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Continuing Education

Sex, Religion and Spirituality in the Therapy Room: The Ethics of Socially Just Integration

Date: 9:00am - 4:00pm PST November 9 Location: Lewis & Clark Graduate School, South Chapel

Lewis & Clark Graduate School, South Chapel

Psychotherapy research increasingly indicates that religion and spirituality can both positively and negatively influence personal well-being and couple and family relationships. Yet resources on how to specifically navigate the ethical challenges of supporting spiritually and religiously healing practices while challenging hurtful practices remains lacking. This work becomes even more complex when presenting concerns involve sexual issues and dysfunction.

This presentation: 1.) offers a socially just framework for assessing the relational impact of religious and spiritual practices and 2.) explores a spectrum of religious/spiritual discernment for helping clients create their own sexual ethics and sexual health model.

These integrative interventions assume clinicians: 1.) must understand the ethical implications and possible societal inequities of clients’ specific beliefs and practices, 2.) need a strong understanding of their own social location and need to process personal experiences and biases related to sex, spirituality and religion, and 3.) cannot be neutral and need an ethical framework for how to use their therapeutic power to integrate sex, religion and spirituality in the therapy room.

Participants will learn to navigate the ethical tensions around how to integrate sexual health with healing beliefs through a socially just approach rooted in curiosity about personal, relational and social impact.

Workshop Details & Registration

Date: Saturday, November 9, 2019, 9 a.m.- 4 p.m.
Instructor: Elisabeth Esmiol Wilson, PhD

Cost: $125 before 10/16, $150 after. Includes 6 CEUs. Lewis & Clark Alumni save 20%. $50 student rate.

Register now

  • We are committed to making our events accessible to all needs and abilities. When registering, let us know your access needs. Please contact us at 503-768-6040 or cce@lclark.edu with questions.

    Please note: Student registrations are for current students only and do not include continuing education credit (CEU/PDUs)


About the Instructor

Dr. Elisabeth Esmiol Wilson is an Associate Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington. Dr. Wilson has an undergraduate degree from Harvard University, a seminary degree in Spiritual Formation and Soul Care from Talbot Seminary and earned her Ph.D. in MFT from Loma Linda University. Her research focuses on couples’ experiences of gender, power and spirituality and on clinical training issues including attending to larger contextual issues and integrating client feedback into treatment. She has published journal articles, book chapters, and co-edited a 2018 book, Socially Just Religious and Spiritual Interventions: Ethical Uses of Therapeutic Power, on these topics. Dr. Wilson is an AAMFT Approved Supervisor, is completing her AASECT Certification as a Sex Therapist, continues to offer spiritual direction, and runs an active sex positive private practice focusing on sexual, spiritual, and relational issues in therapy.