The important intersection of mental and sexual health

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“When it comes to sex, the most uncomfortable people in the room are the omnipotent people.” – Sex therapist, Doug Brown-Harvey

Source: Betka82/IStock

September is Sexual Health Month.

Source: Betka82/IStock

September is Sexual Health Awareness Month. This article is about consent. Sexuality And how a lack of therapist training can be harmful to clients.

There’s a long-standing joke among sex therapists, and it goes something like this.

Client: “Doctor, you know there are some things I won’t tell you.

Doctor: “And Mr. So-and-So, I want you to know that I appreciate you very much.”

Unfortunately, humor reveals a lot about our culture. There are therapists who were never taught about working with clients sexually in their training. why? Because in our culture, it’s not very comfortable to talk about sex, including mental health professionals. Sex topic by a Treatment session, many therapists begin to flirt and quickly move the conversation to something else, like what sexual health looks like from their perspective, rather than the client’s perspective. The discussion occasionally includes the inclusion of sexual pleasure.

From my point of view, as someone who has trained and practiced sex therapy for more than three decades, this is a tragedy because of the inability to acknowledge sex, sexuality. Identity, and sexuality is central to a person’s mental health and overall well-being. The irony here is that sex is central to everyone’s life—couples and singles, singles and asexuals, abstinent to hypersexual or hypersexual.

Sexuality is an integral part of clients’ inner lives and needs to be addressed.

Talking about sex, especially pleasure, is taboo, or at least uncomfortable, and for the most part, the mental health field has consciously or unconsciously locked information about sexual health out of its training and education. Only in the last few years have some clinics started to bring the two together. For those therapists who are not trained in the importance of bringing sexuality into the therapy room, they are not doing their clients a good service.

Unfortunately, those in the medical field, including gynecologists and urologists, are not trained in sexual health or pleasure.

Why is it difficult for many therapists to talk about sexuality? In most cases, it’s because they’re uncomfortable with their own sexuality. Most mental health therapists haven’t done the hard work of looking at their own sexuality, their own sexuality, their own gender history, their own. Sexual abuse, and their own judgment. They have unexamined biases about what sexuality should be or look like. For example, to address a client’s sexuality, the therapist must learn to control their own aversive reactions. This requires training in how to handle situations in the face of personally challenging information.

In other words, the idea is to protect our customers from us and our own material around sexuality, to help the customer get right and explore the sexually stimulating thumb. Do they have sex for procreation, relationship, or recreational reasons? What is a therapist code? What is each partner code? The therapist must really give the client permission to understand that everyone has their own path when it comes to their sexuality and sexual identity.

Understanding the mites:

Healthy sex with sexual health

Words are important. In sex therapy, for example, we don’t say “healthy sex” because that implies unhealthy sex, and it becomes binary. None of this has anything to do with consent. That’s not even about sex: it’s about power and control and taking over someone’s agency.

In sex therapy, we use the term “sex-positive.” This is not like “anything goes”. It’s about how you can be positive and allow your client to have permission to figure out what their sexual and sexual health is, and not automatically undermine someone’s sexual and libido needs. You want to go from trauma to triumph. As a therapist, you cannot help a client overcome sexual trauma if you do not know what sexual health looks like for the client.

Sexual orientation In contrast to lust

The first thing to note is that there is a difference between sexual orientation and sexual orientation. Sexual orientation is what we are attracted to, and sexual orientation is what we are attracted to—ours Nightmares, our mountains, etc. And just because we have a gender identity doesn’t mean our fantasies all line up. Just because you identify as a straight guy doesn’t mean your preferences, behavior, and fantasies are all about women. They may include some men. For straight women, it can include some women. For gay men it may include some women, and the same goes for lesbians.

We have to really look at the people who come with some of them Humiliation And low self confidence– “I am damaged goods. What’s wrong with me? Customers come together because our culture doesn’t talk about sex Depression, Anxiety, and shame, not knowing the difference between sexual orientation and sexual orientation. And they don’t want to waste valuable time educating their sex therapist. They don’t want to explain or legitimize. What they want is safety, health and well-being.

The words we use matter.

“Sexual health” should be the first words we learn. For more than 20 years, I was Sex addiction therapist, and there was no training in sexual health. I help clients understand what they are Disadvantages And there were uncontrollable behaviors, but I couldn’t help them understand what sexual health meant. Since then I have rejected most of what I learned as sex Addiction Because the therapist did not help me work on sexual pleasure with clients and was not positive about sex.

By changing the words we use when talking about sex, we can help change a person’s perception of their desire and their desire for sex. For example, we can talk about sex work instead of the loaded word “prostitution.” Often, therapists are uncomfortable with sex-oriented work, and therefore call it exploitative. If it is exploitation, one should say so. Say this if it’s underage sex work or migrant sex work. If it’s human trafficking, say so. But we should all make room for a lot of sex work, maybe most sex work that doesn’t involve these things. Again, consensual sex is not exploitation.

“Instead of saying “Pornography” We can talk about sexual images, such as sexual media, explicit sexual content, sexism and so on. For example, many women Masturbation Because what they fly is clearly a romance novel. People in that field often call this “literature.” There should be no shame in this. We must avoid this kind of harmful thinking.

I should make the point here that pornography is not the problem. Many good studies show that the problem is immorality illiteracy. That is, porn stars are actors and are often given more generously than regular people, and it can be harmful to think that what one sees on the screen is real, and that sex should be viewed that way. Instead of saying someone is using porn, we say they are watching porn. and “being inTrembling“It’s not an investigation. People in the mental health field think that if you’re angry, you must be experiencing something bad. Childhood or emotional crisis. It may be true but not for someone who is vanilla. Sex therapists know the research on kink as sexual orientation, and some people have their own sexual identity around it.

We would never call it an “alternative lifestyle” for the LGBTQ+ community. Instead, we say “community.” “Alternative lifestyles” on the other hand can be used for swingers, kink, fetishes and BDSM. Speaking of Single marriageNon-singular and Polyamory, most therapists see all this as sexual, as fraud. Fraud is when there is a breach of agreement, not just an open communication. Most people in open relationships have a lot of agreement, conversation, and discussion. When someone tells me they’re single, I ask, “Have you discussed monogamy?” I ask them. They may not have it and they don’t think they should, but the fact is they are. The agreements should be clear.

The key here is that you want to help the client overcome their shame, overcome their mental health struggles, overcome their struggles around their sexuality, and accept who they are, what they are. , what are they in. The most important quote I’ve learned as a sex therapist and mental health therapist is, “If you start a war with your sexuality, you’ll end up in more trouble than you were before you started.

It’s a promising development that more therapists are seeing that mental health and sexual health go hand in hand.

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