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Mindfulness for sex therapy: Clinical applications


Speaker: Lori A. Brotto
Psychologist, PhD

Contents and aim

Sex in a multi-tasking world has become distracted, pressured, and unsatisfying. Rates of sexual dysfunction in men and women are high, and discrepant sexual desire in couples represents one of the most common causes for seeking sex therapy. For women, the update of flibanserin, the only FDA and Health Canada approved desire drug, has been low. Mindfulness meditation, defined as present-moment, non-judgmental awareness, has become a prominent tool in Western healthcare for a wide range of medical and psychological ailments, from pain to anxiety to heart-rate regulation. In this course, I will briefly share the science evaluating the efficacy of mindfulness for a variety of sexual health issues in women. This talk will consider also the purported mechanisms by which mindfulness is likely improving sex. Finally, we will consider how practitioners can integrate mindfulness into their own sexual health practices, and their own lives.

Learning Objectives

This intermediate instructional course is designed to help clinicians:
1. Understand how mindfulness is defined
2. Discuss the science of mindful sex
3. Be introduced to some of the practice


Dr. Lori Brotto is a Professor in the UBC Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and a Registered Psychologist in Vancouver, Canada. She is the Executive Director of the Women’s Health Research Institute of BC located at BC Women’s Hospital. Dr. Brotto holds a Canada Research Chair in Women’s Sexual Health. She is the director of the UBC Sexual Health Laboratory where research primarily focuses on developing and testing psychological and mindfulness-based interventions for women with sexual desire and arousal difficulties and women with chronic genital pain. Dr. Brotto is an Associate Editor for the Archives of Sexual Behavior, has >170 peer-reviewed publications, and is frequently featured in the media on topics related to sexuality. Her book, Better Sex Through Mindfulness: How Women Can Cultivate Desire (2018) is a trade book of her research demonstrating the benefits of mindfulness for women’s sexual concerns. She is a strong advocate for empowering women to take on leadership roles.

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