“Never Discuss Sex or Religion in the Workplace” (Unless of course, you are us…)

Blog CSCR 2.21.24

Rivki Chudnoff, MSPT is instructing her course,Sex and Religion: Treating Conservative Religious Patients on March 10, 2024. At her private practice Hamakom Physical Therapy in Bogota, NJ she focuses on women’s health and pelvic health rehabilitation for women and children where she uses a biopsychosocial approach to guide her patients through the many challenges that they encounter along their journey to healing. Rivki has written extensively on women’s health issues and has presented on pelvic health internationally to sex educators, at community events, and at marriage retreats.

We were taught growing up that it was not polite to discuss sex, politics, or religion in the workplace…and then we became pelvic health providers.

Well, there goes sex.

If we are doing it right, and taking a thorough patient intake, we have mastered our sexual interviewing skills. We know how to ask (when appropriate) about sexual function as it pertains to our patient’s pelvic health.

But what about religion? What about when our patient’s cultural and religious backgrounds are important parts of the self they bring into our treatment rooms? It may be shaping their approach to healthcare, sexual function, and perhaps their relationship and views of their own bodies and our treatment.

And, what about us?

What about the clinical self we bring into the treatment room? We are not quite AI just yet. We each come from unique backgrounds, beliefs, origin stories, and values of our own. How can we bring our best, most professional selves into the treatment room when addressing patients with backgrounds and beliefs that may be different from our own or what is familiar to us?

Where does that leave us as healthcare providers as we try to engage our patients in a way that is both culturally sensitive and clinically effective?

That’s a whole lot to figure out on our own even with our PT and OT degrees. Like, what’s the range of motion? Can someone please get me a goniometer?

Sex and Religion: Treating Conservative Religious Patients was developed to help pelvic health providers navigate these questions and challenges that are often unique to our profession.

While there are so many religions and cultures, each with a myriad of their own customs and ideologies, this course provides the basics of Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism as they pertain to sex and religious customs. Expert interviews included in this course provide an insider’s view into various religions' sexual attitudes and practices. We will explore some of the challenges that may face patients who come from conservative religious communities as they interface with the wild world of pelvic health. Participants will leave this course with practical skills for patient interviewing, treatment strategies, and creating a safe and comfortable space for both patients and providers.

It is my hope that this course will help both the seasoned and newer therapists open their skill sets to reach more diverse patient populations in their area.

But as for politics… I got nothing.

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