The interview regarding the client’s sexual history is one of the simplest ways to examine his or her sexuality effectively. It allows gathering necessary information about the clients’ past and what impact it had on them. This questionnaire covers a number of different topics from parental relationship to the client’s sexual education and self-image. In addition, the questions are placed chronologically from past to present, which provides the researcher with data to make a causal connection between the client’s history and sexuality. For this reason, it can be safely assumed that this interview makes a significant contribution to creating a correct assessment.
While examining the client’s answers, I discovered that there are several sociocultural influences that play a substantial role in sexuality. The relevance of such elements cannot be overestimated because researchers note that they affect “the way a patient describes their sexual complaint and what symptoms he or she will report” (Atallah, 2016, p. 594). Some of the most obvious factors are religious beliefs. For instance, they can restrict access to knowledge about sex by shaming and creating a stigma around these topics. In that way, clients can feel less confident in their sexuality and also can experience such emotions as guilt or anxiety when it comes to these subjects. The society can also have a significant impact; for instance, as I discovered, women have more limitations in self-expression in this matter. There are different double-standards regarding female sexuality; for example, while some say that women should be modest, others say that they must be seductresses for their boyfriends or husbands. During the teenage years, my client was confused while trying to discover how she should express her sexuality without being judged by any group.
Needless to say, while conducting an interview, I have also experienced different challenges. At first, the client felt threatened because questions regarding sexual matters are considered to be personal. However, I managed to resolve this problem by asking general questions in the beginning. The client felt comfortable speaking about her parents, current marital status, and I slowly tried to move onto more serious questions. In addition, in order to be ethical, I decided to ask about the client’s religion so I could show my respect for her boundaries and discover possible cultural differences. In this way, I managed to gain trust and overcome challenges in a delicate manner.
Regarding the comfort level, I have also faced some difficulties in connection with questions about sexual victimization. I was afraid that I could involuntarily trigger the client’s trauma. I was also concerned with how the client feels because usually, people are not willing to communicate about their sexuality due to inner barriers. Nevertheless, fortunately, the client did not go through any traumatic experiences. Moreover, even though she was reluctant at first, I managed to make her comfortable and answer all of my questions.
While conducting this interview, I have learned various facts. For instance, it was vital for me to discover how to talk with clients in order to put them at ease. Furthermore, I now understand the influence of culture and religion on the ability to feel comfortable with sexuality. There are many factors that implement negative messages that prevent people from communicating and exploring themselves. Nevertheless, with the help of a professional, it is possible to reduce such repressive thoughts.
Atallah, S., Johnson-Agbakwu, C., Rosenbaum, T., Abdo, C., Byers, E. S., Graham, C.,… & Brotto, L. (2016). Ethical and sociocultural aspects of sexual function and dysfunction in both sexes. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 13(4), 591-606.