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Cultural Implications of Sex, Shame & Vulnerability

Course Date To Be Announced

Please check back or email info@pelvichealthsolutions.ca for more information

A strong therapeutic relationship is a required element for successful therapeutic outcomes. Shame, the intensely painful feeling of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging, can be a significant and often unnamed barrier to establishing these connections. Learn how to develop strong, trusting relationships by recognizing shame in both yourself and your clients. What we often think of as “resistant” or “challenging” clients may, in fact, be the expression of shame.


This knowledge will be considered as we explore the health care experience of specific marginalized groups. Homophobia, heterosexism and social determinants of health are barriers to health care for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) persons. Participants will come away with a deeper understanding of the unique health care needs of the LGBTQ community, through discussion of ideas such as gender and relationship to the body, the use of language, and communication skills for negotiating the health care interaction.


Further, cultural understanding of specific traditions/faith systems is also a key component to effective therapeutic relationships with regards to sexual expression within different cultures. Explore the cultural beliefs/traditions for Christians, Muslims, Jewish and Hindu faith systems within sexual expression.


Course objectives

  1. To develop an understanding of specific traditions/faith systems and their cultural expression of sex and intimacy
  2. To develop the knowledge and skills to improve the health care experience of individuals with different cultures/faith systems than your own. Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Hindu faith systems will be explored. Aboriginal culture as it pertains to sexual identity, roles and function will also be explored.
  3. To explore the physiological experience of shame and how it connects to physical pain.
  4. To understand the relationship between vulnerability, scarcity, shame and comparison
  5. Become aware of the defensive strategies clients (and ourselves) use to protect against shame and vulnerability and the impact this may have on behavioural health outcomes.
  6. Describe shame- resilience and learn how to walk through shame with courage, compassion and connection
  7. To develop an understanding of the health care needs of LGBTQ individuals, which will enable them to implement and to advocate for LGBTQ-positive change
  8. To develop the knowledge and skills to understand and improve LGBTQ health care delivery at a systemic level and at a clinical level


This course is open to all health care professionals – physiotherapists, physiotherapy students, physiotherapy assistants, occupational therapists, chiropractors, naturopathic doctors, massage therapists, registered kinesiologists, medical doctors, nurses and midwives.


Day 1: 1:30m-8:00pm

Day 2: 8:00am-4:00pm

Registration begins on the first day 15 minutes prior to the start time.

A few years in to my career focusing on pelvic physiotherapy, I have taken many of the amazing courses through Pelvic Health Solutions. There are 3 so far that have been instrumental in changing the way I think and treat as a physiotherapist in general: Clinical Skills for Treating Pain; Cultural Implications of Sex, Shame & Vulnerability; and The Fascial Connection to Restore Movement.  When I went to school for physiotherapy there was never a focus on the difference in treatment between patients with an acute injury, and those who have had symptoms for longer than a few months. There is a difference… and it is our duty as physiotherapists to assess for these differences and administer the proper avenue to help enhance quality of life. Most of our clients have had long-standing pain and functional changes, so even if your focus isn’t on pelvic health I highly recommend these courses early in your career!

– Jill M