Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Brain injury and sexuality

The North American Brain Injury Society publication, Brain Injury Professional, has a wonderful issue dedicated to brain injury and sexuality.

The articles in this publication go beyond the usual neuropsychological preoccupation with how to deal with sexually disinhibited behaviours. As Tina Trudel, guest editor of the issue writes,  "Sexuality is a life affirming gift that enriches all of us. How we share love, experience passion and engage in sexual activity are unique, vital aspects of who we are. Brain injury rehabilitation seeks to support and empower each individual to reach their full human potential, a potential that rests on the cornerstones of our capacity to work and to love (not necessarily in that order...)." (p. 6).

The five articles in the issue talk about integrating sexuality in rehabilitation; disability and sexual expression (including lots of practical hints for different forms of cognitive and motor disability); promoting sexual health in adolecents with brain injury; sexual intimacy after brain injury; and behavioural interventions for sexual disinhibition after brain injury. Being comfortable and informed in discussing these issues with patients and their partners is an important, but often neglected part of clinical care.

The publication is highly recommended reading for all neuropsychologists who are interested in providing informed patient-centered care for their clients, whatever their age or disability.

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