Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Dr. George Turner Joins KU Social Welfare Faculty

Dr. George Turner joined the KU School of Social Welfare in the Fall 2013. In addition to his private practice, George is an Associate Professor of Practice. Becasue of his expertise in sexual health, he was actively solicited to teach a human sexuality course once taught by Dennis Dailey. "It was surreal... teaching the sexuality course taught by my mentor and colleague, Dr. Dennis Dailey. Dennis is legendary at KU and to walk in his shoes is an honor." Additionally, George has taught an undergraduate practice course and a graduate course, Multicultural Practice. "I love teaching. It provides me another venue to directly impact the quality of life of others. And, I value the opportunity to interact with social work students especially.  Im  a JayHawk so its a full circle experience for  me to facilitate the professional development for the BSW and MSW students so that they can deliver best practices to the community. Rock Chalk!"

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Healing Power of Dogs

A little dog love eases anxiety and stress.
Cannine assisted therapy is a powerful healing tool. Our frisky little fur buddies are everywhere spreading their laps of love. Dogs are being used to ease the anxiety and frustration of travel with airport DE-stressors. They are connecting with children with autism and prisoners Prison trained service dogs and working with war veterns Healing Wounds of War. WOW... what a great underutilized source of healing! Of course, our Moko, Lily and Mitchie couldnt agree more. Check out our own doggie greeters.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Is Fido the answer to your stress?

"Dad, dont make me wear the witches hat!"
 "Pet a dog and call me in the morning", might just be the next prescription you get from your doc.

Moko ready for Halloween
Lilly, Moko and Mitchie, our doggie greeters, are more than just slobbery tail waggers. There is science behind those furry little bundles of love. Canine assisted therapy makes for good results, especially for guarded patients who see therapy as foreign, painful or challenging.
But these benefits go beyond our office. Finals are just around the corner for students and who doesnt have a lil stress each and every day. A little doggie love can be just the destressor you need. Petting a dog increases a human’s level of oxytocin, a hormone that reduces anxiety and blood pressure.

Others have also reported how schools are using dogs to help students prepare for testing Get your "Fur Fix".

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Kansas Sex Education Owes Youth Better

Recently the Lawrence World Journal asked Dr. George Turner, sexuality educator and certified sex therapist to comment on sex education. Lawrence Journal World

Here are some additional comments by him.

Kansas is at it again. No sooner than we put behind us a bill allowing businesses to refuse service to gay customers and we are back in the public spotlight as a sex negative state. Now sex education is open for debate. A state senator introduced a bill recently to require parents or guardians to "opt in" for their children to receive sex education. This sets a harmful precedence and is not quality education.

I support parents being involved in their child's education and I think sexuality education needs to be
Robie Harris' book, Its Perfectly Normal
culturally sensitive. However, we MUST move beyond fear and shame informing educational policy. The world is NOT flat! Period!!! Best practices should be leading the call for sex education with professionally trained sexual health experts at the forefront of classroom implementation. In no other subject deemed valuable and fundamental to student success, do we wait until high school to provide instruction and then suggest that it is an elective to be approved by parents. In order for kids to appreciate Shakespeare, we begin teaching them their alphabet, in order for kids to excel in algebra we start with the basics of adding and subtracting. Sexuality education needs to be elevated to the status of reading, writing and arithmetic.

While parents should be the primary sexuality educators, most are often not prepared or too embarrassed by the topic. Most parents welcome the help and support of trained sexuality professionals to provide a formal age-appropriate, medically accurate comprehensive sexuality education curriculum. It is a minority voice that often sets a conservative policy in sex education and this is unfortunate. Great resources for parents are a series of books by Robie Harris.
Also check out these organizations:SIECUS and Advocates for Youth

I often urge parents to recognize that with the absence of sexuality education from parents or the school, youth are still learning about sex. First they receive a take away lesson from us that includes: "it is not safe to discuss this topic here", "your sexual health has little value", "we (adults) are too uncomfortable", and finally "go figure it out for yourself". Second, we place youth at the mercy of social media and peers who become the default sexuality instructors. Adults should be very concerned with WHAT is the content of this informal education and WHO is providing it?

Comprehensive sex education is more than teaching intercourse. And, research has demonstrated the effectiveness of these programs. It helps youth make responsible decisions. A sexually literate public is a sexually healthy public. Illuminating sexual health as public health addresses a multitude of issues including: STIs, sexual misuse, body shaming, bullying of marginalized youth, relationship satisfaction, sexual dysfunction, rape culture, and self-esteem.

I suggests the following changes to our approach to sexuality education:

A. Stop making this a cultural war where our children are the causalities.

B. Remove shame and fear approaches

C. Elevate sexual health to the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic.

D. Don’t forget our youth in special ed!

E. Make it a goal: prepare sexually literate, healthy, graduates capable of critical thinking.

G. Lead a new dialogue to redefine and reframe sexual health and well-being to reflect a holistic, rights-based approach throughout the lifespan.
Our commitment should be to provide comprehensive sexuality education that supports the attainment of sexual health and well-being throughout the lifespan. Placing our head in the sand doesn't fulfill this and neither does the ineffective and incomplete"Abstinence Only –Until Marriage" curriculum, which are often fear and guilt based. Parents generally want a better life for this kids. The question is, wouldn't you want your children to have a better, more sexually healthy relationship?