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Navigating the Ick Factor: Ethical and Practical Considerations in Assessing and Treating Potentially Problematic Sexual Interests and Behaviors
Description: Clinicians are often called upon to assess and treat problematic sexual interests and behaviors. However, strong emotional reactions, shifting cultural norms, and insufficient clinical training often result in professionals relying on subjective evaluative standards, rather than empirically-valid criteria, risking violating ethics and causing harm. Further, the influence of these subjective standards can result in unfair negative consequences for clients judged to be "deviant". This workshop will examine the ethical pitfalls in clinical decision-making and strategies for ethically-informed assessment and intervention.
Objective(s): At the conclusion of this workshop, participants will be able to: develop an understanding of how the Ick factor (i.e., disgust) influences clinical judgments regarding sexual interests and behavior; review the ethical principles (for psychology, social work, and counseling) that guide decision-making regarding the proper assessment and treatment of potentially problematic sexual interests and behaviors; gain awareness of empirical research regarding the prevalence of various potentially problematic sexual interests and behavior, and will learn how to apply this awareness to ethical assessment and treatment.