Inter-University Centre Dubrovnik

An independent international centre for advanced studies

50 | Basic course in sexual therapy

02 Jun 2004 - 11 Jun 2004
Course directors :
John Bancroft , Kinsey Institute, United States
Marty Klein , Palo Alto, Togo
Gnther Schmidt , University of Hamburg, Germany
Aleksandar Štulhofer , University of Zagreb, Croatia
Jacques van Lankveld , University Hospital Maastricht, Netherlands
Course description:
IUC Course: Basic Training/Education in Sex Therapy (June 2-11, 2004)

Summary: Sexual health is a completely neglected area in Croatia. There are no specialized therapists, and, not surprisingly, no training programs exist. The aims of the project are to provide basic training/education in sexual therapy and education. The program will be carried out in a form of intensive seminar (10-12 days long) taught by an international team of eminent sex therapists, educators and researchers. Training includes relevant gender and sexual minority issues, as well as introspective analyses of sexuality related values. Following the course, participants are expected to apply the acquired knowledge in their everyday practice of psychotherapy, sexual education, and counseling.

Sexual health and education are almost completely neglected areas in Croatia. We do not have (nor we ever had) comprehensive school-based sexuality education. In addition, no sexual health services are available at the moment. Croatia does not have a single licensed sex therapist/counselor. All this should not come as a surprise given the fact that there are no relevant training programs. As a consequence, individuals experiencing sexual problems are mostly left to themselves. Turning for help to medical professionals is only exceptionally of any use, since the lack of appropriate (sexological) training in medical schools makes most psychiatrists, urologists and gynecologists uncomfortable even with asking questions regarding sexuality.
There is indeed a significant demand for sex therapy/counseling. According to a couple of recent studies on the prevalence of sexual dysfunctions carried out on a community sample of women and men between 20 and 60 years of age (Ĺ tulhofer, Gregurović, Galić i Pikić, 2001; Ĺ tulhofer, Tiljak, Zelenbrz, Landripet, Gregurović, Kuti, 2003), the first of their kind in Croatia, about a third of female respondents and a quarter of male respondents have experienced one or more sexual dysfunctions in the last month. The studies, together with numerous inquiries posted on the leading domestic pharmaceutical company's Web confirm a great need for sexual health services. Having in mind demographic dynamics, i.e. the problems of aging population, this demand will have a stable upward trend in the coming years. In this view, specific education and training of the first generation of sex therapists and educators should be of great importance. In terms of improving sexual health service, as well as in the sense of disseminating information and educating about human sexuality.


The course will provide basic knowledge and skills in sex therapy, focusing on psychosocial approaches to individual and couple treatment. It will help establishing a network of sexual health professionals active both in prevention (sex education) and treatment (psychotherapy/counseling) of sexual problems. Emphasizing the importance of gender (from sexual equality to sexual victimization) and sexual minority issues in the context of sex education and sex therapy we hope to improve participants' sensitivity and their understanding of sexual rights.


Marty Klein, Ph.D. in psychology, licensed sex therapist and educator (private practice, Palo Alto, CA)
Gunther Schmidt, Ph.D. in psychology, University Clinic Hamburg (Dept. for Sex Research)
Margaret Hauch, Ph.D. in psychology, University Clinic Hamburg (Dept. for Sex Research)
John Bancroft, M.D., Ph.D., the Kinsey Institute (Bloomington, IN)
Jacques J.D.M. van Lankveld, Ph.D. in clinical psychology, Dept. for Medical, Clinical, and Experimental Psychology, University Hospital Maastricht, the Netherlands
Julia Heiman, Ph.D. in psychology, University of Washington Outpatient Psychiatry Center, School of Medicine (Seattle, WA)
Aleksandar Ĺ tulhofer, Ph.D. in sociology, Dept. of Sociology, University of Zagreb


MORNING SESSIONS (LECTURES with a coffee break)9.30 - 12.30 AFTERNOON SESSIONS (WORKSHOPS with two breaks)14.30 - 18.00
WednesdayJune 2 SASHA - IntroductionMARTY - 1st lecture: Sexual response cycle and its clinical use MARTY - Workshop I: participants' attitudes and values regarding sex and sexuality; common sexual myths etc.)
ThursdayJune 3 MARTY - Workshop II (on how clinical beliefs & professional values can undermine treatment) MARTY - Workshop III & IV (on sexual orientation issues and non-normative preferences)
FridayJune 4 JACQUES - Lecture: Female and male sexual dysfunctionsJACQUES - Workshop I JACQUES - Workshop II
SaturdayJune 5 JACQUES - Workshop III JACQUES - Workshop IV
SundayJune 6 Discussions
MondayJune 7 GUNTER & MARGARET - Lecture: Couple therapy Hamburg styleGUNTER & MARGARET - Workshop I: cont. MARGARET & GUNTER -Workshop II: cont.
TuesdayJune 8 GUNTER & MARGARET -Workshop III: cont. MARGARET & GUNTER - Workshop IV:Consequences of sexual violence
WednesdayJune 9 JULIA - 1st lecture: Brief history of sex therapyJULIA - 2nd lecture: Systemic approach to sex therapy JULIA - Workshop I (Sexual desire disorder)
ThursdayJune 10 JOHN - 1st lecture: Sexual impact of health issues and agingJOHN - 2nd lecture: Ethical issues in client/therapist relationship JULIA - Workshop II (orgasmic problems)JOHN - Workshop on treatment methods
FridayJune 11 JOHN - 3nd lecture: The Trend of Medicalization of SexualityALEX - Lecture: Culture-specific sexuality issues in Croatia FAREWELL DINNER
SaturdayJune 12 DEPARTURE


A. Ĺ tulhofer (University of Zagreb), G. Schmidt (University of Hamburg), J. Bancroft (Kinsey Institute), J. van Lankveld, Ph.D. (University of Maaastricht), M. Klein