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Working with Sexual Diversity in Psychotherapy

Format Seminar/Presentation
Presenters Kevin Keith for The Professional Development People
Description In speaking to a gathering of psychoanalysts in 2008, Peter Fonagy noted that paradoxically with the rise of more relationally oriented psychotherapies, discussion of subjective sexual experience within therapy has receded somewhat from view. What are we to make of sexuality these days, as we approach nearly fifty years post the sexual revolution? How is technology impacting sexual intimacy?
Human sexuality brings together a mixture of biological and socially constructed realities; consequently, it may be seen to function differently in different contexts. Gender specific experience and same-sex attraction continue to be an important source of that difference. At the same time these differences challenges our propensities for stereotyping and dichotomous thinking. Important ethical questions with regard to sexuality have emerged within psychotherapy that encompass boundary maintenance and respect for the client's meaning systems. Recent approaches to the sexual behavioural system as proposed within attachment theory have recently offered new insights into working with difference in the clinical setting.
The seminar will make particular use of four important works produced in the last 10 years: D. Easton & J. Hardy (2009) The Ethical Slut: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships & Other Adventures (2nd ed.); D. Diamond, S. Blatt & J. Lichtenberg (eds.) (2007) Attachment & Sexuality; S. Mitchell (2003) Can love last?: The Fate of Romance over Time; S. Turkle (2011) Alone together: Why we expect more from technology and less from each other.
The workshop will pose three practical questions aimed at enhancing the practitioner's capacities to include sexuality within the counselling setting. (1) What might be an appropriate response to today's diversity in sexual expression? (2) How might we expand our own knowledge and skills to facilitate greater empathy for our clients? (3) How can we discuss notions of "norms" and matters of "wellbeing" in the realm of sexuality, especially knowing the failures of past attempts that have medically and morally mislabelled difference?
9:00 - 11:00 Sexual diversity and intimacy in our post "sexual revolution" world: Where are we today some 50 years later? How is technology impacting sexual intimacy?
Cultural and social diversity, questions of gender, same-sex-attraction, alternatively experienced sexual identities, post-sexual discussions. (Includes small group and plenary discussion).
11:15 - 1:15 Can love last? Does monogamy matter?
Did object relations / attachment study remove sexuality from sight?
Sexual pluralism and normativity.
Monogamy, consensual non-monogamy, intimate honesty and dishonest intimacy.
What are our clinical concerns and conundrums? (Includes small group work and plenary discussions).
1:45 - 3.15 Addressing sexuality and health: Hypersexuality or cultural bias?
How does psychotherapy identify norms for sexual behaviour?
Attachment research and differences in sexual experience.
Group work and skills practice.
3.30 - 5.00 Conclusion to theory and practice including an overview of therapist self-care.
Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions and clarify information.
About the presenter(s) Kevin Keith is a counsellor, psychotherapist and supervisor who splits time between private practice and his work as a counsellor with ACON. He is also a lecturer in the Jansen Newman Master's Program. Kevin is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Sydney (History and Philosophy of Science Unit) with research interests in "Attachment Theory". His provisional thesis is "Assessing Bowlby's 'Radical Overhaul' of Freud's Metapsychology: Attachment Theory, Resilience and the Regulation of Negative Affect". He is acclaimed as an engaging and inspiring presenter whose seminars change the way therapists perceive and work with their clients in ways that surprise and delight.
Location NSW Metro, Australia
Venue Aerial UTS Function Centre
Level 7, 235 Jones Street, Ultimo

Please contact the event organiser to confirm if this venue is wheelchair accessible
Start/End Date 24 Mar 2013
Time 9am - 5pm
Cost $198 early bird (students and new graduates half price on application)
Notes This seminar includes morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea.
Organiser The Professional Development People
Contact Name Carmen Nicotra
Telephone 1300 887622