3 Ces: APA, NBCC, CA BRN, and AASECT approved!

Working with Self-Diagnosed Pornography and Sex Addicts from Religiously Conservative Communities

 **this course builds on materials introduced in “Sex Therapy with Religiously Conservative Clients"

Instructors: Natasha Helfer, LMFT, CST-S; Braxton Dutson, LCSW, CST
This clinically oriented presentation will explore some of the challenges therapists will face and competences they should have when treating people from Religious Conservative Communities for sex therapy who believe they have a “Sex or Porn Addiction.” Unfortunately, due to multiple factors of misinformation in the public sphere at large, and particularly in Religiously Conservative Communities, there is a “porn panic” per se that interferes greatly with the quality of life of individuals and couples who have a lot of misinformation about sexually explicit materials and also human sexual behaviors at large. These clients will need a provider who is able to understand where their clients are coming from, as well as understand the best information we have in regards to these issues from a sex positive and evidence based perspectives. This presentation will give you some psycho-educational and therapeutic ways to serve your clients and their relationships in ways that will help them feel more “in control” of their sexuality, feel more aligned with their values, feel more educated about human sexuality and feel less relational anxiety in negotiating sexual tensions and conflicts. 
Understanding how to honor a client’s system within their cultural and religious spaces, while also offering best standards of care and watching personal bias is an important skill to acquire within the field of sex therapy. This is especially the case in the United States, since there is a strong founding history of Christian religious traditions as well as ingrained values surrounding religious freedoms which inform your client’s ecosystemic presentations. 
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# of CEs: 3 hours

Level of Instruction: Intermediate, Post-Graduate

Objectives
1. Be aware of the “Sex Addiction Movement” history and 5 specific reasons why it is problematic from a treatment perspective.
2. Understand why people from Religiously Conservative Backgrounds are particularly vulnerable to these types of ineffective approaches.
3. Understand the current position statement of AASECT in regards to “Sex/Porn Addiction” and how you can start shifting your language and approaches to take a more sex positive approach.
4. Understand the typical presentations of the types of clients who may present in your office with these types of concerns and why they may be finding the Sex Addiction models initially helpful.
5. Understand a variety of therapeutic strategies and interventions to help an individual and/or couple meet their goals in regards to sexual health, building trust and managing relational negotiations.

Why Should You Take This Course?

  • Understand the intersection of religion and problematic sexual behavior
  • Learn when sexual behavior is truly a problem--and when it is not
  • Understand the connection between religion, scrupulosity, and sex
  • Increase competence with a key population
  • Identify your own biases
  • AASECT, APA, NBCC & CA BRN credit

Learn What's Important

All kinds of people, whether or not they are members of a conservative religion, contact sex therapists self-diagnosed as sex addicts.  This is problematic for many reasons, one being that it is not an evidence-based diagnosis.  Another is that what people learn about so-called sex addiction is that they are to blame for their "sick" behavior that may be framed as a weakness of will.  This creates shame, which can contribute to a cycle of out-of-control sexual behavior (OCSB).  The truth is that problems related to OCSB can be complex and nuanced, and require particular knowledge and skill to know what's really going on--and how to really help the client and/or their partner.

Learn from a Top Expert

In addition to getting an overview of the issues faced by this population, you will learn evidence-based tools for helping clients cope with tensions between their faith and their sexuality.  Natasha Helfer, LMFT, CST-S will generously share her knowledge and experience so that you can become competent in working with religion and out of control sexual behavior.
Meet the instructor

Natasha Helfer, LMFT, CSTS

Natasha Helfer LMFT, CST-S, received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Brigham Young University and her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Friends University. 
She also received her certifications as a sex therapist and sex therapist supervisor from the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT). 
Helfer is a speaker, writer, and podcaster with 23 years of clinical experience primarily working with a Mormon clientele around issues of relational health, faith transitions and journeys, and sexuality. She writes a blog called "The Mormon Therapist," and hosts the podcasts "Mormon Mental Health," and "Mormon Sex Info."  
Helfer has authored two books: “One Family, Two Views” (mixed-faith marriage) and “Check your Baggage” (challenging sex negative messages). Helfer has presented all over the country both in professional and public settings, has been invited as a guest speaker at several national events as well as been interviewed on a variety of podcasts, TV news programs and newspapers. 
Helfer was recently excommunicated from the Mormon church for issues surrounding her advocacy for sexual health. 
Patrick Jones - Course author
Patrick Jones - Course author
Meet the instructor

Braxton Dutson, LCSW, CST

Braxton Duston, LCSW, CST, has 7 years of experience with the spectrum of LDS issues, couples sex therapy, teens, and individuals identifying with out-of-control sexual behavior (OCSB). He personally comes from an LDS upbringing. He is the host and creator of Birds and Bees Podcast, a sexual health podcast for parents and clinicians. Braxton teaches Intro to Human Sexuality to social workers at the University of Utah. Through the Tigris Training Institute, he provides primary/secondary sex therapy supervision, specialized consultation, and sexual health presentation to groups of any size. He is also a mental health provider at two high schools in Utah. For a brief period of time in 2018, Braxton held the world record for chugging mustard as part of his campaign to encourage parents to “Mustard up the courage to talk to kids about sex.”