Sunday, December 13, 2009

Attitude of Gratitude: Sexual Health Mentors

A brief self-disclosure on a blog that is usually focused on clinical issues. I had a fortunate privilege to share brunch with one of my mentors, Eli Coleman. I take away two thoughts as I reflect on the experience.

First, everything I bring to the conversation is built on the shoulders of others. It is not possible for me to move the conversation on sexual health forward without the mentorship, support and encouragement from others. For those who don't know, Eli Coleman is the Director of the Program in Human Sexuality at the University of Minnesota. He was my adviser for my PHD, and wrote a generous preface to my book. He, along with others, has been part of my journey in this realm since 1993. In the 16 years, I remain inspired and encouraged.

Second, I'm aware of the isolation that occurs in this field. The cultural bias against talking about sexuality is powerful, even for myself. Answering the question "What do you do for a living?" leads to a reaction of hesitancy and anxiety (aka fear) by those asking the question. (I have a new appreciation of the difficult clients experience when I push for disclosure.) The implication of this "new" revelation affirms the need for all of us to talk about sexuality. I affirm my need to reach out and talk with peers for support, encouragement and affirmation.


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