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Sexuality Counseling

Sexuality Counseling
Theory, Research, and Practice

January 2016 | 368 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
“Sexuality Counseling:  Theory, Research, and Practice is an important resource for mental health practitioners.  Sexuality is complex and rather than attempting to simplify, this book works within that complexity in a well-organized and comprehensive way.”  
- Alexandra H. Solomon, Northwestern University  

Providing a comprehensive, research- and theory-based approach to sexuality counseling, this accessible and engaging book is grounded in an integrative, multi-level conceptual framework that addresses the various levels at which individuals experience sexuality. At each level (physiological, developmental, psychological, gender identity and sexual orientation, relational, cultural/contextual, and positive sexuality), the authors emphasize practical strategies for assessment and intervention. Interactive features, including case studies, application exercises, ethics discussions, and guided reflection questions, help readers apply and integrate the information as they develop the professional competency needed for effective practice.

Series Editors’ Preface: Introduction to the Series, by Richard Parsons and Naijian Zhang
About the Authors
Chapter 1: Addressing Sexuality in Professional Counseling
Defining Sexuality  
A Comprehensive, Contextual Framework for Understanding Sexuality  
Professional Issues in Sexuality Counseling  
Professional Competence in Sexuality Counseling  
Ethical Considerations for Sexuality Counseling  
Interdisciplinary Collaborations for Sexuality Counseling  
Overview of the Remainder of This Book  
Chapter 2: Assessment in Sexuality Counseling
General Assessment Strategies  
Dimensions of Assessment in Sexuality Counseling  
Appendix: Directory of Selected Instruments for Assessing Sexuality  
Chapter 3: General Interventions and Theoretical Approaches to Sexuality Counseling
General Guidelines for Sexuality Counseling  
Review of Approaches to Sexuality Counseling  
Treatment for Specific Sexuality Concerns and Using Unique Treatment Modalities  
Treatment Outcomes in Sexuality Counseling  
Chapter 4: Physiology and Sexual Health
Overview of Physiology and Anatomy Related to Sexual Functioning  
Safer Sex Practices  
Physical Health Issues  
Reproductive Health  
Chapter 5: Lifespan Development and Sexuality
Sexuality Across the Life Cycle: An Overview  
Sexuality in Childhood  
Sexuality in Adolescence  
Sexuality in Adulthood  
Chapter 6: Sexuality and Mental Health
Sexual Decision Making  
Sexual Implications of Mental Health Disorders  
Substance Abuse and Sexuality  
Sexual Dysfunctions  
Sexual Trauma  
Chapter 7: Gender Identity and Affectional/Sexual Orientation
Defining Gender Identity and Affectional/Sexual Orientation  
Historical, Societal, and Cultural Context  
Traditional Sexual Ideologies  
Gender Identity  
Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Affectional Orientations  
Ethical Concerns in Working With LGBTIQQA Clients  
Chapter 8: Sexuality and Intimate Relationships
The Dynamics of Couple Relationships  
Integrating Sexuality Counseling With Couples Counseling  
Sexuality Counseling for Specific Relationship Concerns  
Chapter 9: Cultural and Contextual Influences on Sexuality
An Intersectional Approach to Understanding Culture and Sexuality  
Religion and Sexuality  
Race, Culture, Ethnicity, and Sexuality  
Socioeconomic Status and Sexuality  
Sexuality and Geographic and Regional Variations  
Sexuality and the Media  
Counseling Strategies for Addressing Cultural and Contextual Influences on Sexuality  
Chapter 10: Positive Sexuality: A New Paradigm for Sexuality Counseling
Defining Positive Sexuality  
Factors Supporting Positive Sexuality: Revisiting the Contextualized Sexuality Model  
Benefits of Positive Sexuality  
Counseling Strategies to Help Clients Foster Positive Sexuality  
Epilogue: From the Author’s Chair

Sexuality Counseling:  Theory, Research, and Practice is an important resource for mental health practitioners.  Sexuality is complex and rather than attempting to simplify, this book works within that complexity in a well-organized and comprehensive way.”

Alexandra H. Solomon
Northwestern University

"[This is] a comprehensive, multimodal text that works to provide counseling students and those in the field of social work with practical skills to empower their clients to make positive changes in their sexual lives."

Matthew K. Siemionko
University of Utah

“An inclusive and coherent resource which will prove invaluable in preparing to work with clients concerned with issues of sexuality and intimacy.”

Sue Becker
Teesside University
Key features


  • Every chapter is comprised of information that is sound, evidence-based, and grounded in current literature to provide readers with the most accurate and up-to-date information.
  • Case studies and application exercises throughout the book bring concepts to life and give students an opportunity to apply what they learn to real-world situations.
  • A new Contextualized Sexuality Model, which presents a framework for understanding sexuality, helps professors plan their courses.
  • The book’s focus on the nature of professional identity, its value to the profession and the professional, and ways to further development of professional identity during professional practice provides students with valuable guidance they can use throughout their careers.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

Chapter 3

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