Over the years I have created and presented numerous clinical discussions, any and all of which can be adapted for a wide variety of purposes, including in-service training for existing clinical teams, marketing, community outreach, generalized trainings for clinicians, education for the general public, and more. These presentations can be altered to fit your specific requirements, lasting as little as an hour or as long as several days, depending on circumstances. AV needs, costs, length of talk, and other factors are negotiable, and can be discussed when organizing the date. Also, new talks are always in development, so if you have a topic that interests you, I may have something in the works. Several of my past trainings/presentations have been taped and are available for purchase from the Ben Franklin Institute and/or Gentle Path Press. Click on the hyperlinks below for more information about the various videos.
Family Therapy Updated for the Digital Age: Understanding the Role of Social Media and Digital Technology in the Lives of Our Clients
While much fear and hype has been created in the past decade by well-meaning clinicians and the media, the actual role and effect of digital media on American family life has yet to be fully understood and researched. So what can a caring counselor or therapist offer today to families struggling with issues such as digital boundaries, cyberbullying and tech stressors, as well as problems like online gaming, gambling and sexuality? This timely, engaging talk gives attendees a chance to revisit, reshape and challenge their beliefs about how digital technology is affecting family life, relationships, school and the workplace. Blending current research with historical references, this talk will provide clarity in an area where we clinicians sometimes feel under-informed or even downright confused.
Kids, Sex and the Internet: an S.W.O.T Analysis and What Clinicians Need to Know
Most clinicians practicing today first learned about sex from school friends, parents (if we were lucky), a well-worn magazine or some form of school-based sexual education. Today, kids of all ages have Internet access to any and all factual information regarding masturbation, the dating and mating process, sexual health, STDs and pregnancy–and this is likely a good thing. However, these same access points useful for gathering factual information are also the access points for endless porn use/abuse, sexual deviancy and anonymous casual sex, as well as a doorway to forms of atypical sexuality that many children may not be ready to understand and integrate. And now that we have digital friends, digital lovers and 24/7 porn available, just what is sex and dating today to a teen? This timely session focused on kids, digital media and sexuality will explore what’s occurring on Tumblr, Tinder and similar sites and apps. We will also discuss digital monitoring for parents, including filtering, tracking and blocking of sexual sites.
Closer Together, Further Apart: The Effects of Technology on Relationships and Sexuality
As digital technology continues its rapid evolution, men and women of all ages are all drawn to the immediately accessible content and interconnectivity it provides. While many aspects of digital technology are both useful and even essential for successful business, educational, political, and social interaction, increasing numbers of people are now seeking treatment for Internet-related addictive sexual and romantic behavior patterns (along with Internet gambling, spending, and video gaming addictions). Simply put, in today’s increasingly digital world there is no question that addictive online activity (especially sexual activity) is costing some people their jobs, their primary relationships, their families, and more, including issues related to concurrent drug and alcohol addiction/relapse.
Related Video: Sex Addiction 101
Understanding Narcissism and Addiction as Tools to Emotional Survival
Process addictions such as compulsive gambling, compulsive eating, compulsive spending, sex addiction, and the like are often misunderstood and misdiagnosed. This presentation attempts to provide clinicians with an understanding of these addictions as maladaptive coping mechanisms used to deal with life stressors, emotional discomfort, and underlying psychological disorders such as depression, anxiety, attachment deficits, unresolved trauma, and the like. This discussion encourages clinicians to develop deeper and more empathetic insight into why smart people can repeatedly do stupid things that make their lives unmanageable and cause pain to themselves and those who love them.
Always Turned On: Understanding Sexual Addiction in the Digital Age
This presentation on tech-driven sexual addiction offers an overview of the questions and concerns most often asked by sex addicts (of all sexual orientations) and their spouses/partners. The discussion covers the diagnosis of sexual addiction, common behaviors exhibited by sex addicts, common negative consequences experienced by sex addicts, the all-too-common relationship between early-life trauma and sex addiction, the influence of digital technology on sex addiction, and methodologies for eliminating problem sexual behaviors.
Sexual Offending: Facts and Myths
Sexual offending is rarely discussed and often misunderstood by both the general population and much of the therapeutic community. This presentation offers an overview of sexual offending behavior—what it is (and isn’t), who perpetrates it, what are its long-term effects on victims, why some victims grow into offenders, and more—along with information about the effective therapeutic treatment of sex offenders.
Out of the Doghouse: Healing Relationships Fractured by Multiple Infidelities and Sexual Addiction
Men and women who repeatedly engage in sexual/romantic infidelity are, by definition, challenged by intimacy and empathy. As such, these individuals typically lack the skills needed to revitalize a broken relationship—especially when anger rules the roost, as it so often does after discovery. Too many relationships have withered as well-meaning but poorly skilled partners offer candy, flowers, gifts, and pleas for forgiveness instead of much needed listening, empathy, understanding, patience, and changes in basic behavior. This discussion offers concrete direction for helping sex and love addicts (and others who engage in serial infidelity) learn how to love and communicate with their spouses/partners in ways that are unfamiliar and uncomfortable to them.
Working with the Trauma of Betrayal. Helping Spouses and Partners Grow beyond the Trauma of Relationship Infidelity
Spouses and partners of sex addicts typically struggle with both grief and trauma. Many even display symptoms of PTSD. They typically enter therapy feeling unsafe, insecure, rageful, hurt, and uncertain as to their next best steps. Sadly, they have long been considered a clinically “difficult” population due to the immediacy of their emotional pain, their frequent wish to avoid treatment, and their often chaotic emotional state. This discussion offers a useful action plan for helping these individuals to heal and to redevelop relationship trust (or sometimes to move on if that is the best option).
Related Video: Internet Sex, Infidelity and Working with Betrayed Spouses
“We Had Sex and Fell in Love … In Treatment!” Understanding and Working with the Dynamics of Sexuality in Residential Treatment Settings
It is not infrequent for clinicians and managers in residential treatment settings (and aftercare placements) to have to struggle with the challenge of clients sexually and romantically acting out while in our care. While these are at best uncomfortable issues- without proper intervention and action taken by an educated treatment staff- sex and romance in treatment settings are a set up for program liability, client splitting, pregnancy, affairs. In addition, these clients tend to become so focused on one another that they literally are not emotionally present for their own healing process. This talk- focused toward the treatment professional – is designed to examine the individual and group dynamics that tend to encourage and discourage sexual and romantic acting out in a residential treatment setting. We will also closely examine many well-intended behavioral interventions on these behaviors that are bound to fail- as well as some that are proven to work. Our goal here is to not simply eliminate problem behaviors, but rather to promote the personal growth of the involved individuals and in fact, the entire milieu.
Title: Sexual Evolution: Love and Sex Reformatted for the Digital Age or How We Got from Spin-the-Bottle to Sexting in a Single Generation.
As we continue our rapid cultural shift from our familiar analog world into the wild, wild digital one, sexual and relationship norms are changing. What defines sex, a relationship, dating, mating and even fidelity, (especially to a younger person today), is changing as meaningful and rapidly (if less visibly) now, as it did 50 years ago (via the sexual revolution of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s). This workshop is designed to offer a broad, but concrete overview of the changing face of human relationships and sexuality related to life online. The ‘new sexuality’ provoked in great part by the Millennials and Gen Y generations’ unlimited access to sexual information (and experience) will be introduced. Attendees will gain insight into related current trends in online sexuality, both positive and negative, along with problems faced by parents, employers and loved ones related to our now instantaneous Internet-driven access to intensely pleasurable sexual imagery and casual, anonymous sex. The session will briefly cover co-occurring disorders and differential diagnosis of sexual issues related to the Internet. The training will also make available further referral and training resources for those clinicians motivated to gain further knowledge, help and experience with our very human sexual evolution.