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People Are Not Taught That Sex Should Not Be Painful

People Are Not Taught That Sex Should Not Be Painful

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Mia Fine, MS, LMFT, CST, CIIP is the creator of the remote course, Sexual Interviewing for Pelvic Health Therapists. This course is for pelvic rehab therapists who want to learn tools and strategies from a sex therapist’s toolkit who works with patients experiencing pelvic pain, pelvic floor hypertonicity, and other pelvic floor concerns. Mia (they/she) is a student of Queer Theory, Intersectionality, and Social Justice and offers holistic, anti-oppressive, and trauma-informed therapy in the Seattle area.

As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Certified Medical Family Therapist and trained AASECT Certified Sex Therapist, Mia has clocked hundreds of hours in direct client contact, supervision, and consultation. She has also attended numerous sex therapy trainings, continuing education opportunities, and trains incoming sex therapists on current modalities and working with vulnerable client populations.

Sexuality is core to most human beings’ identity and daily experiences. Human beings are hard-wired for connection, intimacy, and pleasure. When there are concerns relating to our sexual identity, sexual health, and capacity to access our full potential, it affects our quality of life and holistic well-being. Practitioners who work with folks on issues of sexual health and decreasing sexual dysfunction are in the position to encourage awareness and healing. Mia shares, “Imagining a world where human beings don’t walk around holding shame or traumatic pain is imagining a world of health and happiness.”

Unwanted sexual pain often goes unaddressed because culture does not teach the interactions between feelings, relationships, and the body. Our society often tells us that there is something wrong with us, that we are defective, for wanting a healthy sex life and for addressing our human needs/sexual desires. People are not taught that sex should not be painful and that pain is our body giving us information that something is going on. It’s not uncommon that most people who experience sexual pain often feel as if they are broken. Mia’s favorite thing to say is that “No person is broken. Each and every one of us are uniquely special beings worthy of being loved and nurtured.”

Providers must be aware of their own biases and be introduced to the various sexual health resources available to providers and patients. Mia further stresses, "Always listen to your patient to understand what they are saying and feeling. Do not respond defensively. Remember that this can feel like a threatening situation for patients. It is vital that providers working with pelvic floor concerns have the necessary education and training to work with patients on issues of sexual dysfunction."

From a business standpoint, happy patients are more likely to return to your practice in the future, recommend your practice to their friends, and pay their bills on time and in full. Patients want to have quality interactions with a healthcare provider who cares about them. As a practitioner, your satisfied patient is more likely to make follow-up appointments and maintain their prescribed treatment plan, which can lead to more positive outcomes.

Sexual Interviewing for Pelvic Health Therapists offers current and empirically-founded sex therapy and sex education resources for both the provider as well as the patient. Mia will broaden your scope of competence in working with patients who experience forms of sexual dysfunction and who hope to live their full sexual lives. This course will add the extensive skills of interviewing for sexual health. It also offers the provider a new awareness and self-knowledge on their own blind spots and biases.

 

Check out Mia's interview with Holly Tanner on the Herman & Wallace YouTube Channel for more information on the course.


Sexual Interviewing for Pelvic Health Therapists - Remote Course


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Impactful Books for Therapists

Impactful Books for Therapists
Mia Fine

Mia Fine, MS, LMFT, CST, CIIP is the author and instructor of the Sexual Interviewing for Pelvic Health Therapists remote course scheduled for August 14-15, 2021. Mia’s specialties are sexual health concerns, eroticism, intimacy, alternative sex and relationships (kink/BDSM and non-monogamy), LGBTQIA+ genders/orientations/sexualities, and desire discrepancy. Her course Sexual Interviewing for Pelvic Health Therapists is intended for pelvic rehab therapists who want to learn tools and strategies from a sex therapist’s toolkit. Mia shares the following blog detailing some of the books that have influenced her.

As a science, psychology, somatics, and sexuality education nerd, books are my go-to psychoeducation sources. The books listed below are resources that I offer to my clients, send to family and friends for birthdays and holidays, and inform the work I do as a clinical supervisor, professor, and therapist. I’m excited to share some of my favorites that might help you and the patients with whom you work.

A prerequisite for anyone with a vulva (or who is partnered with someone with a vulva) is the book Come As You Are written by Emily Nagoski. Before a therapeutic intake session, I invite my clients who have vulvas to read this book. It is important to me that my clients and I share the same language that is offered in this fabulous resource. Nagoski illustrates the Dual Control Model for sexual arousal, interest, and desire in ways that are accessible and digestible for all. When clients understand the difference between Spontaneous Arousal and Responsive Arousal, and why these happen, and when, it is a game-changer for them and their partner. This book is a must for anyone who works with pelvic floor pain. And excitingly, these topics will be covered in my upcoming Herman & Wallace course!

The Politics of Trauma written by Staci Haines (also the author of Healing Sex) is a deep dive into, well, the politics of trauma. In this book, she explores the somatic experiences we humans have when we are activated. Her detailed description of fight, flight, freeze, fawn, and dissociate is nothing short of brilliant. This book is a must for those who are interested in exploring the impact that social justice, racial justice, transformative justice, and restorative justice have on our lived experiences of trauma.

The Body is Not An Apology is another brilliant book by Sonya Renee Taylor. It highlights the many effects of the “isms and obias” (such as Sexism, Racism, Fat-phobia, Transphobia) embedded in our everyday life and how identifying these frees us of the barriers they place on our quality of life. The isms and obias she explores impact the way we view ourselves, talk to ourselves, and relate to others. This book is incredibly inspiring, as is the author, Sonya Renee Taylor.

Additional books I love, many of which are written by close friends and colleagues include:

  • Trans Sex by Lucie Fielding
  • Wild Side Sex: the Book of Kink by Midori
  • Gender Trauma by Alex Iantaffi
  • Polyvagal Exercises for Safety and Connection by Deb Dana
  • Becoming Cliterate by Laurie Mintz
  • Better Sex Through Mindfulness by Lori A. Brotto
  • The Art of Giving and Receiving: The Wheel of Consentby Betty Martin, Robyn Dalzen

These books have improved, and informed, my therapeutic work with clients and are recommendations I offer on a weekly, if not daily, basis. For additional resources, check out my website:https://miafinetherapy.com/. I look forward to exploring more comprehensive and accessible resources with you at my upcoming course Sexual Interviewing for Pelvic Health Therapists remote course scheduled for August 14-15, 2021!

 

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Upcoming Continuing Education Courses

Mobilization of the Visceral Fascia 2: The Reproductive System of Men and Women - Medford, OR Satellite Location

May 13, 2022 - May 15, 2022
Location: Asante Rogue Valley Medical Center

Mobilization of the Visceral Fascia 2: The Reproductive System of Men and Women - Cranford, NJ Satellite Location

May 13, 2022 - May 15, 2022
Location: Ivy Rehab Physical Therapy (Cranford, NJ)

Mobilization of the Visceral Fascia 2: The Reproductive System of Men and Women - Ottawa, ON Satellite Location

May 13, 2022 - May 15, 2022
Location: BodyWork Physiotherapy and Massage Clinic

Pediatric Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders - Remote Course

May 14, 2022 - May 15, 2022
Location: Remote Course

Pelvic Floor Level 1 - Self-Hosted

May 14, 2022 - May 15, 2022
Location: Self-Hosted Course

Pelvic Floor Level 2A - Lansdale, PA Satellite Course

May 14, 2022 - May 15, 2022
Location: Ivy Rehab (Lansdale, PA)

Pelvic Floor Level 2A - Self-Hosted

May 14, 2022 - May 15, 2022
Location: Self-Hosted Course

Pelvic Floor Level 2A - Charlotte, NC Satellite Course

May 14, 2022 - May 15, 2022
Location: Ivy Rehab HSS Physical Therapy Center of Excellence

Pelvic Floor Level 2A - Omaha, NE Satellite Course

May 14, 2022 - May 15, 2022
Location: Nebraska Medicine

Pelvic Floor Level 1 - NYC - Flatiron, NY Satellite Location (SOLD OUT)

May 14, 2022 - May 15, 2022
Location: 5 Point Physical Therapy - Flatiron

Pelvic Floor Level 2A - Washington, DC Satellite Course

May 14, 2022 - May 15, 2022
Location: The George Washington University Hospital

Pelvic Floor Level 2A - Columbia, MO Satellite Course

May 14, 2022 - May 15, 2022
Location: Boone Hospital Center

Pelvic Floor Level 1 - Garden City, KS Satellite Location

May 14, 2022 - May 15, 2022
Location: Accelacare Physical Therapy

Pelvic Floor Level 1 - Gadsden, AL Satellite Location

May 14, 2022 - May 15, 2022
Location: TherapySouth Gadsden

Pelvic Floor Level 1 - Waterford, CT Satellite Location

May 14, 2022 - May 15, 2022
Location: Lawrence and Memorial Hospital

Pelvic Floor Level 2A - Jacksonville, NC Satellite Course

May 14, 2022 - May 15, 2022
Location: Peak Performance Sports & Physical Therapy - Jacksonville NC

Pelvic Floor Level 1 - Woodbury, NY Satellite Location

May 14, 2022 - May 15, 2022
Location: STARS Rehabilitation - Woodbury

Pelvic Floor Level 2A - Orange City, FL Satellite Course

May 14, 2022 - May 15, 2022
Location: Direct Physical Therapy - Orange City

Pelvic Floor Level 2A - El Paso, TX Satellite Course

May 14, 2022 - May 15, 2022
Location: Border Physical Therapy

Bowel Pathology and Function - Remote Course

May 15, 2022 - May 16, 2022
Location: Remote Course

Biofeedback for Pelvic Muscle Dysfunction - Leesburg, VA Satellite Location

May 15, 2022
Location: Shenandoah University Division of Occupational Therapy

Biofeedback for Pelvic Muscle Dysfunction - Self-Hosted

May 15, 2022
Location: Self-Hosted Course

Biofeedback for Pelvic Muscle Dysfunction - Wichita Falls, TX Satellite Location

May 15, 2022
Location: Wichita Falls Regional Airport

Rehabilitative Ultrasound Imaging: Orthopedic Topics - Self-Hosted

May 20, 2022 - May 21, 2022
Location: Self-Hosted Course