It has been reported that 2 million people crowded the streets of Chicago to celebrate the Blackhawks winning the Stanley Cup. I know I’m arriving late, but I head up this next week to join the celebration (and to teach a summer elective at Wheaton College). I can’t say a lot about the celebration; I’ll probably just join in during mid-flow (with whoever is left celebrating). Save me a slice of deep-dish pizza!
What about the class I’ll be teaching? I am teaching Sexuality and Sex Therapy, a graduate level course for students in the MA and PsyD programs in Clinical Psychology. The course begins with a review of several foundational perspectives on sexuality: theological, sociocultural, biological, and clinical. The last perspective, clinical, provides a transition to specific issues students will be dealing with in practice. We then cover various specific dysfunctions (e.g., dyspareunia), the paraphilias and paraphilic-related disorders (or “addictions”), gender identity issues, and sexual identity issues.
One goal of a course like this is to help future clinicians feel more comfortable talking about sexuality-related issues in clinical practice. Another, goal, of course, is to add to their understanding of specific issues that they may be working with in the future. It has also been important to learn to think rigorously about the various issues from a Christian worldview. In any case, it is an important area for the church today and for the broader culture, and I think students appreciate the opportunity to reflect on these issues.