Working with Transgender Clients:
A Person-Centered and Narrative Therapy Model
Web Conference Description
Clients with a transgender identity may seek counseling to talk about their gender identity or for another reason such as depression, anxiety, or support in navigating a specific life transition. Transgender describes a gender identity that is different than the one that is assigned to a person at birth. Transgender identities include transsexual, female-to-male, male-to-female, genderqueer, and gender variant. Providing culturally competent services to transgender clients requires both knowledge of transgender issues and a level of comfort discussing gender and sexuality issues. A person-centered and narrative therapy perspective is non-pathologizing, gives control to historically marginalized clients, and makes external oppression and discrimination visible. This workshop will review terminology, transgender identity models, challenges of living with a stigmatized identity, and will provide examples of person-centered and narrative based interventions for working with transgender clients.
This Web Conference is designed to help clinicians:
1) Define the terms gender identity, transgender, transsexual, gender variance, and other terminology related to transgender identities;
2) Learn one model of transgender coming out and identity formation;
3) Name one barrier often experienced by people who identify as transgender;
4) Learn two interventions designed for use with people who identify as transgender.
Click here for more info: http://www.goodtherapy.org/therapy-for-transgender-web-conference.html
I picked up David Schnarch’s book Resurrecting Sex: Resolving Sexual Problems and Rejuvenating Your Relationship to check out if it would be useful for clients who were struggling with their sex lives. What I found was an amazing resource that reframes sex and relationships and would be useful to use with any couple, even if they don’t have sexual problems or “need rejuvenating.”
The first half of the book is called “A Crash Course in Sex” and that is exactly what it is. It is this first half that I believe makes this book so valuable for any person regardless of relationship status. One of Schnarch’s concepts that I found refreshing and exciting was his approach to encouraging couples to think of themselves as a team. This mentality moves away from blaming and towards finding creative solutions. The crash course in sex also does a great job reviewing sex, desire, arousal, and orgasm from both a physical and emotional perspective.
Although Schnarch’s language is often inclusive in his use of “partner” versus “spouse”, all of his case examples are heterosexual couples. Same-gender couples or sexual minority people interested in learning more about sex and their relationship will get some great information and ideas from this book, but they will also have to translate the case examples to fit their own experiences. This becomes a barrier for sexual minority readers because sometimes, especially when you might be feeling vulnerable, adding a layer of invisibility can be frustrating. So before recommending this book to a gay, lesbian, bisexual, or queer client or friend make sure to add the caveat that getting to the good stuff sadly requires navigating some heterosexism.
That said, this book is an excellent resource for educators, therapists and clients. Schnarch’s tone throughout the book is both frank and kind. He utilizes a casual style while still including concrete information based on research. This is the kind of book that you can pick up, thumb through, and just read the part that sticks out to you as interesting, or you can read it cover to cover. It provides clear and concise background information about sexuality that increases the usefulness of Schnarch’s more specific suggestions for maintaining an active sex life.
You might be thinking, do women need a female viagra? Do women experience sexual dysfunction? What IS normal for women? Do women NEED medical help acheiving a satisfying sex life? If so, you are not the only one.
The New View Campaign was formed in 2000 by a committee of doctors, psychologists, and social workers including Dr. Leonore Tiefer to challenge the pharmaceutical industries oversimplification of women’s sexuality. Their manifest provides an alternative to the DSM categorization of sexual dysfunctions that frequently relies on a male model of sexual response. You can learn more about The New View Campaign through their website, www.newviewcampaign.org or their book, A New View of Women’s Sexual Problems. Dr. Tiefer’s book, Sex Is Not a Natural Act, also weighs in on the discussion. Finally, you can learn about the new film ORGASM INC. in the Altnernet.org article, How the Pharmaceutical Industry is Monetizing the Female Orgasm.
Sex and Anti-depressants
February 23rd, 2011
By Jill Denton, LMFT, CSAT, CSE, CCS
Since my last blog a number of you have asked for more information about possible sexual side effects caused by antidepressants. Before I say more – a cautionary word – I’m a psychotherapist/counselor, not a medical doctor/psychiatrist! So what I write in this blog is drawn from my (extensive) experience working with people who have challenges and/or difficulties with sex – I’m a sexologist, not a psycho-pharmacologist!
Some of the worst culprits or libido smashers are the SSRI’s (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) such as Effexor, Paxil, Prozac, and Zoloft. Unfortunately, these are all heavily prescribed! I mentioned last month that many folks can benefit from a so-called “drug holiday” when they forgo their medication for a few days. Be aware that this intervention does NOT work for Prozac, due to the much longer time that Prozac remains in the bloodstream, compared with the other shorter-acting SSRI’s like Zoloft.
Several types of antidepressants have virtually no side effects. The most common that my clients have discovered are Wellbutrin, Xanax, and Klonopin. I’ll often suggest that new clients substitute (with the agreement of their medical doctor of course) Xanax or Klonopin for Wellbutrin because the latter can exacerbate anxiety or “agitated depression,” as it’s called by psychiatrists.
It’s also infamous for causing insomnia and headaches, which tends to make most of us anxious and certainly don’t contribute to enjoyable sexual connection! Wellbutrin is pharmacologically distinct from the SSRI’s as it enhances the neurotransmitter dopamine, which has the opposite effect on libido and orgasm of serotonin. Xanax and Klonopin are usually prescribed to combat anxiety, not serotonin, so they tend to have very few sexual side effects.
I will often recommend that people who are leery about psychotropics try St. John’s Wort, which is most effective, I’ve found, for Type A blood types (remember, I’m not prescribing, just using anecdotal experience to make these suggestions!) Because it’s not regulated as a pharmaceutical substance, I’m told that efficacy can vary widely among preparations.
Male clients have reported to me that Viagra is effective for SSRI-induced absence of orgasm, and I’ve known people of both genders swear by the botanical preparation ginkgo biloba to reverse libido, arousal and/or orgasm problems. One sex therapist colleague tells me that Viagra can be helpful for women as well, but none of my clients have reported this to me.
If switching to an alternative psychotropic is not clinically appropriate or effective, some doctors might recommend adding another medication on a daily or as-needed basis. Many people are hesitant about taking one drug, let alone two! But for those who are comfortable with it, a second medication can offer an antidote to the side effects of an otherwise helpful medication.
Most commonly a sexual savvy psychiatrist will prescribe a single low dose of Wellbutrin for clients complaining of sexual side effects from other antidepressants, employing lower does of Wellbutrin than would be necessary to treat depression. These small doses can restore the serotonin-dopamine balance that I mentioned earlier, alleviating sexual side effects.
People starting out with me often ask if I suspect that their sexual problems are relationship issues or caused by medication. I always ask them how long the sexual challenges have been occurring. SSRI-induced sexual dysfunction follows a fairly typical pattern: it begins within days or weeks of starting the new psychotropic medication. For example, a woman may report that she can no longer reach orgasm with her husband within weeks of beginning Prozac for obsessive compulsive disorder.
Women rarely volunteer this immediately, but I ask LOTS of questions, which makes it easier to discuss sexual hang-ups. Guys usually have less hesitation talking about such problems, and as one man said to be recently, “that’s why we came to a sex therapist and not the generic marriage therapist down the street!” The fact that I “coach” by phone also seems to help especially for men, who might have difficulty opening up “when the plumbing doesn’t work!”
Don’t forget – if you have questions about your medications, make sure to discuss them with your medical doctor or psychiatrist.
Link to full article: http://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/sexual-side-effects-antidepressant-medication/
Worst Post-Sex Mistakes You Can Make
Just had some of the most bangtastic sex ever? Or the worst most awfullest? Or median averagest? There’s still a chance to change the course of events and impact the way you and your partner(s) remember the deed. And how you remember the action affects how you perceive the possibility of future action.
Here’s the latest podcast from Dr. Timaree about post-sex behavior, both what to avoid and what to try, if you want everyone involved to look back fondly on the event. Whether you just want that hookup to recall you in a positive light or you’re trying to build a genuine sense of intimacy with your loved one, this one deserves a listen.
Check it out here: Worst Post-Sex Mistakes You Can Make.
You can also search your iTunes store under “Timaree.”
Thanks and good sexin.
Cutting off your vagina to spite your Face(book)
Facebook battles the power of the frightening and dangerous vagina.
In the past week, Facebook deleted a number of pages from their website, ostensibly due to their concerns about the sexual nature of the material. Interestingly, the organization appears to have primarily targeted the pages of several women and female sexuality organizations with Facebook pages. It may be that there were male-run pages deleted that I haven’t heard about, but at this point, I’m only aware of sites that were focused on the lovely vagina, and that celebrated female sexual empowerment.
Check out the full article here: