Winter Institute - Religion, Spirituality, and Sexual Health

2018 AASECT Winter Institute
Religion, Spirituality, and Sexual Health: Creating Deeper Understanding, Healing and Connection
January 18-21, 2018
Brown School, Washington University - St. Louis, MO

Register TODAY! 

Intersections of religion, spirituality and sexuality often create contact zones. A “contact zone” is a geological term denoting an area in which different minerals come into contact with each other during earthquakes or volcanoes and then vie and jostle for pre-eminence until things settle down. Often the result is the creation of a new third mineral.

Like the minerals in these contact zones, sexuality, religion and spirituality can collide, fight with, and transform each other – the topic of AASECT’s 2018 Winter Institute.  

The 2018 Institute will focus on how sexual health professionals can help their clients, patients or students grow at these intersections, and it includes these among its objectives:

By the end of the Institute, participants will be able to:

  • Describe didactic information and practical approaches needed to work effectively with students, patients, and clients who identify with Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, or Christianity.
  • Demonstrate working with matters of faith and understanding to promote healing in clients, patients and students.
  • Discuss with clients, patients, and students how to gain greater understanding of self, deeper interpersonal connection, and greater meaning from their lives. 
  • Teach how religion can be a resiliency factor that facilitates deeper sexual connection and passionate experience.
  • Strategize how to address some religions’ promotion of sexual shame and disconnection.  
  • This Institute will explore contradictory impacts of religion on sexual health—both those that open up to renewal and those that get in the way of what Audré Lorde has named “the erotic.”

In examining how adherents of different religions are encouraged to build on sexuality as a strength or to control and channel dangers assumed inherent in sexuality, the 2018 Winter Institute will foster respect for difference and motivation to work in ways that sustain different cultures.  

Topics range from various religions’ sexual values, sexological world views, similar and differing definitions of sexual health, ways of healing shame, and strengths and challenges in promoting sexual health. Finally, the Institute will explore best practices in working with religious or spiritual clients, patients, and students who want to integrate spiritual and/or religious values with sexual desires and practices.

Bringing together a collegial community of experts and participants to discuss and connect over four days, this Institute aims to discover new synergies that religion, spirituality and sexual health create.

For more information, please visit the Institute Website.

We look forward to seeing you in St. Louis!

Prem K. Pahwa and Eric M. Garrison

Institute Co-Directors

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