Integration of Sex and Sexuality into Counseling Programs

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Many Americans have sexual dysfunction or behavioral concerns and are seeking assistance from mental health clinicians. Unfortunately, there is limited curriculum on sexuality counseling and sexual behavior in clinical mental health counselor education programs. This lack of education and discussion can result in counselor bias and lack of self-efficacy in therapeutic sessions. Researchers have found that medical assistance alone does not offer effective results when discussing sexual dysfunction or non-normative sexual behavior. Individuals engaged in various counseling interventions alongside sexuality counseling found reduction in sexual dysfunction and comorbid symptoms, such as anxiety or depression. This literature review seeks to highlight the prevalence of sexual dysfunction and different sexual behaviors facing possible clients, the existence of counselor bias and its effect on sexual topics in counseling, and the need for sex and sexuality to be integrated into counseling programs.

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American Counseling Association