The Australasian Institute of Sexual Health Medicine Conference

I had the good fortune to attend this conference on the weekend. I was lucky enough to be invited by my friend Alison Richardson who happens to be a Director of the Australasian Institute of Sexual Health Medicine (AISHM). Alison has had an illustrious career and is an experienced sexual health and relationships counsellor and educator.

Click here to read on about the topics – Sex in the Media, Men with Low Sexual Desire, Sex Addict Partners and more…

It is always great to be able to keep in touch with the latest developments and thinking in the area of sexual health and counselling therapy. AISHM certainly provided this for me and the many attendees!

The air and energy was buzzing with the generated interest and reflection from fellow psychologists, doctors, sex therapists, sexologists and relationship counsellors.

I met with a fellow ego state therapy practitioner Jan Sky who is taking Ego State theory innovation into the corporate arena.

Jan Sky has developed a model using ego state therapy as a team’s process called Executive State Identification – ESI Teams. Here using ESI she identifies the problem, why it’s a problem, how it impacts on the workplace and how things can be improved by having the right ego state in executive at the right time in the work setting.

Well done Jan. She has written an Ego State book on her model – 7 Strategies for developing positive change to achieve your goals.

Richelle Hampton’s book The Divorce Navigator, How to save tears, time and money is a very practical handbook for those having to negotiate divorce and separation.

Sadly even a relationships therapist needs to have good resources such as these to refer people too. I am all for couples using mediation and all the help available for an ‘amicable divorce‘ as the research clearly shows this is in the best interests of the children.

Alison Richardson’s previous career as a journalist and teacher shone through in her presentation “Sex in the media“. Alison was a prestigious media specialist in the UK who has taken up the opportunity to become a dedicated sex and relationship therapist. She highlighted the vital role news media have in disseminating information and how that information is often subject to the bias of sensationalism with a potential loss of accuracy. A terrific and thought provoking presentation, thanks Alison Richardson a Director of AISHM.

It was pleasing to hear Brett McCann (sex counsellor, supervisor and educator) talk about “Sex Addict Partners” a fellow Director of AISHM. For too long those who act act sexually have been the focus of treatment and therapy, ignoring the experience of their partners. While there is debate on the term sexual addiction it is a useful concept for people to use in terms of compulsive and perceived uncontrollable sexual behaviours.

Here the imbalance was addressed with Brett speaking of his preference and extensive knowledge of working with both sex addicts and their partners. I would wholeheartedly agree both partners need to be actively involved and included in treatment for effective resolution.

We were also lucky to have  the Australian National University Associate Professor Frank Bongiorno presenting the  “History of Sexology in Australia.” With Frank writing “The Sex lives of Australians“, he is well qualified to speak on this fascinating topic.

I was also keen to attend Dr Mandy Goldburn’s topic “Sex after Cancer.”
Having written my thesis on the impacts of cancer on partners’ sexual communication, it was pleasing to hear Dr Goldburn note the diagnosis of cancer is devastating to the person and their loved ones, who are often forgotten by the medical community.

The partners I interviewed felt they had very little voice and they and their partner where not adequately informed of the potential drug/chemotherapy treatment side effects and the negative impact on a couples sexuality.

Dr Goldburn noted several advances that attempt to minimise the invasiveness of treatment – namely the lumpectomy in breast cancer and hormonal and localised treatment of prostrate cancer. Dr Goldburn advocated more research for cancer survivors post breast cancer and their partners. Hear, hear, Dr Goldburn!

Premature Ejaculation is a vexing medical condition for many men and their partners. I was surprised to see the latest chemical arsenal in the treatment of sexual conditions.  Priligy increases the time to ejaculation its brochure promises. Priligy has dapoxetine the active ingredient which is the selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) group of medicines.

In the advertising pamphlet it says it works by increasing the serotonin which may extend the time to ejaculation by slowing the pathways in the body that are linked to premature ejaculation.

Great news for those in need. I would be interested in hearing from people about the results they have experienced with this drug. I always like to hear first hand people’s experiences before I recommend things.

Well it was an exceptionally informative day and filled to capacity – they will need a larger venue to fulfil all the interest the AISHM conference generated next year!

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