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HOW WOULD YOU RESPOND TO THE QUESTION: "What would make your life more fulfilling?"

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Lindsey shows you what a first appointment with a Clinical Sexologist might look like and lets you in on a few ideas, thoughts, and revelations she's had.

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Host: Dr. Lindsey Doe

Directing/Filming/Editing: Nicholas Jenkins

Titles: Michael Aranda

Executive Producer: Hank Green


I'd like to show you what the first session of clinical sexology would look like. "Hi, come on in."

[Sexplanations theme]

  Statement of General Terms and Conditions

It starts with establishing rapport and then some intake paperwork. The first sheet is what's called a Statement of General Terms and Conditions. This explains what's gonna happen. I'll summarize it for you.

I'm a doctor of human sexuality and a certified clinical sexologist; I also have degrees in psychology and health and human performance. I work with clients, partners, individuals and families on their sexual health issues and sexual health goals. To do this I use a client centered approach and Jack Annon's PLISSIT model. Which you know. 

My intention is to provide a clean, safe and confidential environment for you to explore your sexuality.

  Fee Schedule

This next section is a Fee Schedule. This explains what I charge per hour, and if we go above time. It also has a sliding fee scale, which means the less you make, the less you are charged. 

 Client Rights

This third section is Client Rights. Everything that you are entitled to as my client. For example, you are entitled to independent, professional judgment and undivided loyalty uncompromised by conflicts of interest.

You are entitled to be kept informed as to the status of your matter, and to request and receive copies of papers. Meaning I'll give you all the notes I take on our sessions. And the last one, you may not be refused service for any reason, unless you are mean to me. 

If you agree to these terms and conditions, then there are two copies for you to sign. One for each of us.

 Confidential Client Information  Form

The next form is a Confidential Client Information Form. This is all your demographic information: the way I get in contact with you so that if something comes up like a sexual finesse workshop that I think you'd really benefit from I can call you, email you, get you there. Once you've filled this out, I take it back.

It's more efficient for me to ask the questions and write the notes, than for you to write them out and give them back for me to read, and then, blah.

So I ask, what are your physical health challenges? And I explain to the person that the reason why I'm asking about their physical health, their emotional health and mental health, is because you are an entire higher person. Not just your sexuality, and if I don't have a context for that, then we don't progress the way we could.

Take for example things like: addiction, a death in the family, a heart murmur. Those are going to affect somebodies sexuality and I want that context. So I ask about: back, neck, arm pain, headaches, weight, energy, sleep, and disease. I ask about medical problems other doctors have diagnosed. I want to know about their grief, stress, fears, depressions, memory, their focus and learning difficulties.

After that we to the sexual health issues. I ask clients what the top three issues they want to discuss in our sessions are. This is a way of setting measurable objectives to make sure we are doing something in the sessions, but it's not all we're doing. It's a starting point. And often clients only come up with two out of the three, we'll add something like communication for good measure.

Then I ask is missing from your life, what would make it more fulfilling. You'd be surprised by what answers come from this. What do you believe is the role of your clinical sexologist in addressing these issues? I wanna know, and it's really helpful the information that people give me. It lets me know what their expectations are of me. 

What I learn and what I think clients learn about themselves is that often they are not looking to be fixed, they are looking to be heard. And then I squeeze one question in: is there anything else you want me to know? This may be a place where people let me know: they have herpes, they've had an abortion, or maybe they identify as poly.

After that we start with a fresh white page, because I want to know as much as I can about the person's unique sexuality. At the end of the hour I assign homework to the client, and ask the client to assign homework to me. This keep things efficient. Us doing things when we're not on the clock.

And then, I schedule the next appointment and we say goodbye.

On another, but related note the project for awesome is going on right now. Please let us know in the comments what videos are related to sexual health so we can make sure to support them. And finally, stay curious.