Can We Talk about Sex? The When, Why and How of Doing So with Our Clients


Social work practice, knowledge and skills and Clinical Interventions

Names and Qualifications of the Presenter:

Judith C. White, LCSW, CGP, is a certified sexuality therapist with the American Association of Sexuality Educators Counselors and Therapists (AASECT). She is a seasoned psychotherapist in private practice who works with individuals, groups and couples both same sex and heterosexual.

Ms. White is a faculty member and supervisor of the Group Therapy Training Program of the Post-Graduate Psychoanalytic Society. She has conducted workshops for women who desire more comfort with their sexuality and she has presented to mental health professionals about the relationship between ethnicity and sexuality. Her chapter, ‘Taking a sexual history’ was published in Psychologists’ Desk Reference ed. Koocher, Norcross and Greene, Oxford University Press, in press, 2013.

Sheilah Mabry, LCSW-R, is a psychotherapist in private practice working with couples and individuals. She consults with organizations and offers training on a myriad of issues including youth and leadership development, HIV/AIDS, substance use, domestic violence, LGBTQ and gender identity. She has post-graduate training in group treatment as well as working with women with eating disorders from a feminist perspective.

She is a member of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT), and the NASW-NYC Chapter. She was recently awarded with the Mid-Career Exemplary Social Work Leader Award by NASW NYC Chapter.

Description of Course:

Session amounts may vary based on the individual needs of the organization.

For individuals, please contact us for more information.

Sexuality is in the news more than ever today. Ads about erectile dysfunction, debates about marriage equality, low sexual desire, increased HIV rates among youth, young adults, and seniors, violence against members of the LGBTQ community. Yet many social workers do not regularly explore clients’ sexual histories or concerns unless clients present with a specific sexual concern, even though sexuality is an integral aspect of identity.

Social workers will become more comfortable in taking a sexual history for individuals and couples of any age or orientation. Participants will discuss the timing of sexual history taking, different approaches, and the challenges. Workshop content will include sexual behavior, sexual identity, sexual orientation, and different models of human sexual response for men and women.

Participants will discuss the range of clients’ sexual concerns and dysfunctions. Participants will practice sexual history taking and different intervention approaches.

Teaching Methods:

Lecture, discussion, demonstration of taking a sexual history, and participants will practice sexual history taking in both the role of the social worker and the client. Film clips and videos will also be used.

Learning Objectives:

Participants will:

  • Recognize that sexuality is essential to one’s sense of self – to one’s identity
  • Enhance their comfort level and reduce their fears of listening and talking to clients about sexuality
  • Enhance their knowledge about human sexuality: behavior, identity, orientation and different models of response
  • Enhance their capacity to take a sexual history with people of different ages and sexual orientations
  • Practice sexual history taking