3 Hours of CEs (Including 2 Ethics CE)

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".

Instructor: Natasha Helfer, LMFT, CST-S, with panelist 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

For those seeking AASECT certification, the hours can be applied to requirements as follows:
Core Knowledge Areas: K

*Up to 2 hours of CEs may be applied towards ethics requirements for the purposes of license renewal or AASECT certification.

  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.

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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 is an AASECT Certified Sex Therapist/Supervisor and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with almost 25 years of experience. Her expertise lies in the intersection of conservative religious upbringings and sexuality, specifically in the area of deconstructing internalized sexual shame. She runs a group practice, Symmetry Solutions, where services focus on helping people with religious trauma, reclaiming sexual desire, mixed-faith relationships, coming out journeys, healing sexual shame or trauma, and exploring sexual authenticity. Natasha was excommunicated from the Mormon church in 2021, for her advocacy in regards to sexual health.

Natasha can be reached at natashahelfer.com. She hosts the Mormon Mental Health and Mormon Sex Info Podcasts, and is the founder and  current past president of the Mormon Mental Health Association. She has authored two books:  Check Your Baggage: Unpack the Messages Getting in the Way of Your Sex Life and One Family, Two Views: How to Fortify Your Mixed-Faith Mormon Marriage.
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.”

LearnSexTherapy.com by
The Buehler Institute

The Buehler Institute was created to provide the highest quality training in human sexuality for mental health professionals and healthcare providers. Its founder, Dr. Stephanie Buehler, is a licensed psychologist and author of a bestselling sex therapy textbook, among others. Our educational programs are designed to help people seeking AASECT certification in an effective and engaging format.

We are located virtually but our mailing address is:
31677 Virginia Way, #9327
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

The best way to reach us is by email:

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You may receive a text message about contacting us via email when you call this number. Standard rates may apply. 
The Buehler Institute is approved as a provider of continuing education by the following agencies. Many states licensing boards will accept CEs from these agencies for license renewal. It is, however, the responsibility of the enrollee to inquire with their state licensing board.
The Buehler Institute is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Buehler Institute maintains responsibility for all programs and their content.
The Buehler Institute has been approved by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) as an Approved Continuing Education Provider. The Buehler Institute is
solely responsible for all aspects of
the programs.
The Buehler Institute is an institutional provider for the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT).
Provider #12-138-Q.
The Buehler Institute is approved as a continuing education provider for the California Board of Registered Nursing. Provider #CEP 16394.