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Association of Counseling Sexology and Sexual Wellness (ACSSW)

The Ethics of Sexual Issues in Therapy

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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:

Sexual health and wellness topics in therapy are often ignored, deprioritized, or even pathologized by clinicians. Sexual issues are one of the few issues still considered to be so taboo that they can only be treated by specialists (e.g., sex therapists). Though, of course, sex therapists may be able to provide more specialized treatment of sex-related presenting issues, it is often unnecessary for clients to see a sex therapist for sex-related issues that are only tertiary components of a clinical presentation. Nonetheless, mental health clinicians continue to avoid sexual topics during their care, sometimes missing important components of the issue’s history, etiology, and/or symptomatology.

One of the largest barriers to clinicians broaching the topic of sex is the ethical concerns of professionals. There are fundamental misunderstandings of the ethics of treating sexual issues in clinical practice. This program will provide information related to these ethical considerations, including models for arriving at appropriate ethical decisions related to treatment of sexual issues.

Learning Objectives:

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

1) Identify the ethical dilemmas commonly present in deciding whether or not to broach and treat sex-related issues with clients

2) Utilize ethical-decision-making models specific to sexual content to arrive at sound professional decisions regarding treatment of sex-related issues

Professional Bio of Presenter, Robert J. Zeglin, PhD, NCC, CST, LMHC

Robert Zeglin, PhD, NCC, CST, LMHC (he/him) is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Nationally Board Certified Counselor, and Certified Sex Therapist. He is an Assistant Professor of and the Program Director for Clinical Mental Health Counseling at the University of North Florida. He was the Director of a mental health day program in New Jersey from 2009-2012. His area of research is human sexuality, particularly human sexuality counselor competencies, HIV/AIDS, sexual health and wellness, and LGBTQ health. Dr. Z is the Founding Editor of the Journal of Counseling Sexology & Sexual Wellness: Research, Practice, and Education and is the Director of the Community Sexual Health Education and Research Initiative. In addition to teaching and research, he continues his clinical work, seeing clients at the Jacksonville Center for Sexual Health.

Program Standards and Goals

This program meets APA’s continuing education standard 1.2: Program content focuses on ethical, legal, statutory or regulatory policies, guidelines, and standards that impact psychological practice, education, or research.

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. 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


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.

Cruz, C., Greenwald, E., & Sandil, R. (2017). Let’s talk about sex: Integrating sex positivity in counseling psychology practice. The Counseling Psychologist, 45(4), 547-569.

Zeglin, R. J., Van Dam, D., & Hergenrather, K. C. (2018). An introduction to proposed human sexuality counseling competencies. International Journal for the Advancement of Counselling, 40(2), 105-121.

Zeglin, R. J., RM Niemela, D., & Vandenberg, M. (2019). What does the counseling field say about sexuality? A content analysis. American Journal of Sexuality Education, 14(1), 55-73.