You are here

The Sage website, including online ordering services, will be unavailable due to system maintenance on June 14th from 6:00pm -12 midnight PDT. If you need assistance, please contact Sage at 
Thank you for your patience and we apologize for the inconvenience.
Sexuality Counseling

Sexuality Counseling
Theory, Research, and Practice

First Edition

January 2016 | 368 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
“Sexuality Counseling:  Theory, Research, and Practice is an important resource for mental health practitioners.  Sexuality is complex and rather than attempting to simplify, this book works within that complexity in a well-organized and comprehensive way.”  
- Alexandra H. Solomon, Northwestern University  

Providing a comprehensive, research- and theory-based approach to sexuality counseling, this accessible and engaging book is grounded in an integrative, multi-level conceptual framework that addresses the various levels at which individuals experience sexuality. At each level (physiological, developmental, psychological, gender identity and sexual orientation, relational, cultural/contextual, and positive sexuality), the authors emphasize practical strategies for assessment and intervention. Interactive features, including case studies, application exercises, ethics discussions, and guided reflection questions, help readers apply and integrate the information as they develop the professional competency needed for effective practice.

Series Editors’ Preface: Introduction to the Series, by Richard Parsons and Naijian Zhang
About the Authors
Chapter 1: Addressing Sexuality in Professional Counseling
Defining Sexuality

A Comprehensive, Contextual Framework for Understanding Sexuality

Professional Issues in Sexuality Counseling

Professional Competence in Sexuality Counseling

Ethical Considerations for Sexuality Counseling

Interdisciplinary Collaborations for Sexuality Counseling

Overview of the Remainder of This Book

Chapter 2: Assessment in Sexuality Counseling
General Assessment Strategies

Dimensions of Assessment in Sexuality Counseling


Appendix: Directory of Selected Instruments for Assessing Sexuality

Chapter 3: General Interventions and Theoretical Approaches to Sexuality Counseling
General Guidelines for Sexuality Counseling

Review of Approaches to Sexuality Counseling

Treatment for Specific Sexuality Concerns and Using Unique Treatment Modalities

Treatment Outcomes in Sexuality Counseling

Chapter 4: Physiology and Sexual Health
Overview of Physiology and Anatomy Related to Sexual Functioning

Safer Sex Practices

Physical Health Issues

Reproductive Health

Chapter 5: Lifespan Development and Sexuality
Sexuality Across the Life Cycle: An Overview

Sexuality in Childhood

Sexuality in Adolescence

Sexuality in Adulthood

Chapter 6: Sexuality and Mental Health
Sexual Decision Making

Sexual Implications of Mental Health Disorders

Substance Abuse and Sexuality

Sexual Dysfunctions

Sexual Trauma

Chapter 7: Gender Identity and Affectional/Sexual Orientation
Defining Gender Identity and Affectional/Sexual Orientation

Historical, Societal, and Cultural Context

Traditional Sexual Ideologies

Gender Identity

Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Affectional Orientations

Ethical Concerns in Working With LGBTIQQA Clients

Chapter 8: Sexuality and Intimate Relationships
The Dynamics of Couple Relationships

Integrating Sexuality Counseling With Couples Counseling

Sexuality Counseling for Specific Relationship Concerns

Chapter 9: Cultural and Contextual Influences on Sexuality
An Intersectional Approach to Understanding Culture and Sexuality

Religion and Sexuality

Race, Culture, Ethnicity, and Sexuality

Socioeconomic Status and Sexuality

Sexuality and Geographic and Regional Variations

Sexuality and the Media

Counseling Strategies for Addressing Cultural and Contextual Influences on Sexuality

Chapter 10: Positive Sexuality: A New Paradigm for Sexuality Counseling
Defining Positive Sexuality

Factors Supporting Positive Sexuality: Revisiting the Contextualized Sexuality Model

Benefits of Positive Sexuality

Counseling Strategies to Help Clients Foster Positive Sexuality

Epilogue: From the Author’s Chair

Sexuality Counseling:  Theory, Research, and Practice is an important resource for mental health practitioners.  Sexuality is complex and rather than attempting to simplify, this book works within that complexity in a well-organized and comprehensive way.”

Alexandra H. Solomon
Northwestern University

"[This is] a comprehensive, multimodal text that works to provide counseling students and those in the field of social work with practical skills to empower their clients to make positive changes in their sexual lives."

Matthew K. Siemionko
University of Utah

“An inclusive and coherent resource which will prove invaluable in preparing to work with clients concerned with issues of sexuality and intimacy.”

Sue Becker
Teesside University
Key features


  • Every chapter is comprised of information that is sound, evidence-based, and grounded in current literature to provide readers with the most accurate and up-to-date information.
  • Case studies and application exercises throughout the book bring concepts to life and give students an opportunity to apply what they learn to real-world situations.
  • A new Contextualized Sexuality Model, which presents a framework for understanding sexuality, helps professors plan their courses.
  • The book’s focus on the nature of professional identity, its value to the profession and the professional, and ways to further development of professional identity during professional practice provides students with valuable guidance they can use throughout their careers.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

Chapter 3

Sage College Publishing

You can purchase this book and request an instructor sample on our US College site:

Go To College Site

This title is also available on SAGE Knowledge, the ultimate social sciences online library. If your library doesn’t have access, ask your librarian to start a trial.