Defining Sex in Therapy: Adapting Sensate Focus to Center Client Definitions of Sex

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Peterson, Hanna
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The topic of sex is frequently raised by clients in counselling. Unfortunately, even when using sex therapy interventions such as sensate focus, counsellors seldom provide the opportunity for their clients to define what sex means for them. Literature review of the contextual, cultural, and societal factors that impact client definitions of sex demonstrate the diversity and complexity of factors that shape individual definitions of sex. The author's positioning in the research, ethical considerations, social justice perspectives, and a proposal for application of the findings are included to support counsellors in considering exploration of client definitions of sex. A proposal is made for a novel approach which integrates exploration of client definitions of sex with the sensate focus intervention. This capstone project argues that counsellors can improve inclusivity and non-judgment in their practice when holding space for client definitions of sex.
context , culture , definition , diversity , sensate focus , sex , sexuality , LGBTQIA+ , 2SLGBTQIA+
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States , openAccess