AASECT Certified Therapist Spotlight - Kristin Marie Bennion, LCSW, CST
AASECT Certified Therapist Kristin Marie Bennion, LCSW, CST answers a few questions for the Certified Therapist Spotlight:
1. Can you give us a quick rundown of what keeps you busiest these days?
What keeps me the busiest these days is, by far, being the owner and founder of Intimate Connections Counseling in Orem, Utah where I provide therapeutic and educational services addressing the spectrum of sexuality concerns, intimate relationships, the intersection of faith and sexuality and eating disorders.
2. Why was it important to you to become AASECT Certified?
In my quest to do my part in bringing sound sexual and mental health resources to my community, I looked at various organizations that provide similar certifications. It was important to me to be affiliated with and certified through an organization that I respect and could provide me with access to incredible mentors and training opportunities. It quickly became apparent to me, at the time, that it was unlikely that I would find those opportunities anywhere other than AASECT.
3. How has your relationship with AASECT affected your career?
It has been the single most influential relationship with a professional organization thus far in my career. It's rigorous training requirements, particularly clinical supervision, were no doubt just what I needed to give me the clarity, confidence and direction needed to take the leap of leaving full-time employment, open my own private practice, and begin contributing messages of sexual health through local media outlets.
4. As a certified member, how would you like to be of service to AASECT? To your community? To promoting sexual health and sexual rights for all?
I currently live and work primarily with a religiously conservative clientele. Overtime, I would like to be involved in comprehensive research related to the female sexual experience of those who consider themselves connected to a conservative family and/or community. Various categories I would like to explore are women’s relationships to their own genitalia, sexual pleasure, orgasm, sexual desire, use of sexual enhancement products, migrating tension between spirituality and sexuality, religious affiliation and clergy involvement. It would be my hope that the research could only contribute to an improved, more sexually healthy community by providing individuals, clinicians, medical providers and educators with accurate information.
5. What do you wish you knew when you were starting out that you know now?
To collect all of my syllabi from university courses and conference outlines/certificates and to be plugging them into the requirements right from the beginning! :)
6. What do you like the most about the field at this point?
I love the wide range of fascinating people this field tends to bring together. This is such an exciting time in the field of sexual health. You can sense the positive and dedicated energy anytime you interact with fellow sexuality educators, counselors, and therapists. It makes me proud to simply be affiliated.
7. Do you have any tips that might be of interest to educators, counselors and/or therapists?
Travel often, have lots of orgasms, and don't take the battles on the listserv too seriously. It's all that dedicated energy that we can all still learn so much from!
8. Is there anything else you would like to share with colleagues?
If I have learned anything, it’s that there is and will always be more to learn. I am now to a point where the possibility of what I have yet to learn is exciting, and I look forward to further developing my understanding of sexuality. I am dedicated to doing my part in providing accessible information to the public, not only through media presentations and workshops but also through research and publications. I am excited to continue doing more of my part in bringing more access to sound sexuality research, education and therapeutic resources to our community.