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  • Social Work
Hours: 3 Contact Hours
Author(s): Elizabeth B. Russell, PhD, LCSW
Peer Reviewer(s): Doni P. Whitsett, MSW, PhD
Item#: B4229
Contents: 1 Course Book (64 pages)

Sexual Health Counseling, 2nd Edition

Price $29.95
Item # B4229
When available, the Online Course format is included with the hard copy, eBook, or audio book formats!

Release Date: May 23, 2016

Expiration Date: December 31, 2019

Clinicians must be prepared to approach discussions of sexual health in a professional, open, knowledgeable, and appropriate manner that allows clients to discuss their concerns without fear of shame or disapproval. However, research indicates that the majority of mental health providers do not receive any training in sexual health assessment or treatment.

This intermediate-level course describes ways of talking with clients about sexual topics and offers frameworks for sexual health assessment and models for intervention. The course discusses professional conduct and the importance of taking a proactive approach to a client’s sexual health. Theoretical perspectives are described, including the bio-psycho-social-cultural perspective, the sexual health model framework, and the ecological systems model of sexual health. Participants will learn about sexual development across the life span, including childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. Case vignettes used throughout the course depict common ways in which sexual health topics may arise in therapy sessions with clients in varying life stages. Topics specific to children are the psychosexual development theory, healthy sexual development, sexual orientation during childhood, and exposure to sexually explicit material.

The course provides information on sexual behaviors in children and adolescents and, in a useful chart format, differentiates behaviors that are normative from behaviors that are concerning. Clinical practices are discussed, such as determining conditions for treatment and gathering sexual health information. The discussion of sexual dysfunction and sex therapy treatment includes a description of the sexual response cycle. Sexual health diagnoses such as sexual abuse, gender dysphoria, sexual addiction and compulsions, and paraphilias are described. This course is designed for social workers, marriage and family therapists, mental health counselors, and other health specialists who seek to better assist clients with sexual health issues.

  • Social Workers will receive 3 (Clinical Content) continuing education clock hours upon successfully completing this course  Accreditations

New Jersey Social Workers – This course is approved by the Association of Social Work Boards - ASWB NJ CE Course Approval Program Provider #52 Course #1857 from 05/03/2018 to 05/03/2020. Social workers will receive the following type and number of credit(s): Clinical Social Work Practice 3

Course Objectives

  • Define sexual health and related terminology.
  • Describe theoretical perspectives of sexual health.
  • Differentiate sexual development at various life stages.
  • Identify ways for clinicians to address and assess clients’ sexual health.
  • Explain sexual health diagnoses and sex therapy treatments.


Elizabeth B. Russell, PhD, LCSW, is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Social Work at Nazareth College in Pittsford, New York, where she teaches courses on mental health practice and research. She received a doctorate of philosophy from the University of Rochester, New York; a master of social work degree from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; and a bachelor of science degree in human development and family studies from Cornell University. She has worked in a variety of practice settings, including as a case manager for the chronically mentally ill, clinical social worker and sex therapist in a university hospital outpatient setting, child therapist, and research consultant in several community projects. Her professional interests include sexual health, sex therapy, interpersonal practice, and evidence-based practice. Dr. Russell’s current research focuses on health professionals’ training in sexual health and their clinical practices. Dr. Russell has authored and coauthored several peer-reviewed journal articles and book reviews in the past ten years.


Doni P. Whitsett, MSW, PhD, is a clinical professor at the University of Southern California (USC) School of Social Work. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania State University in 1963, her master’s of science in social administration from Western Reserve University School of Applied Social Sciences in 1967, and her doctoral degree from USC in 1987. In addition to USC, Dr. Whitsett has taught at the University of California at Los Angeles School of Social Welfare and Peking University School of Sociology in Beijing, China. She has taught courses on human sexuality in clinical social work practice and human behavior in mental health settings. For many years she also taught the California Board of Behavioral Science’s 10-hour, state-required course on human sexuality. Dr. Whitsett also lectures and writes on the effects of cult involvement on mental health. She maintains a private practice in Los Angeles.

  • Courses must be completed on or before the expiration date noted in the course description above.
  • You must score 75% or higher on the final exam and complete the course evaluation to pass this course and receive a certificate of completion.
  • Through our review processes, Western Schools ensures that this course content is presented in a balanced, unbiased manner and is free from commercial influence. It is Western Schools’ policy not to accept commercial support.
  • All persons involved in the planning and development of this course have disclosed no relevant financial relationships or other conflicts of interest related to the course content.