My colleague Alex Baker and I just had an article published in the peer-reviewed journal Sexual and Relationship Therapy. The article introduces a hypothetical group model of Sexual Wellness Enhancement and Enrichment Training (SWEET) that focuses on a number of research-based healing modalities, including conscious breathing, mindfulness meditation, mindful eating, movement exercises, autogenics and biofeedback, as a possible option for improving sexual wellness through adequate and informed self-care.
In the article, we address not only the potential benefits of a mind-body skills group that is modified to address sexual and reproductive health and sexual wellbeing from a behavioral perspective, but we also elaborate on the potential impact of the intervention on stress and reproductive hormones.
Much credit goes to Alex Baker because she laid the groundwork for this article with her Master’s project on sexual and reproductive health and sexual wellbeing. We just put our heads together to see how we could demonstrate the impact of the mind-body approaches of the group on a person’s stress and reproductive hormones. In our conclusion, we pen that the model seems to be solidly grounded in the scientific literature to address sexual and reproductive health and sexual wellbeing.
Alex is toiling on the mind-body facilitator’s handbook. Once Alex completes this piece, addressing sexual health with SWEET in the real world will be our next step. Follow-up studies to quantify the influences of SWEET on sexual and reproductive health are planned.
The elegance about SWEET is that it is not a magic bullet approach (presupposing one particular modality will be the key); alternately it offers participants a variety of modalities to pick and choose from so they may append their toolbox from which participants then can commit themselves to their most appropriate tool for self-care.
Whys is this important to cancer patients? Cancer affects many couples’ most intimate aspects of their lives. Maintaining/improving sexual wellbeing as well as sexual and reproductive health is one way to increase the quality of life for cancer patients.
You can subscribe below to stay tuned for regular updates on our progress with the next steps… Here is the citation.
Baker, A. C., & Absenger, W. (2013). Sexual Wellness Enhancement and Enrichment Training (SWEET): A hypothetical group model for addressing sexual health and wellbeing. Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 1–15. doi:10.1080/14681994.2013.770142