Description: This workshop is an overview of the types of issues that LGBTQ+ clients may have faced if they come from or are still engaged with a conservative religious upbringing where anything other than a heteronormative presentation would have been experienced as “sinful.” It is particularly challenging when a client finds value and wants to engage in a religious faith transition that the mental health professional may see as damaging from a sex positive perspective. This training provides clinicians with the knowledge and skills necessary to assist both the client who is trying to recover from religiously based sexual shame, abuse and trauma, as well as those who may not be aware that this type of background is affecting them negatively. Finding a balance between offering psycho-education, client-focused services and sex positive interventions within the context of a client’s value system will be an important focus of the workshop. Addressing issues of countertransference will also be covered.

This workshop will help attendees develop a practical understanding of religious sexual shame, the trauma it engenders, and the types of issues that may present in therapy from this framework. It will help clinicians develop understanding, skills and strategies to effectively work with clients who bring this type of background to the therapy table.

Learning Objectives:

Describe the working definition of “sexual shame” and how it applies to this population.

List 4 client challenges that may be related to conservative religious upbringings.

Explain how to use 2 different therapeutic interventions when working with client challenges that may be related to sexual shame and conservative religious upbringings.

Activity Schedule:

1 Hour: Opening, Introduction and Organizing Sexual Shame Constructs

1 Hour: Overview of Diagnostic & Treatment Implications

1 Hour: Developing Sex Positive Approaches to Addressing this Clientele Effectively