Counseling Couples Before, During, and After Pregnancy:
Sexuality and Intimacy Issues
Stephanie Buehler MPW, PsyD, CST-S
Dr. Stephanie Buehler is a psychologist and AASECT-certified sex therapist who has worked with hundreds of men, women, and couples over nearly twenty years of practice. Dr. Buehler is the Director of The Buehler Institute, which provides APA- and AASECT-approved sex therapy training. She is the author of several books, including Counseling Couples Before, During, and After Pregnancy: Sexuality and Intimacy Issues and What Every Mental Health Professional Needs to Know about Sex, 2nd Ed. Dr. Buehler is a Hoag-affiliated psychologist and has her private practice at Womanology/Restore Him, a pelvic health clinic.
Many couples in treatment report that their relationship soured after the birth of a child, and research suggests that couples with children under the age of five are the least satisfied group. Aside from the obvious, e.g., lack of time or fatigue, psychologists may not know to explore the couples’ journey to becoming parents in more detail. For example, how did the couple become pregnant, and how did the process affect the couple’s intimacy? Was the couple sexually active during pregnancy, or did they refrain from being intimate? Did they reestablish an intimate connection after the baby was born, or did something—an emotional, relational, or physical problem—interfere? Going into further detail, if there was any birth trauma, how did both partners respond? Or, if there was postpartum depression, did it occur in mother, father, or both new parents?
As a result of attending this workshop, participants will be able to:
1. Better identify the sexual and relationship issues that arise before, during, and after pregnancy that can be treated in couples’ therapy.
2. Understand the current contribution of familial, social, and cultural pressures to couples’ sexual and relationship issues in regard to reproduction.
3. Describe the journey of the LGBT couple seeking to become parents.
· Case studies
CE Status: Approved for 3 hours CE credits
CPA is co-sponsoring with the Orange County Psychological Association. The California Psychological Association (CPA) is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists and recognized by the BBS to offer CE credit for its licensees. CPA maintains responsibility for this program and its content.