy: Innovative Approaches, Practical Applications--due in September, 2016.
Dr. Sorrentino is the medical director at the Institute for Sexual Wellness and Clinical Instructor at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Sorrentino is a Board Certified Forensic Psychiatrist with expertise in the evaluation and treatment of individuals with paraphilias. Dr. Sorrentino received her medical degree from Boston University School of Medicine and completed a residency in adult psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital and McLean Hospital. Following her residency, Dr. Sorrentino completed a forensic psychiatry fellowship with Phillip Resnick, M.D. at Case Western Reserve University and a clerkship with John Bradford, M.D, an internationally recognized expert in the treatment of sexually dangerous individuals. Dr. Sorrentino’s practice is devoted to the treatment and evaluation of paraphilias and sexual offenders as well as the hormonal treatment of paraphilias.
Evelyn Resh is a practicing nurse-midwife, certified sexuality counselor, and author. She has been in clinical practice for over 20 years and currently sees OB/GYN patients in an MD/CNM practice in western, MA. In addition, she is Director of Sexual Health Services and Programing for Canyon Ranch, Lenox, MA.
Evelyn has been speaking on the topics of sensuality, sexuality, and women’s health for over fifteen years for both lay and professional audiences. Her two books: Women, Sex, Power, and Pleasure; Getting the Life (and Sex) You Want and The Secret Lives of Teen Girls: What Your Mother Wouldn’t Talk About but Your Daughter Needs to Know (Hay House Publishers, 2013, 2009) approach sexuality from an integrative health and whole-life/whole-health perspective. Additionally, she has written for the American Sexual Health Association website and has also contributed articles to Oprah.com, eHarmony.com, Huffington Post.com, GURL.com, and Seventeen.com. She also maintains an audience of readers through her monthly commentaries on women’s health and sexuality.
Her website is: www.EvelynResh.com
Polly Williams is the clerk of the Community and Equity Committee and a physical education teacher at Cambridge Friends School. Polly holds a Bachelor of Science degree in health and physical education from Slippery Rock University. She also holds a Master’s of Social Work degree from Simmons College. During the summer, Polly helps run Farm and Wilderness’s Barn Day Camp, a wilderness camp in Vermont that she has been involved with for 34 years. Polly has worked with youth and adults surrounding issues of equity and justice focusing on race, gender, and sexuality. Outside of her work at Cambridge Friends School and Farm and Wilderness she has provided training's for Boards an organizations in anti-bias work, gender, sexuality, and issues surrounding adoption. Polly has two children and lives in Newton. Her loves include canoeing, rock climbing, team sports, and being out in nature.
Jessica Price, LCSW has been working with families in multiple capacities since 1995. She currently holds licenses in two states, Florida and Massachusetts, as a clinical social worker. Specializing in building better relationships through better understanding she works with families to enrich their perspective on themselves and others. As a therapist who sees clients of all ages, Jessica holds extensive experience pertaining to the stages of development throughout the life cycle. Her primary practice is in Brandon Florida and she continues to collaborate with South Shore Family Health Collaborative (SSFHC) in Quincy Massachusetts. Her role with SSFHC is to assist in training and supervision.
In 2012, She and Stephen Duclos LMFT, CRC, CST an esteemed colleague and professor at University of Massachusetts at Boston, won the Patricia Schiller Prize for their work on Fathers, Adolescent Daughters, and Sexuality. They are currently working on presentations and articles on this topic. Jessica and Stephen collaborate on therapeuticprojects such as the effects of divorce on young children throughout different developmental stages. She is vitally interested in father involvement, the importance of fantasy play throughout our life cycle, unique learning styles and reducing the impact of limitations through better understanding and accessing strengths. Jessica is also interested in expansion of therapeutic services through online communication, parent consultation, and coaching.
Megara Bell is the founder and director of Partners in Sex Education with 18 years of experience teaching comprehensive sex education. She has taught in a variety of educational settings including public and private middle schools and high schools, colleges, parent groups, therapeutic schools and medical schools. Megara conducts professional development workshops on Teaching Pregnancy to At-Risk Boys, Teaching STD Prevention to Teens, Understanding Sexual Urban Legends, Teaching with Games, Sex Ed for Autism Spectrum, and Understanding Consent and presented the closing keynote at the National Sex Ed Conference 2014 with her husband Brian (Sex Mythbusters featured in the 1/5/15 New Yorker) Megara and Brian will keynote the RI Youth Sex Ed Conference in May.
Samantha Manewitz, LICSW CST, is an educator and AASECT Certified Sex Therapist. She has given presentations to mental health professionals, sex educators, and alt-sex communities on healthy communication, abuse prevention, and mental health in BDSM. She has been a speaker at CatalystCon West, AASECT’s annual conference, the CARAS conference in Chicago, and the Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit. Among her specialties are trauma (complex PTSD), sex therapy, Couples therapy (level 2 Gottman trained), and gender affirming care for trans/non binary clients. Samantha is also on the faculty of the Institute for Sexuality Education and Enlightenment, where she has presented on sexual coercion, systems in sex therapy, and psychotherapy with Kinky clients, among other topics.
For the past 25 years, Elijah C. Nealy, PhD, M.Div., LCSW has worked extensively with LGBTQ adolescents and adults in both pastoral and social service capacities. Currently assistant professor of social work at the University of Saint Joseph, CT, Dr. Nealy provides consultation and trainings in health and mental healthcare on best practice with transgender and gender-variant children, youth, and adults. For the past 8 years, his clinical practice has focused on transgender and gender diverse youth and their families. Ordained with Metropolitan Community Church, Dr. Nealy also preaches and provides workshops for faith communities and other organizations. An out trans man and author of Transgender Children and Youth: Cultivating Pride and Joy with Families in Transition [Norton 2017], he lives in Connecticut with his partner and is the proud father of three amazing young people.