Is there a light at the end of the long “tunnel” of my AASECT certification process? Possibly! I logged twelve delightful hours in a group supervision process which took place in Monterey this last weekend. For those who don’t know, AASECT is the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists, and represents a fairly large and visible group of professionals who work in this area.
While I am a board certified sexologist, through the American College of Sexologists, this does not have the same requirements as the AASECT certification. AASECT requires a certain amount of clinical supervision hours for each of their different categories. My supervisor is Stephen L, Braveman, MA, LMFT, DST, who does an immense amount of work with the trans community and with men who have been sexually abused.
Our group supervision was also lead by Dr. Stephanie Buehler, from Southern CA. Dr. Buehler is the western regional chair for AASECT and it was a pleasure to meet her in person at last.
The weekend was rich in learning opportunities and it will take me quite awhile to process and sort them all out. However, I was fascinated by the subtle differences between my training and orientation as a sexologist, and everyone else’s in psychology. Sexology – which focuses on human sexual behavior – does not immediately rush to pathology when confronted with unusual sexual behaviors. It may have been Alfred Kinsey who called it “the study of what people do and how they feel about it” – but I could also say that a large part of my orientation as a clinical sexologist also includes the old sixties creed, “if it feels good, do it!” Of course, that only applies within the boundaries of adult, consensual relationships.
I am afraid, however, that my normal “Hermoine Grainger” mode was in full swing – and I hope that my eagerness to absorb and share knowledge and insights was not too much of a trial to either AASECT supervisor, or to the rest of my group, who were truly phenomenal people and very gifted helping professionals.
Finally, I want to give a hearty “shout out” to Nickolas J. McDaniel, MA, who is a registered Marriage and Family Therapy intern who works closely with Stephen Braveman. He was extremely helpful and great fun – even searching out some great sources of “packers” for me that I might be able to pass on to a client. (If you don’t know what a “packer” is – google it!).