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Sex, Religion, and Spirituality: A Primer for Working through Complex Intersections of Client Beliefs and Values

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Presented by Dr. Hannah B. Bayne, PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision, Assistant Professor of Counseling at the University of Florida 

Recorded on Friday, June 17th, 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:

The intersection of sexual wellness, religious beliefs, and spiritual practices is incredibly vast. Religion and spirituality can influence values towards sex in many ways, including viewing sex as a deeply spiritual practice, as well as religious doctrine that places limits on sexual behavior in the pursuit of maintaining purity as defined by each tradition. The impact of religious and spiritual values regarding sexual desire and behavior can likewise range from sexual health and value integration to sexual dysfunction, interpersonal distress, and internalized shame. Practicing clinicians and students in training may be unprepared to integrate religion and spirituality within counseling practice, particularly within the value-laden intersection of beliefs and sex/sexuality.  

In this presentation, attendees will receive a brief overview of the varied beliefs and values relating to sex within major religious traditions and the nature of sex as a spiritual practice more broadly. We will explore how value conflicts might be experienced by clients and how sexual and religious issues might present in a clinical context. We will also discuss how to navigate the counselor’s own value conflict if their view of sex and sexuality differs from the client’s beliefs and values. Attendees will learn strategies for assessing beliefs and implementing interventions to help clients work toward sexual wellness within the context of their values and religious or spiritual practices.  

Workshop Learning Objectives:

After attending this intermediate level workshop, participants will:

  1. Identify beliefs and values relating to sex within major religious traditions and the nature of sex as a spiritual practice more broadly 
  1. Discuss how value conflicts might be experienced by clients and how sexual and religious issues might present in a clinical context 
  1. Discuss how to navigate the counselor’s own value conflict if their view of sex and sexuality differs from the client’s beliefs and values 
  1. Apply strategies for assessing beliefs and implementing interventions to help clients work toward sexual wellness within the context of their values and religious or spiritual practices.  

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.

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:

Cashwell, C. S., & Young, J. S. (2020). Integrating spirituality and religion into counseling: A guide to competent practice (3rd ed.). American Counseling Association. 

Clarke, R., Leavitt, C., Allsop, D., Marks, L., & Dollahite, D. (2021). How sexuality and religion intersect in highly religious families: Implications for clinicians. Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 1 – 20. https://doi.org/10.1080/14681994.2021.2014052  

Dale, B. (2021). Using spiritual discernment to heal clients wounded by religiously repressive sexual beliefs. Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 1 – 16. https://doi.org/10.1080/14681994.2021.2014445  

Shilo, G., Yossef, I., & Savaya, R. (2016). Religious coping strategies and mental health among religious Jewish gay and bisexual men. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 45, 1551 – 1561. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-015-0567-4  

Spadt, S., Rosenbaum, T., Dweck, A., Millheiser, L., Pillai-Friedman, S., & Krychman, M. (2014). Sexual health and religion: A primer for the sexual health clinician. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 11, 1607 – 1619. https://doi.org/10.111/jsm.12593  

Turner, G. W. & Stayton, W. R. (2021). Are sex therapy and God strange bedfellows? Case studies illuminating the intersection of client sexuality with spirituality, religion, faith, or belief practices. Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 1 – 17. https://doi.org/10.1080/14681994.2021.2007235  

Turns, B., Morris, S., & Lentz, N. (2013). The self of the Christian therapist doing sex therapy: A model for training Christian sex therapist. Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 1 – 13. https://doi.org/10.1080/14681994.2013.765557  

Wilt, J., Cooper, E., Grubbs, J., Exline, J., & Pargament, K. (2016). Associations of perceived addiction to internet pornography with religious/spiritual and psychological functioning. Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity, 23 (2 – 3), 260 – 278. https://doi.org/10.1080/10720162.2016.1140604  

Continuing Education:

Target Audience: Healthcare and Mental healthcare professionals, hypnosis practitioners, University faculty and students. Members the TCSPP community.

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.