Reclaiming Pleasure: Helping Clients Move Past Sexual Trauma to Reclaim a Passionate Life (8 CE Hours, 2023)


Presenter: Holly Richmond

8 CE Hours

Recorded workshop available via video recording.

AASECT Category:

Human Sexuality Education
Section J


Sex Therapy Education
Section C

Course Description: The word “survivor” has emerged within our cultural lexicon thanks to movements like #MeToo and #TimesUp, establishing a social declaration for sexual healing and empowerment. We can no longer avoid hard truths—sexual abuse, assault, harassment and rape happen to one out of every six women and one out of every thirty-three men in the United States (—and the aftermath of these traumas include the burden of belief in addition to survivors’ often solitary journey toward mind/body health. Repairing what has been lost to sexual violence is necessary, even vital to the process of recovery, but it’s not enough. Surviving is the beginning, though certainly not a sufficient or acceptable end.

This course explores what comes next. Practitioners will learn how to help clients shift from surviving to thriving, from “getting through it” to fully living, experiencing and evolving. It draws from contemporary research in sex therapy and somatic psychology, offering theories and tools to ground survivors in concepts of safety, security and trust, but also reach further into the necessary terrain of vitality, freedom, healthy relationships and great sex. Through specific somatic sex therapy protocols and numerous case studies, practitioners will learn to guide clients on a holistic journey toward the rediscovery of desire, both for themselves and in their intimate relationships.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand different types of sexual trauma including abuse, assault, rape and harassment
  2. Gain awareness of the psychophysiology of sexual trauma response
  3. Provide three clinical examples of ways to help clients move beyond healing and reclaim desire
  4. Explain what is meant by embodiment and empowerment through a trauma-informed somatic sex therapy lens
  5. Discuss how concepts of eroticism are linked to integrated sexual and relational health

Speaker Bio:

Dr. Holly Richmond is a Somatic Psychotherapist, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (LMFT), Certified Sex Therapist (CST) and Associate Director of Modern Sex Therapy Institutes. This unique combination of credentials enables her to focus on clients’ cognitive processes as well as mind-body health. In addition to teaching numerous sexual health-related subjects, she works with women, men, couples, and gender-diverse individuals on relationship and sexuality issues, offering sex therapy and sexual health coaching nationally and internationally. Her treatment specialties include low libido, sexual dysfunction, compulsive sexuality (often called “addiction”), desire discrepancies in couples, recovery from sexual assault and abuse, and alternative/non-traditional sexual expression. Her newly released book Reclaiming Pleasure: A Sex-Positive Guide for Moving Past Sexual Trauma and Living a Passionate Life (New Harbinger, Oct. 2021) is an innovative look at both somatic and psychological factors in survivors’ erotic recovery.
Dr. Holly is regularly quoted in publications and media outlets including The New York Times, CNN, Shape, NBC, Wired, Forbes, Oprah, Men’s Health, Cosmopolitan and Women’s Health. She is a sought-after consultant in the sextech industry and is seen as a pioneer in the clinical exploration of sex and technology, and how they work together as human sexuality evolves in the 21st century. Each interlinked facet of her work is grounded in a sex-positive perspective: all sex is good sex as long as it is consensual and pleasurable. This non-judgmental position allows her to assist clients in discovering their true needs, desires and personal path to wellness.