Beyond the Buzzwords: How Sex Therapists Can Move from Completing “Diversity Training” to Adopting a Liberatory Practice


8 CE Hours

Presented by: Shadeen Francis, LMFT

Recorded workshop available via video on demand

AASECT Category:

Human Sexuality Education
Section C

Section F

Every social movement begins at the social margins and moves inwards. As the wider public adopts theories of change, we often lose the heart of the message in translation, ultimately reducing calls to action into a series of buzzwords. Such has happened with even the most well-intentioned frameworks, including sex positivity, multi-cultural counseling, decolonization, and the organizational favorite, “DEI” (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion).
Our professional roles do not negate the impact of our social and political identities in the clinical office, especially when our work centers sexuality. As sexuality professionals, we are responsible for the ways we may fail to adequately address how identities like race, religion, gender, ability, and orientation impact our sexuality models and interventions. How do we move beyond superficial metrics of competency towards practices that truly center the diverse voices, bodies, and needs of our clients?
This workshop is for anyone wanting to explore diversity (that is, diverse ways of thinking and being) to further develop their skillfulness in working with a broad range of people and problems. As a central part of this process, this workshop will explore the relevance of social identity on the therapeutic relationship, consider how power is relevant to our clinical outcomes, and will invite attendees to reimagine the therapy office as a practice-ground for sexual liberation.
Learning Objectives
By participating in this workshop, attendees will be able to:
1.     Explain the limits of evidence-based practice in sex therapy
2.     Differentiate between 7 sex therapy buzzwords and their original social justice frameworks
3.     List 5 styles of transformative power relationships
4.     Discuss their conceptualization of assessment and intervention
5.     Apply 2 models of social change
6.     Discuss how to integrate liberatory practices into their sex therapy toolkit
Speaker Biography:

Shadeen Francis is a licensed psychotherapist, graduate instructor, and author that specializes in sex therapy and social justice. She has been featured on platforms like ABC, CBS, NBC, and the New York Times to share her unique expertise. Because of her ability to tackle difficult subjects with warmth and humour, Shadeen is sought internationally to speak on topics such as sexual self-esteem, overcoming shame, and relationship design. Whether in her office, in an academic setting, or at a community event, all of Shadeen’s work is inspired by her commitment to helping people live lives full of peace and pleasure.

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