Saturday, July 2, 2011

How do you know what you know?

A philosophical branch of study is epistemology. It essentially asks, “How do we know what we know?” There is a direct application to the field of sexual compulsivity. Specifically, How do we know what we know about sexuality? For me, this also raises an implicit question, “How do we know whether ‘it’ is healthy/unhealthy sexuality?”

Stepping outside the details of epistemology (which are amazingly complex), my emphasis is to integrate a healthy dose of skepticism into therapy. The key is challenging the assumptions an individual has regarding any belief, value, opinion, thought, or conclusion. Throughout my work with clients, I will ask, “Says who?” “What’s underneath/before that?” “What else could it be?” and/or “What about….?”

The goal of these questions is to challenge the absolutism that appears to be present in the current culture regarding sexuality. Often it is the internalized absolutism that is the source of unneeded emotional pain. In my opinion, nowhere else do we still have such a dichotomy of right/wrong providing external pressure for individuals to conform.

No comments:

Post a Comment