The Other One Percent: Counselor Knowledge, Awareness, and Skills for Work with Asexual Identified Individuals
In 2004, Anthony F. Bogaert found that one percent of the population answered yes to the question "I have never felt sexually attracted to anyone" (p. 281), revealing the prevalence of asexuality in modern world. In the 13 years since Bogaert's study, scholarship surrounding the asexual populations has focused on defining and quantifying the orientation, but little has addressed asexuals' lived experiences and developmental and clinical needs. Counselors must respond to calls by scholars and the asexual community to become familiar with the unique developmental, systemic, and clinical concerns of an "invisible orientation" (Decker, 2014) whose very existence is routinely questioned and pathologized by those in the helping professions. This webinar will start by briefly reviewing foundational concepts related to asexual identities, sexual normativity/privilege, and common misconceptions about asexual populations. Then the bulk of the workshop will discuss what recent literature and the robust asexual online community tells clinicians about needs of the population and the assessments and interventions that will be useful when engaging in "ace"-affirming practice. Asexual identity development will be addressed. Participants will leave with practical book, online, academic literature, and film viewing suggestions for clinicians, clients, partners, families, and allies. Objectives for the Presentation (minimum of 3): At conclusion of webinar, participants will be able to: 1. Describe the definitions and constructs unique to the asexual population. 2. Understand and discuss sexual normativity, sexual privilege, the culture of compulsive sexuality, and the resulting marginalization of asexual individuals by the sexu-society. 3. Consider the recent shift in research towards qualitative inquiry and how this supports work done in wellness-minded and developmental paradigms. 4. View the uniquely robust online presence of the asexual community and what it tells us about the needs of the population, what interventions might be helpful for its members, and issues pertaining to identity development and research methodology. 5. Discuss and give feedback to the presenter's emerging model of identity development tasks useful for conceptualizing and creating goals with asexual clients. 6. Walk away with a handout with practical suggestions for literature, online resources, books, and films that can enhance continued development of affirming practice and serve as homework/bibliotherapy for future asexual-identifying clients, their partners, families, and allies.
Anyone may attend this workshop.