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Counseling Clients Working Within the Sex Industry

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Recorded on Friday, November 18, 2022

Presented in partnership with the Association of Counseling Sexology & Sexual Wellness (ACSSW)

When attended in full, offers 2.0 CEs for Psychologists, 2.0 IL CEUs for Social Workers, or 2.0 BBS CEUs for Counselors and Social Workers.

Workshop Description:

Sex work is the exchange of sex for money, goods, or services. As expressions of sexuality change within evolving contexts and environments, the landscape of sex work has changed due to factors of technology, legal structures, and safety. Counseling professionals are often not trained to work with sex workers in the context of their research, practice, educating, supervision, and advocacy.

In this presentation attendees will learn about evolving definitions of sex work, as well as how current laws and legal structures impact the safety and functioning of sex workers and the subsequent impact on their participation in research and counseling practice. The presenter will share relevant assessment, intervention and research design strategies to make one’s practice sex-work affirming.  

Learning Objectives:

After completing this introductory level program, participants will be able to:

  1. Compare and contract six different legal structures related to sex work,
  2. Utilize and implement at least two counseling interventions that are sex worker-informed. 

Program Standards and Goals:

This program meets APA’s continuing education Standard 1.1: Program content focuses on application of psychological assessment and/or intervention methods that have overall consistent and credible empirical support in the contemporary peer reviewed scientific literature beyond those publications and other types of communications devoted primarily to the promotion of the approach

This program meets APA’s continuing education Goal 1: Program is relevant to psychological practice, education, and/or science.

Presenter Biography:

Theodore R. Burnes, Ph.D.: Theodore Burnes is a Professor of Clinical Education in the Rossier School of Education’s Psychology and Education Division. He teaches courses in Counseling, Marriage and Family Therapy, and Education. He is a licensed professional clinical counselor (LPCC) and a licensed clinical psychologist in the state of California.


Burnes, T.R. (2022). Practicalities and possibilities: PAR research in counseling with sex workers. Journal of Counseling Sexology & Sexual Wellness, 4(1), 9-18. DOI:10/34296/04011056

Burns, T. R. & Dawson, J. M. (2023). Essential clinical care for sex workers: A sex-positive handbook for mental health practitioners. North Atlantic Books. 

Sawicki, D.A. Meffert, B. N., Reed, K., & Heinz, A.J. (2019). Culturally competent health care for sex workers: An examination of myths that stigmatize sex work and hinder access to care. Sexual and Relationship Therapy. 34 (3), 355-371. DOI: 10.1080/14681994.2019.1574970

Workshop Pricing:

General Admission: $55

Continuing Education:

Target Audience: All mental health disciplines.

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 [email protected] 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.