DCU Home | Our Courses | Loop | Registry | Library | Search DCU

Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Psychosexual Integrative Practice
Module Code NS5036
School 38
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Ray B O'Neill
Semester 2: Ray B O'Neill
Autumn: Ray B O'Neill
Module TeachersRita Glover
Ray B O'Neill
NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Repeat the module
Reassessment of written assignment

This module is designed to prepare students around aspects of psychosexual issues, desires, and considerations within their ongoing clinical psychotherapeutic work with individual clients and couples. The module considers the relevance of sexual scripts constructed by individuals, systems and societies through varying biological, cultural, sociological, historical, and psychological factors that can impact and influence adult psychosexual self-image and assuredness, sexual functioning, and pleasure. It draws on an integrative approach to psychosexual therapeutic practice with specific reference to humanistic, cognitive-behavioural, systemic, and psychodynamic theories. Students will receive lectures and engage in seminar groups, psychosexual skills development, personal/professional awareness activities and tutor-lead activities. The module is not a specific training for specific psychosexual clinical practice but is a space to initiate the required levels of self-reflection and cultural and professional sexual humility to appreciate how sexual knowledge, questions, and issues, can be both allowed, and indeed invited, into the clinical space between practitioner and psychotherapy service user.

Learning Outcomes

1. Understand the relevance of biological, sociological, cultural, historical, relational, and psychological factors with respect to adult psychosexual functioning
2. Appreciate and take responsibility for their personal and professional motivations for engaging in psychosexual therapeutic practice, holding a place of both cultural humility and invitational curiosity.
3. Value and centralise pleasure as an integral part of an individual’s sexuality and sexual expressions.
4. Evidence engagement in reflective practice which both forms and informs their ongoing learning and psychotherapeutic development from this module within themselves, and thus their clinical practice.
5. Discern more appropriate theoretical approaches or integration of approaches, including humanistic, cognitive- behavioural, systemic, and psychodynamic perspectives, to assist individuals and couples experiencing psychosexual concerns.
6. Recognise and respond constructively to the impact of cultural considerations such as kink, porn culture, compulsive sexual behaviour, asexuality, and hyper-sexuality on adults and their intimate relationships.
7. Undertake psychotherapeutic practice with individual clients and couples presenting psychosexual questions and concerns through the conscientious application of the PLISSIT model.
8. Appreciate potential for and complexity of recovering from sexual abuse/violence, or internalised socio-cultural oppressions/marginalisations in the context of adult intimate relationships.
9. Value and employ the 'Good Enough Sex Model' overtly and implicitly within clinical practice.
10. Be mindful of the importance of making referrals for medical assessments of sexual problems.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture15Didactic Teaching/ Lectures
Directed learning15Seminar groups; Application of Theory to Practice; Psychosexual Therapeutic Skills Practice; Personal and Professional Awareness Activities.
Tutorial5Tutor led formative engagement with individual students and learning groups
Group work15Small group research for in-class presentations on set Psychosexual specified themes within Psychotherapeutic Clinical Practice.
Fieldwork10Module Workbook and Reflective Learning Journal engagements across the module in response to in-class preparations, key questions, and provocations.
Independent Study65Self-directed learning; Course Reading; Literature Searching, Clinical Interactive Oral Assessment Preparation.
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

The biopsychosocial approach considers the biological, cultural, historical, psychological and social contexts of sexual difficulties. It also holds questions around diversity and marginalisations for 'othered' people and experiences.

Integrative Psychotherapy
By engaging in case conceptualisation, students will learn how to clinical dimensions of integrative psychotherapy with individuals and couples with psychosexual concerns.

The connections between, around and beyond mind/body in sexual functioning.

Sexuality/Orientation/Individual and Collective Kinks
The expression and ‘unshaming’ of each person's sexual identity and sexual preferences, individually and collectively, especially one’s own.

Sexual Abuse
Sexual violation of a child or an adult by others and the potential impacts on adult intimate relations with self and others.

Sexually compulsive or ‘so-called addiction’ behaviour that influences individual behaviours and personal intimate relationships.

Female Sexual Dysfunctions
Females experience a range of sexual dysfunctions and sexual difficulties including genito-pelvic pain (vaginismus/ dyspareunia/vulvodynia), preorgasmia, sexual aversion and compulsive sexual behaviours.

Male Sexual Dysfunctions
Men experience a range sexual dysfunctions and sexual difficulties including erectile problems, premature and delayed ejaculation, compulsive sexual behaviours and sexual aversion.

Physiological Issues Contributing to Sexual Concerns
Appreciating impacts of diagnoses such as cancer or POI, experiences such as Menopause, disability, ageing, and physical illness on sexuality and sexual lives.

Personal Reflection
Demonstrate a conscientious, in-depth and response-able reflexive awareness of both self, and self in relation to others in relation to psychosexual identity and psychotherapeutic practice.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Oral ExaminationInteractive Oral Assessment on Student’s Clinical Psychosexual Practice.40%n/a
Reflective journalLearning journal across the module responding to key questions and provocations.40%n/a
Group project Small Group set psychosexual topic research group20%As required
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Barker Meg-John: 2021, Sexuality: A Graphic Guide), Icon Books,
  • Bancroft, J: 2009, Human Sexuality and Its Problems, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, United Kingdom,
  • Bass, E., Davis, L: 2008, The Courage to Heal, Harper, New York,
  • Carnes, P: 2006, Out of the Shadows- Understanding Sexual Addiction, Hazelden, Minnesota,
  • Chia Mantak, Abrams Douglas: 1996, The Multi-Orgasmic Man: Sexual Secrets Every Man Should Know, Harper Collins,
  • Darkoa Sekyiamah: 2022, The Sex Lives of African Women, Dialogue Books,
  • Denman, C: 2004, Sexuality- A Biopsychosexual Approach, Palgrave Macmillan., New York,
  • Ensler, Eve: 2002, The Vagina Monologues, Virago,
  • Gherovici, Patricia; Steinkoler, Manya (eds.): 2022, Psychoanalysis, Gender, and Sexualities: From Feminism to Trans*, Routledge,
  • Gurman, A.S., Lebow, J.L., Synder, D.K: 2015, Clinical Handbook of Couple Therapy, 5th, Guilford Press, New York,
  • Hall, P: 2013, Understanding and Treating Sex Addiction, Sage, London,
  • Hertlein, K. M., Weeks, G. R., & Sendak, S. K.: 2009, A Clinician's Guide to Systemic Sex Therapy, Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group,
  • Kleinplatz, P. J.: 2018, New Directions in Sex Therapy: Innovations and Alternatives, Routledge,
  • Knafo, D., Lo Bosco, R.: 2020, The New Sexual Landscape & Contemporary Psychoanalysis, Analytic Press,
  • Leiblum, S.R: 2007, Principles and Practices of Sex Therapy Guilford Press., Guilford Press, New York,
  • Levine, S.: 2020, Psychotherapeutic Approaches to Sexual Problems, 1st, American Psychiatric Association, Washington.,
  • Levounis, P., Yarbrough, E. (Eds).(2020): 2020, Pocket Guide to LGBTQ Mental Health- Understanding the Spectrum of Gender and Sexuality, 1st, . American Psychiatric Association, Washington,
  • Magnanti, Brooke: 2012, The Sex Myth: Why Everything We’re Told Is Wrong, Orion Publishing,
  • Maltz,W: 2012, The Sexual Healing Journey, Harper Collins, New York,
  • Masters, W & Johnson V: 1970, Human Sexual Inadequacy, Little Brown, Boston,
  • Morin, Jack: 1995, The Erotic Mind, Harper Collins,
  • Neves, Silva: 2023, Sexology: The Basics, Routledge,
  • Neves, Silva; Davies Dominic eds.: 2023, Erotically Queer: A Pink Therapy Guide for Practitioners, Routledge,
  • Rare, Ruby: 2020, Sex Ed: A Guide for Adults, Bloomsbury,
  • Richards, Christina and Barker, Meg John: 2013, Sexuality and Gender for Mental Health Professionals: A Practical Guide, Sage, London,
  • Ugoala, Obioma: 2022, The Problem with My Normal Penis: Myths of Race, Sex and Masculinity, Scribner,
  • Vidal-Ortix, Salvador: 2018, Race and Sexuality, Polity Press,
  • Weeks, G.R., Gambescia, N: 2002, Hypoactive Sexual Desire- Integrating Sex and Couple Therapy, Norton, New York,
  • Wincze, J.P., & Carey, M.P: 2001, Sexual Dysfunction- A Guide for Assessment and Treatment, Guilford Press., New York,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
MCOUMasters in Psychotherapy
Date of Last Revision07-OCT-10

My DCU | Loop | Disclaimer | Privacy Statement