Medicine Meets Psychotherapy

Episode 1: Common Sexual Concerns | October 27, 9 am–12 pm | 3 CEs | $75

Delivered online via Zoom, this series of trainings explores the intricate interplay of sexual, mental, and physical health with the combined expertise of a sex therapist and a nurse practitioner. This series hopes to start conversations that begin to break silos by introducing vital medical insights into psychotherapy. Delve into the medical realm and better understand physiological processes, potential underlying medical conditions, medication side effects, and more that can impact a client’s sexual well-being. This holistic approach equips therapists with a broader yet nuanced context when addressing sexual health issues, fostering more accurate assessments and tailored interventions.

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Jane Epstein, NP is a dedicated nurse practitioner and sexual health educator who passionately champions women’s sexual well-being. Drawing from her extensive experience working with teenagers, she’s identified gaps in sexual education and understanding. Jane’s research, detailed in her blog “Getting to Pleasure,” involves narratives of women’s sexual journeys from youth to menopause. She was an Oberlin College graduate who honed her skills at Yale’s Schools of Nursing and Medicine. Besides her medical prowess, she’s an adept yoga instructor focusing on prenatal yoga. Recognized for her contributions, Jane has spoken on platforms ranging from local forums to TEDx, emphasizing the importance of sexual empowerment. Based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with her family, she remains an influential advocate for comprehensive sexual education and empowerment.

Renée LaVail, LMFT, CST, ACS is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, AASECT Certified Sex Therapist & Approved Clinical Supervisor. Working as a psychotherapist for 14 years, Renée began her professional career focusing on family therapy. In 2011, her focus shifted to include sexual health. Renée is passionate about providing a safe and supportive clinical space for the community to address and discuss all areas of sex, sexual health, and relationship diversity. Renée has been a clinical supervisor since 2011 and founded the Clinical Supervisor Academy with colleague Dr. Leandrea Romero, with the support of the Southwest Family Guidance Center & Institute. Renee worked with Southwest Family for 13 years, ending her tenure as its Clinical Director in 2021 to expand her organization. She is a doctoral candidate in Behavioral Health Leadership & is the founding director of Albuquerque Sex Therapy and its guiding organization, the Clinical Assessment Group.


  • Physiological Underpinnings of Sexual Function: Understand the biological mechanisms of sexual arousal, including hormones, neural pathways, and bodily responses, which can influence sexual behavior and experiences.
  • Medication and Sexual Side Effects: Learn about the potential sexual side effects of various medications, such as antidepressants, antihypertensives, and hormonal therapies. This knowledge allows therapists to consider these factors in therapy.
  • Underlying Medical Conditions: Recognize how conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and endocrine disorders can intersect with sexual health, aiding in a holistic approach to therapy.
  • Anatomy and Gender-Affirming Treatments: Delve into the nuances of human anatomy and understand the changes accompanying gender-affirming treatments, like hormone therapy or surgeries, to support transgender and non-binary clients better.
  • Resources and Referral Networks: Connect with a broader medical community, enabling referrals for further medical assessments, specialized treatments, or consultations to ensure comprehensive client support.
  • Sexual Health Screening and Tests: Understand the range of medical tests available for diagnosing sexual health issues, such as STIs, hormonal imbalances, or reproductive health concerns, so therapists can advise clients when medical intervention may be beneficial.
  • Menopause and Andropause: Gain insights into the physiological and emotional changes that occur during menopause in individuals assigned female at birth and andropause in individuals assigned male at birth, equipping therapists to navigate related sexual concerns more effectively.
  • Contraception and Reproductive Health: Equip therapists with up-to-date knowledge on contraceptive methods, potential side effects, and their impact on sexual health, allowing therapists to provide informed guidance and discussions.
  • Pain Disorders and Sexual Health: Learn about pelvic inflammatory disease, interstitial cystitis, or endometriosis that can cause pain during intercourse, enabling therapists to identify potential medical issues behind sexual pain complaints.
  • Mental Health’s Impact on Sexuality: Therapists are well-versed in psychological aspects. However, a nurse practitioner can illuminate the intersection of specific mental health conditions and medications with sexual health, allowing for a nuanced understanding of a client’s overall well-being.
  • Adolescent Sexual Development: Dive into the stages of sexual maturation during adolescence, recognizing the interplay of hormones, emotions, and cognitive processes. This knowledge is crucial for therapists to support young clients navigating the challenges and curiosities of their burgeoning sexuality.