I offer in-service trainings, personal coaching and case discussion group sessions for teachers, trainers and youth educators as well as counsellors, integration workers, health workers, social workers, job consultants, sexual supervisors, and disability consultants.

On these occasions professionals can get:

– sex and gender related information

– gain a better understanding of sexuality in their professional life

– encourage their self-development and communication skills

What is sex in a professional context?

Sex is not just something embodied or physical. Emotions and values are also always involved. Moreover, our daily sexuality is deeply embedded in our culture. Everything is related to sexuality – even the things we considered to be natural. The flesh and the desire, our sexual relations and our identities are dependent on the culture we carry with us. Culture tells us what is visible and what is not, what is allowed and what is not.

Sexuality is not only an explicit subject of discussion, but it is also present in every human interaction, even in the most professional and erotically-neutral situations. We cannot suspend our body, gender, attraction or sexual orientation. We cannot forget about them for a second. They are present even when we try to make a deliberate effort to ignore them. It makes little sense to ask if this is good or bad, as ubiquity is an absolutely natural and unavoidable characteristic of sexuality.

But what happens if we don’t reflect on it? We still live the situation we still react in certain ways and thus we effect even the most simple social interactions. Intercultural competence in the domain of sexuality is less about being fluent in all kinds of sexual cultures, and more about the continuous attention given to self-reflection.

Aim of the session: The aim of these sessions is to provide information about the subtle ways sexual diversity and sexual cultures manifest themselves in everyday life. This requires us to go beyond the safe, theoretical “meta-discourses” of sexuality.

Length of the session: depending on the number of participants this session requires approx. 90-120 min.

The role of the professional – Discover our boundaries!

In a work situation a supporting professional usually tries to take the position of the neutral expert. But at the same time, he or she is present as a man or a woman, with a body and a soul, with all of his or her emotions, values and prejudices. The professional identity offers a mask, from under which we rarely consider talking to the other party as an equal, since it is the other who needs help, counsel, healing, and answers. The ability to professionally self-reflect enables us to examine ourselves in each and every situation when we are with a ‘client’. The aim of this approach is not to guarantee the lack of conflict, or promise a smooth resolution to every conflict and misunderstanding. Rather it helps us to understand our own limits, helps us to say yes or no, and helps us to reduce our own uncertainties in situations when we do not understand why the other is so different.

Aim of the session: to facilitate reflection on the difficulties of dealing with or explicitly talking about sexual topics. How can you define and communicate your personal boundaries when you are somehow “forced” to talk about sexuality?

Skills being developed during the session: Awareness and sensitivity to our own body boundaries. Improving communication about sex. Being able to set boundaries. Overcoming embarrassment.

Length of the session: depending on the number of participants 60-90 minutes.

We and our clients – working in a multicultural environment

Working with clients from various ethnic and cultural backgrounds means that we have to reach across cultures. Intercultural empathy and respect is mobilized to overcome the communication challenges and the norms that traditionally regulate the communication of the body in specific contexts. But culture – and multiculture – is more than the traditions and norms one carries with oneself from home. It includes the differences in living conditions, lifestyles, needs and affinities based on age, gender, socio-economic class, socio-cultural life, education and profession, sexual orientation, state of health, physical and mental resources, faith and religion, political beliefs, etc.

In this case we, as professionals, operate at the intersection of culture (formal and informal institutions) and the body (coming from and still embedded in other formal and informal institutions).

In that work the professional might feel the need to deepen their knowledge and understanding of body-related, non-formalized (non-institutionalized) dimensions of the lives of their clients and the needs that arise from them.

Aim of the session: To create awareness of how the concept of cultural identity reflects both differences and similarities. To share knowledge of the cultural, economic and social factors that play a role in the sexuality of both the our clients and us, as professionals (concept of body, sexuality, sex-work, gender roles, etc.). To facilitate reflection on the ways culture is embedded in our bodies and vice versa.

Skills being developed during the session: Awareness of our own values and their “embodiment”. Developing awareness about the importance of the contextual approach to the concept of culture.

Length of the session: Depending on how deep we want to go, it can take from 2 hours to 4 hours or it might be a continuous discussion integrated in regular follow-up activities with the staff. In an ideal setting this session might include a field trip to any of the places or countries where the clients originally came from.

What do we think and feel about prostitution – training for professionals in the sex-industry

Prostitution is situated in the intersection of multiple areas of sexuality, and it always goes beyond sexuality proper. Legislation, social politics, health, urban management, security policy, economics, migration policy, human trafficking all have to deal with the different aspects of, and the often conflicting interests around prostitution.

Our personal attitudes, values, beliefs are not necessarily in harmony with our professional obligations. For this reason, in our work we wear the mask of professional identity, and we use that to create the necessary detachment and professional distance. But often this mask is not able to completely separate the personal from the professional.

Aim of the session:

To achieve a better understanding how do our personal values impact our professional work; how our professional work has an impact our personal values, personal lives;  how we can become more aware of those explicit and implicit influences; how we do and how we shall communicate about our work and about ourselves with various stake holders (partners, colleagues), and beyond work: with family members, friends.

Discussed topics (flexible, based on participants needs)

Participants have the opportunity to share their opinion and feelings in a safe environment about questions/issues like:

  • The different professional  perspectives of prostitution;
  • Our personal and professional vision about sexwork;
  • Sex-worker versus victim? What do we think about people working in the sex industry?;
  • How can we, professionals (coming from different professional areas) can best work together? Can we share our personal and professional opinion with each other? Do we understand each other? Is it possible for the different views on prostitution to get heard within your team of colleagues? Do we need to make a consensus on specific issues and what kind? To what extent is needed to share our opinions and feelings with each other to be able to reach a safely maintainable level of co-operation?
  • Where is safety and unsafety in our work? What do we think about the necessity of safety in our work?
  • What do we miss, what do we need in our work?

Length of the session: Depending on how deep we want to go, it can take from 2 hours to 4 hours or it might be a continuous discussion integrated in regular follow-up activities with the staff. In an ideal setting this session might include a field trip to any of the places or countries where the clients originally came from.

Currently I live and work in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, but I do projects and have clients from more than a dozen countries in Europe. If you are thinking of giving such trainings in your organization I invite you to get in touch. Let’s find out what you need and what I can offer you!

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