Sexuality Related to Addiction and Recovery

S-E-X, the first three letters in the word SEXUALITY, are often the only ones noticed. Sexuality is an umbrella term encompassing a complex subject overlooked in many fields, including the field of addiction. Lack of research regarding sexuality and how it’s affected during one’s addiction and recovery fuels this avoidance. Attempts to research the subject will likely result in articles and books discussing sexual addiction, which is only one aspect underneath the larger sexuality umbrella. The lack of research is reflective of an overall discomfort with the topic among larger society and among clinicians. If we as clinicians are uncomfortable with the topic, how can we expect our clients to openly approach the topic in session? Research suggests when professionals receive courses in sex education; they often remain insecure handling this facet of their work with clients. This presentation has a dual purpose; first to examine how an individual’s sexuality is impacted during active addiction and recovery. Secondly, it will challenge clinicians to look at their own level of comfort surrounding this fundamental yet sensitive topic. An interactive exercise used to help clients recognize how their sexuality has been affected during their use and recovery will be demonstrated. Participants will discuss and consider the ways an individual’s sexual function, self-esteem and relationships are impacted during addiction. How high risk behavior is associated with substance use and the potential outcomes these behaviors create for their clients. There will be practice and skill building in asking and answering specific questions related to sexuality. Finally, the presenter will offer tips on how to approach this subject with comfort.

Monday, December 3, 2018 - 9:00am to 4:00pm
PCB Hours Approved: 
6 hrs
Dana Cohen, M.A., M.Ed
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