I’ve immersed myself in several continuing education experiences over the last several months. Some highlights:
- Treatment of Borderline, Narcissistic, and Histrionic Personality disorders with Daniel J. Fox
- The 6th Annual Sexuality Conference at KU Med
- Genital Pain: Pelvic Floor Function & Health with Foundation Concepts Physical Therapy (for cooperative physical & mental health treatment of genital pain)
I purchased a subscription to SexSmartFilms.com, a collection of hundreds of educational and therapeutic videos for common sex therapy concerns. I look forward to providing customized video recommendations to clients. Without a subscription, each video can be viewed one time for about $1.00.
Wow, time flies when you’re having fun! Here are my major business updates for November and December 2016, I:
This October I completed another step towards my Sex Therapist certification. I traveled to Washington DC to complete the Sexual Attitude Reassessment training. The SAR is a 10 hour intensive small group course for psychotherapists. We processed our reactions to various sexual materials–in order to discover and manage any personal biases that may otherwise interfere with successful therapy.
I enjoyed a webinar with Richard Schwartz, developer of the Internal Family Systems therapy model. The IFS model grew out of other family therapy models that examined “roles” each family member inherits in reaction to each other & the family’s overall needs. The IFS model examines various “parts”, or roles, within a person, often developed within confusing family dynamics. For example, an individual is likely to develop various “protector” parts and other parts that are “exiles”–parts that express impulsive or other unwelcome behavior. In the IFS model, healing occurs as each part is attended to with curiosity and awareness. When the parts are understood, they relax and trust a well-informed leader–the “self.”
Schwartz’s IFS website: Center for Self Leadership
I enjoyed a presentation by Dr. David Willey and Dr. Amalia Bullard regarding medical and psychosocial treatments for addiction. Dr. Willey provided great information about medications that may aid in relapse prevention. For example, antagonist medication can help reduce cravings and change the brain-body’s response when substances are consumed. Dr. Bullard reanimated the importance of Motivational Interviewing.
I’ve concluded another semester of graduate teaching–so it’s time to focus on my own continuing education! I’m in 4 day intensive training next week. This program, titled “Out of Control Sexual Behavior,” is part of my ongoing sex therapy certification.
The Greater Good Science Center at the University of California Berkeley curates videos, articles, and podcasts about happiness. The short videos are presented by prominent researchers, therapists, business leaders, and educators. They include a wide range of topics such as “How to check in with Yourself” and “The Biology of Mindfulness and Compassion.” There are hundreds of happiness videos here. The information is not a substitute for therapy–a process that can investigate specific traumas and the complexity of a person’s unique life. However, the videos can help people remember their wisdom and encourage action.
I took a webinar training last week on everyone’s favorite topic: “Lies, Deception, Infidelity, and Jealousy.” Ellyn Bader of The Couples Institute facilitated the discussion. One of the most interesting parts of the training was her model for determining whether a relationship is likely to recover from deception:
- How high are the partners’ desires for honesty?
- What are the partners’ beliefs in the likelihood of success?
- What amount of unwanted effort is it going to take?
- How willing are the partners to take emotional risks (self-exposure rather than avoidance, denial, minimizing)?
The answers to these questions can help evaluate the relationship’s potential and pinpoint particular areas for development.
Many psychology researchers, including the Veterans Administration, are studying the effects of mental health applications. While indiscriminate screen time is widely known to reduce peoples’ focus, some research indicates that consistent, intentional use of some mental health apps tends to boost self-awareness; effectiveness; and happiness. The Veterans Administration is specifically studying the app PTSD Coach, which I would like to use with a client. Please let me know if you would like to participate in that process! Here are some applications I already find useful with many of my clients:
- Narrative Therapy Questions: helps the participant conduct a deep self-interview about their preferred life direction and related obstacles
- Calm: 100+ guided meditations to choose from. The app will track the dates and lengths of of your meditations
- Relax: helps practice diaphragmatic breathing, which is good for nervous system regulation and panic-attack prevention
- Mood Tracker: charts symptom severity/remissions/patterns based on pre-programmed OR customized data schemes