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Story • Sexologist in the Shoes of a Special Education Instructor

21 January 2019
Karine Garand

Stories are written by people who don’t necessarily work or study in fields related to sexology. They convey emotions, perceptions, and subjective perspectives. Opinions voiced in the stories are those of their authors, and in no way represent the position of Les 3 sex*.


Ce témoignage est aussi disponible en français [➦].

Translated by Zoe Yarymowich

Yes, you read that right, I am a sexologist and I work as a special education instructor (S.E.I.). In the bachelor’s degree in sexology, lecturers, as well as professors, advise students to apply for positions in social work, such as special education instructors, social workers, etc. In short, positions in the field of intervention.

Feeling confident, that is what I did.

Several months passed, but I did not get any job offers.

It was finally in November 2017 that I was contacted for an interview to work in a group home (an intermediate resource of youth centres) with adolescents aged 12 to 17. During the interview, the supervisors informed me that I was going to be a psychosocial intervention worker, a general title for these positions since the team members come from diverse fields of study. At that point, I told myself that I would gain valuable experience. Initially, I, of course, wanted to get a job as a sexologist, but my instincts told me that this opportunity would be beneficial to me.

In January 2018, I began my career in the field of intervention.

At first, I questioned whether I belonged there. Why? As a sexologist, I had never really considered working with adolescents living with behavioural problems. In other words, I didn’t think I’d have to deal with budgets, room cleaning, and day-to-day crises.

On my first evening shift, a young woman punched a hole through her bedroom door and called me all types of names. I must admit, at that moment, I froze; I was not prepared for that. During my internship, I had not encountered this kind of temperament from the clientele. So I found myself in a completely different world to which I had to adapt. I had to create a shield for myself so that the more violent situations I was confronted with would not affect my emotions.

Following this first event, the crises that followed became less and less severe. As time went on, I learned to use my assets and the advice I had been given initially. In addition, my shield became stronger as the weeks progressed. I can say that I learned crisis intervention “on the job” and with the help of my fellow educators.

Now, 10 months later, I’m more confident than ever. I don’t regret my choice of workplace in any way. There are certainly days that are more difficult than others when I feel like giving up, but when I remember where these young people come from and what they need, I am happy to do what I do and that motivates me.

Over time, I learned to trust my instincts and my knowledge. I have also been very well supported by my colleagues and my supervisors. For those who are going to start in the field of intervention and whose tasks will not be specifically sexological, we must dare to ask questions and trust our instincts. I couldn’t say that I learned the most about crisis intervention during my bachelor’s degree in sexology, although this training should not be underestimated.

Sexologists are fortunate to be able to intervene in a variety of ways. Being versatile and multitasking, I believe that they are able to take on the tasks usually associated with positions other than those of sexologists. I believe that sexologists can have different perspectives on certain situations, and can, thanks to this, intervene in novel ways.

Personally, I am very satisfied with my training even though in the beginning, I did not see myself working in my current field and managing such difficult situations. Yes, I work as a S.E.I., but my sexology training leads me to intervene in a relevant and often complementary way to that of my colleagues, which is definitely an advantage, in my opinion.

At the beginning of my career, I had several fears regarding my tasks. Indeed, I had to adapt and adjust. However, I believe I was able to keep my sexology side through my interventions as a S.E.I.

It’s quite a challenge. It takes a lot of perseverance and patience, but it’s worth it, believe me.

intervention, employment, sex therapist, sexologist, specialized educator, Bachelor's degree in sexology, training, adaptation, challenge, difficulty, rewarding, psychosocial worker, experience, enriching


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