The Traumatic Stress Institute fosters the transformation of organizations and service systems to trauma-informed care (TIC) through the delivery of whole-system consultation, professional training, coaching, and research.

Professional Training on Promoting Healthy Sexuality for High Risk Youth

Aren’t all young people high risk when it comes to sex?” While it is true that all adolescents are at increased risk for negative sexual health outcomes, youth with emotional, behavioral, and psychiatric challenges are at especially high risk for sexual health problems including unintended pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, sexual identity confusion, sexual victimization, and sexually abusive behavior. 

Youth with histories of attachment disruption often seek out connection via sex no matter the risk. Teens who have been sexually abused may learn to use their sexuality as a way of getting much needed attention. Still other high-risk youth may use sex as a way to feel a sense of power in their life and get relief from intolerable feelings. Sexual behavior for these young people almost always tends toward the extreme; impulsive acting out of sexual feelings on the one hand, or withdrawing from sexuality altogether.

Schools and agencies serving these children are often at a loss for how to manage and treat these types of problem sexual behavior. Agencies fear controversy that could arise from frankly addressing sexual health issues. Staff are uncomfortable talking about sexuality with young people and, if they do, it is often with a moralistic tone. Few programs offer sexuality education as a standard part of treatment.

TSI of Klingberg offers a variety of training about how to promote healthy sexuality with high risk youth, especially those with emotional, behavioral and psychiatric challenges. This includes youth in residential treatment, sex-abuse specific treatment, shelters, group homes, foster care, substance abuse programs, juvenile corrections, special education and alternative schools, psychiatric hospitals, and job training programs.

Trainings are customized to meet the need of agencies. All trainings are highly engaging and participatory, teaching concrete skills so staff can engage differently with youth about this critical topic.

Trainings include some of the following topics:

  • Promoting Healthy Sexuality With High-Risk Youth
  • Teaching Sexuality Education Groups for High-Risk Teens
  • Does Treatment for Sexually Abusive Youth Promote Healthy Sexual Development? Does It Matter? Do We Care?
  • Healing Attachment Wounds: A Critical Pathway Toward Healthy Sexuality
  • Increasing Staff Comfort Talking About Sexuality with Young People
  • What’s Normal and What’s Not?: Understanding Sexual Behavior in Young People“

“TSI’s trainings about healthy sexuality really hit the mark. They are relevant to our kids, lively, fun, and practical. Staff come back raving about them.”

Robert Davis, Psy.D.Clinical Director

Rutland, MA

Devereux Massachusetts