What is a sexuality health counselor?
I am happy to announce that I have formally graduated from the University of Michigan’s Sexual Health Certificate Program as a Sexual Health Counselor. It was a challenging year of reading, writing, traveling to Ann Arbor, almost 200 hours of course work, role plays (ugh!), and developing fascinating relationships with people in this field.
But now that the coursework is done and I am practicing sexual health counseling, the question I get from most people is, “what exactly is a sexuality counselor?”.
Sexuality counselors are medical providers who assist clients to realistically resolve sexual concerns using medical, educational and psychosocial methodologies. Not all sexual health issues are caused by psychological or relationship issues. Sometimes problems arise from life changes such as aging, illness, or childbirth. The right to healthy sexuality is an inherent part of being human. However, so many people suffer from sexual dissatisfaction or dysfunction because of incomplete sexual education, lack of medical knowledge, or they feel embarrassed to bring up concerns with their health care provider. Many sexual health problems can be remedied with short term, focused sexuality counseling. All individuals have the right to pursue and attain a healthy sexual life of their choosing as it leads to better overall health and quality of life.
Who would benefit from sexuality health counseling? Some issues include:
· Limited knowledge about sex or desire to learn more
· Low or absent sexual desire
· Difficulty having orgasms
· Sexuality problems that arise after surgery or medical conditions
· Desire discrepancies in couples of all orientations
· Negative self-image/ body image that impacts sexuality
· Sexual changes related to peri or post menopause
· Painful sex
· Trauma-based sexual issues when people are working with a therapist
· Changes in sexuality after having children
· Lifestyle issues and sexuality
I am so excited to provide sexuality counseling at Lifecycle Women’s Health. With my 30 years of experience caring for women of all ages, it is thrilling to specialize and focus on sexuality, a topic that rarely gets much attention in health care. We know that sexual satisfaction does lead to better health outcomes and better quality of life. Too often people tell me that sex is not as important as other health and social concerns, and they feel comfortable discounting this aspect of their life. But we know that is not an optimal approach. Achieving healthy sexuality can be complex, but it is attainable. And a multidisciplinary treatment approach by a sexual health counselor can be a great place to start.
Susan Kamin, CNM, MSN, MPH provides sex-positive, integrated women’s health care in a non-rushed and relaxing environment. She cares for people across the lifespan for well body care including annual exams and preventive screenings, with a specialty in sexual health counseling, pelvic health, and mid-life care.
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