A Handbook for Mental Health Practitioners
This manual provides mental health practitioners, including therapists and counselors, with the tools to combat problematic, inaccurate, and harmful sexuality information that comes from families, classrooms, peers, partners, and the media. It supports practitioners as they consider their own biases, history, and knowledge base, and affirms that sexuality education is an integral piece to therapeutic clinical work.
The manual is organized into four sections. The first provides guidance on self-analysis for mental health practitioners themselves. Understanding their personal perspective before they bring sexuality education into the clinical space is critical. The second section provides a broad overview to numerous topics related to sexuality that clients bring into the clinical setting. These include anatomy, physiology, sexual arousal, reproduction, communication styles, intimate partner violence, masturbation, and more. The third section includes 19 handouts professionals can copy and use with clients along with guides and recommendations on how to use them. The final section is an extensive list of resources, organized by topic and annotated with a brief description of what content they cover.
Dr. Karen Rayne and Ryan Dillon have crafted a wonderful, necessary, and accessible resource for mental health care providers. As a sexuality educator myself for over a decade and as a social worker at the micro and mezzo levels of practice, I see daily the implications of direct service caretakers not being familiar wiht sexuality. It is a misnomer that “sex therapists” are somehow separate from all other proviers; while sex therapsists have special training in sexuality, all therapists will encounter the sex lives of their clients on the regular. This book provides an overview that also gives practitioners a fair amount of detail as well as next steps for further resaerch should they want it. Karen and Ryan have taken a topic that confuses and intimdates many and made it digestible for those who need it most.
– Mary-Margaret Sweeney, MSW
Therapist & Educator