“You study what?”
This was the response from family in friends when I told them I was investigating programs of study as a Sexologist. Some were amused. Some were confused. My more conservative family were concerned. However, once I explained what I would be doing (it’s talk therapy) and the desperate need for more Sexologist in the country, concern and confusion turned to curiosity and questions. Here are just a few:
What is Sexology?
Sexology is the study of human sexuality. This can include sexual interests, relationships, identity and function. Sexologist need to have professional knowledge of psychological, sociological and biological implications involved in all things sex. Through our expertise, we help clients to have healthy sexuality through 1 to 1, couple, and group sessions.
Why do you want to study sex?
I have never been embarrassed about talking about sex. I find it fascinating. I have a strong interest in diversity and identity. I strongly value the idea that sexual health is a right that should be protected. I grew up in conservative Mississippi. People that were openly sexually diverse were ridiculed, discriminated against and abused. As the daughter of civil rights activists, I could not tolerate this. I would often find myself standing with the LGBT community both openly in defence and as the keeper of their secrets. I also saw a great injustice in the “slut shaming” mentality that I was raised in. A girl’s worth was placed solely on her virginity as though, once she lost it, she was soiled and devalued. I did not understand how the choice to have sex defined whether or not someone was of value. Before I knew it was a profession, I knew I wanted to offer assistance to those that were struggling with areas of sexuality. Sexuality is such a huge part of the human identity. People should have a right to a healthy identity in all aspects of their life…. sex included.
Do you have to touch people?
No. No… and No. A sexologist does not have sex with, touch, or even look at a client’s genitalia. Sexologists use psycho-education and therapeutic intervention. It is actually against our governing body’s Code of Ethics to touch our clients.
Why did you choose CICS?
This is a more detailed answer. My initial training was in Psychology. I loved studying human behaviour. However, one thing really frustrated me. As I learned about all of the different schools of thought on therapeutic techniques, I saw value in them all. I could see how the Humanistic approach would help some and CBT others. Many people might benefit from a Psychodynamic approach whilst others would be more receptive to NLP. As I was looking to apply for grad school, I had to choose one school of thought and run with it. That just didn’t sit right with me. How could one area be right and all the others wrong when each school of thought had thousands of studies showing positive results in the lives of clients? I chose to do my therapeutic training in Hypnotherapy and NLP as they seemed more inclusive.
My main concern when choosing to specialise in Sexology was to make sure I had enough knowledge to know what my remit entailed. I wanted to have an understanding of the mechanics of the body and the mind. I wanted to make sure that I knew enough about the biological side of sexology to refer to a medical professional when appropriate. I also knew that there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to sex therapy interventions. I wanted to find a training that would prepare me with enough tools to give assistance to those looking to improve the health of their sexuality.
As I met with Julie for my interview, (Julie Sale, Course Director), two things stood out to me about the philosophy behind CICS.
The learning took a Bio-Psycho-Social approach. Students on this course will come out the other side with a firm understanding of all aspects of sex and how it effects a person’s life.
Pluralism is the school of thought behind the therapeutic interventions. Pluralism acknowledges that there are many schools of thought that have developed many strategies that may help clients. Intervention is based on the NEEDS OF THE CLIENT rather than the school of thought that developed it. Finally! This is a place to study that does not lose itself in the vanity of being in the “right” school of thought. I knew this was for me.
What is sex school like?
Yes, my friends are calling it sex school. We learn so much from a Bio-Psycho-Social perspective. I’ll never forget one thing Dr. Ali (Dr Alireza Tabatabaie, Course Director), taught on our first week, when discussing sex versus gender. He said “Sex is what happens to be between your legs. Gender is what happens between your ears. We are here to understand both.” This statement really stuck with me. Applied more broadly, I am in class to understand a holistic approach to sexuality.
We have such a diverse group. We have an Andrologist, several therapists (some in training), even a vicar! We quickly got used to talking about sex (including proper and slang terms). We seem to have gelled well and are developing close professional relationships and friendships.
Our tutors are fantastically gifted. Ali and Julie have so many letters behind their names that I don’t even know if I could list them! They are open to questions and feedback. They are also very good at understanding the feel of the room and often stop for clarification before we have a chance to ask it. They are kind and supportive. They are also available to assist with further career development after graduation. Julie and Ali are truly invested in the success of their students.
Are you glad you are doing this?
Whenever a person is able to follow their calling, they made the right decision. I have never doubted the decision to get my education with CICS. I am so excited to begin my placement in the autumn where I will be working with clients to apply the skills I have learned. My level of professional knowledge has been fostered and tailored to meet the needs of an ever growing population. CICS has provided not only a foundation, but a scaffold of learning so that I can deepen my skill set even after finishing the course. For me, CICS is the right school at the right time with the right tutors and the right information.
Sign up for the CICS Diploma in Sexology here>>