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Aging Sexual Expression: Applying a Radically-Informed Sex Positive Framework

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Presented by Angela M. Schubert, PhD, LPC, LMHC, NCC, BC-TMH

Recorded on Friday, August 19th, 2022

When attended in full, program offers 2.0 CEs for Psychologists (APA), 2.0 IL CEUs for Counselors and Social Workers, 2.0BBS California CEUs for Counselors, Social Workers, and LMFTs, and 2 NBCC Clock Hours.

Workshop Description:

Aging is a reality. Dare we say – an opportunity. Because life is perceptually and sequentially experienced, one can surmise that only during the older stages of life is it possible to truly appreciate our body’s story, our innermost desires, and our sexual capabilities. True to all reality across the lifespan, we either can choose to be aware of our bodies’ needs or not. Sensual sexual experiencing requires intention and attention. Age offers the opportunity to embrace the changes and seasoned awareness of sensual experiences beyond that of traditional sexual activity. As a result, we are able to manifest a sexual script that is authentically us. If we mindfully seek to explore and expand our sexual script we will create one that is intentionally unique and free of most of the internalized sexual negativity consumed growing up. A sexual script is informed by our own biology, our experiences, our culture, and all the messages we have ever received about sex and sexuality. And like our own life, our sexual script is not static, and therefore, we are all capable of changing the way we view our sexual selves, our bodies, and our perspective on the human sexual experience. Again, it requires intention, and attention. 

From the time we are born to the day we pass, sexuality is in a constant state of change. Older sexuality is no different. In fact, sexual desire fluctuates across the lifespan for a myriad of reasons, and yet, remains to be an important aspect of life to the last breath. There are many contributing factors that reinforce and challenge human sexual behavior including how we respond to our aging body and our own sexual script. However, it is when we expand our horizon of sexual experiences beyond penetrative sexual activities that we start to understand the true potential for human connection and intimacy. Unfortunately, there remains barriers that prevent older adults and society from respecting and honoring older adult sexual expression. Although sexual problems increase in frequency as a result of physiological aging, the presence of sexual behaviors, as well as interest in sex and sexual expression and desire remain active among older adults (Lindau et al., 2007; Schubert & Pope, 2020; Schubert & Pope, 2022).  

This presentation will address the barriers and myths surrounding older adult sexuality and explore a sex positive approach to counter each barrier. This presentation will further expand on how adults change and adapt to their bodies and sexual functioning, and how vitality and resiliency support sexual needs and expression.  Lastly, the audience will receive information on how to incorporate a sex positive framework that is guided by radical respect and approached from an intersectional lens.

Workshop Learning Objectives:

After attending this introductory level workshop, participants will:

  1. Identify the barriers and myths surrounding older adult sexuality
  2. Use a sex positive approach to counter barriers surrounding older adult sexuality
  3. Identify sex positive solutions to use when advocating on behalf of older adults

Program Standards and Goals:

This program meets APA’s continuing education Standard 1.3: Program content focuses on topics related to psychological practice, education, or research other than application of psychological assessment and/or intervention methods that are supported by contemporary scholarship grounded in established research procedures.

This program meets APA’s continuing education Goal 3: Program will allow psychologists to maintain, develop, and increase competencies in order to improve services to the public and enhance contributions to the profession.

Registration and Fees:

ACSSW Members: Free

General Admission: $40.00

TCSPP Staff/Faculty/Students: Free

TCSPP Alumni: $20.00

Community Partners/Site Supervisors: $20.00

Non-TCSPP Students: $10.00

References:

Schubert, A., & Pope, M. (2020). Sexuality beyond young adulthood: Affordances and barriers to sexual expressing in the nursing home. Journal of Counseling Sexology & Sexual Wellness: Research, Practice & Education. 

Schubert, A. M. & Pope, M. (2022). Handbook for human sexuality counseling: A sex positive approach. American Counseling Association Publishers. 

Price, J. (2019). Sex after grief: Navigating your sexuality after losing your beloved. Mango Publishing Group: Coral Gables, FL.

Continuing Education:

Target Audience: Professional and graduate student counselors, couple and family therapists, social workers, and psychologists.

Psychologists. This program, when attended in its entirety, is available for 2.0 continuing education credits. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is committed to accessibility and non-discrimination in its continuing education activities. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is also committed to conducting all activities in conformity with the American Psychological Association’s Ethical Principles for Psychologists. Participants are asked to be aware of the need for privacy and confidentiality throughout the program. If program content becomes stressful, participants are encouraged to process these feelings during discussion periods. If participants have special needs, we will attempt to accommodate them. Please address questions, concerns and any complaints to officeofce@thechicagoschool.edu There is no commercial support for this program nor are there any relationships between the CE Sponsor, presenting organization, presenter, program content, research, grants, or other funding that could reasonably be construed as conflicts of interest.

Social Workers. This program, when attended in its entirety, is available for 2.0 hours of continuing education. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is licensed by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) to provide continuing education programming for social workers. License Number: 159.001036

MFTs, LPCCs, and LCSWs. Course meets the qualifications for 2.0 hour of continuing education credit for MFTs, LPCCs, and/or LCSWs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. If you are licensed outside of California please check with your local licensing agency to to determine if they will accept these CEUs. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is approved by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) to offer continuing education programming for MFTs, LPCCs, LEPs, and/or LCSWs. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is an accredited or approved postsecondary institution that meets the requirements set forth in Sections 4980.54(f)(1), 4989.34, 4996.22(d)(1), or 4999.76(d) of the Code.

Participation Certificate. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is able to provide students and other participants who simply wish to have documentation of their attendance at the program a participation certificate.

Non Psychologists. Most licensing boards accept Continuing Education Credits sponsored by the American Psychological Association but non-psychologists are recommended to consult with their specific state-licensing board to ensure that APA-sponsored CE is acceptable.

*Participants must attend 100% of the program in order to obtain a Certificate of Attendance.

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology maintains responsibility for this program and its content.