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Why Sensate Focus?
When training to become a Sex Therapist, we are learning how to work with the intimate relationship between the body and the mind. Emotional states (some from the present, others carried from the past) follow us into the bedroom and play themselves out in our physiology. Day-to-day stress, deep trauma, attachment wounds, sociocultural factors, feelings of insecurity, “performance pressure,” and/or relational discord can all interfere with the unfolding of the arousal process and, in some cases, can lead to sexual discomfort, avoidance, or dysfunction. Sensate Focus aids the clinician in identifying these barriers to intimacy and embodiment and then engages them via touch exercises that are prescribed for the client to do at home. Each exercise builds on the next bringing the client(s) into closer contact with themselves, their partner(s) if present, sensation, learning, and possibility. The end result? Resolution of “sexual dysfunction;” greater ease in identifying and communicating sexual needs; a mindset of ongoing sexual curiosity, discovery, and expansion; and a more nuanced, intimate understanding of the dynamicism of our sexual selves and relationships.
Sensate Focus 20 Hour Competency Training:
The Competency Training takes participants deeply into the philosophy and conceptual underpinnings of Sensate Focus as a diagnostic and treatment methodology. This kind of deep understanding is pivotal in confidently identifying and shaping the appropriate SF exercises for each client or relationship as well as feeling armed with the ability to thoroughly explain the “method to the madness” each step of the way.
Building on this, we will delve into several sexual struggles or “diagnoses” in-depth, laying out the progressions and discussing what adaptations might be helpful with a variety of presentations. Participants will be asked to take a critical eye to several media depictions of therapists prescribing, as well as clients navigating SF, in addition to some basic practice in pairs. Students will leave the course equipped with a sense for how it might fit into their practice and where to begin in prescribing the exercises it provides.
March 5, 2023- 11:00 AM-3:00 PM ET
March 19, 2023- 11:00 AM-3:00 PM ET
April 16, 2023-11:00 AM-3:00 PM ET
May 7, 2023- 11:00 AM-3:00 PM ET
- Recognize sexual functioning as a natural process as defined by Masters and Johnson.
- Compare the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.
- Discuss how the sympathetic nervous system response thwarts the sexual response
- Name several ways SF can be beneficial beyond addressing specific sexual challenges.
- Analyze the impact of anxiety on the body and it’s role in sexual struggles.
- Explain the role of the pelvic floor in heightening and/or eliminating difficulties with sexual functioning.
- Name several pre-requisites for implementing Sensate Focus with a client(s).
- Describe Emotional Sourcing.
- Discuss what modifications might be made to the Basic progressions to accommodate trauma in the body.
- Critique an instructional video depiction of the Genital Caress.
- Describe some of the Sensate Focus progressions used to treat Vaginismus.
Instructor: Paula Leech, LMFT, CST, CSTS
Core Knowledge Area: Learning Theory and Application.
Sex Ed Training Area: Theory and methods of sexuality education.
Sex Therapy Training Area: Theory and methods of sex-related psychotherapy.
This program meets the requirements of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) and is approved for 20 CE credits. These CE credits may be applied toward AASECT certification and renewal of certification. Institute for Sexuality Education & Enlightenment, Provider #11-113-C. Completion of this program does not ensure or guarantee AASECT Certification. For further information please contact [email protected]