Relational Cultural Theory (RCT) Approach toward Sexual Health of Women who have Sex with Women
Association of Counseling Sexology and Sexual Wellness (ACSSW)

Relational Cultural Theory (RCT) Approach toward Sexual Health of Women who have Sex with Women

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Program offers 2.0 CEs for Psychologists (APA), and 2.0 BBS California CEUs for LPCCs, LPSW, and LMFTs

Workshop Description:

Relational Cultural Theory (RCT) is a feminist approach to counseling that emphasizes human development through relational connection, explores the impact of culture and social systems on emotional and psychological development, and (Jordan, 2010; Walker, 2008), and underscores how development and relationships with others cannot be understood separately from how those connections have been “raced, engendered, sexualized, and situated along dimensions of class, physical ability, religion or whatever constructions carry ontological significance in the culture” (Walker, 2008, p. 90). Wellness, therefore, is fostered through relationships that encourage empathy, authenticity and empowerment wherein individuals can realize their relational competence and create relationships that can sustain disruption and relational injury (Jordan, 2010). When counseling cisgender women in same-sex relationships, maintaining an RCT approach will allow the clinician to review and examine how clients have been impacted by heteronormative societal messages of what it means to be female, to be sexual as a woman, and how to perform in relationships.

In this webinar, we will discuss what RCT is as theory and how to apply it to counseling cisgender women in same-sex relationships. This will offer the clinician a lens that supports a nonheteronormarive approach and which situates women’s development within a cultural framework.

Learning Objectives:

After attending this intermediate-level workshop, participants will be able to:

1) Describe the influence a heteronormative lens has on the development of relationships for cisgender women in same-sex relationships

2) Describe the utility of RCT when counseling cisgender women in same-sex relationships

Professional Bio of Presenter, Joy S. Whitman, Ph.D in Counseling Psychology, Clinical Full Professor at the Family Institute of Northwestern University

Joy S. Whitman, PhD, is a licensed professional counselor (LPC) in Missouri and a licensed clinical professional counselor (LCPC) in Illinois. She currently is Clinical Full Professor at the Family Institute of Northwestern University in the master’s Counseling@ Northwestern program. She is Past-President of the Society for Sexual, Affectional, Intersex, and Gender Expansive Identities, was the Governing Council representative for the division, and served as a member of the ACA Ethics Committee. She is a board member of the International Academy for LGBT+ Psychology and Related Fields and serves on the editorial board for the Journal of LGBT in Counseling. She is the coeditor of Homework, assignments, and handouts for LGBTQ+ clients: A mental health and counseling handbook; The therapist’s notebook for lesbian, gay, and fisexual clients; Preparing the Educator in Counselor Education; and Skill Development in Counselor Education. She has published and presented on affirmative counseling with and training of affirmative therapy with LGBTQ+ clients. She maintains a private practice and focuses her practice on working with the LGBTQ+ communities.

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 1: Program is relevant to psychological practice, education, and/or science

Registration and Fees:

ACSSW Members: Free. Click here to register to access ACSSW Member courses. Please note, you will need the password provided to you by ACSSW.

General Admission: $40.00

TCSPP Staff/Faculty: Free

TCSPP Faculty and Staff can access this program for free by registering here

TCSPP Students: Free

Current TCSPP Students, with school email address, can access this program for free by registering here

TCSPP Alumni: $20.00

TCSPP Alumni, can find discount codes for this program by registering here

References:

Bloom, Z. D., Blount, A. J., Dillman Taylor, D. L., & Lipkin, G. (2019). The Sexual Values and Behaviors Discrepancy Model. Journal of Counseling Sexology & Sexual Wellness: Research, Practice, and Education, 1(2), 69-79.

Jordan, J. V. (2017). Relational cultural therapy. In M. Kopala & M. Keitel (Eds.), Handbook of counseling women (2nd ed., pp. 63-73). Los Angeles: Sage Publications.

Singh, A.A. and Moss, L. (2016), Using Relational‐Cultural Theory in LGBTQQ counseling: Addressingheterosexism and enhancing relational competencies. Journal of Counseling & Development, 94,398-404. https://doi.org/10.1002/jcad.12098