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My New Book

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Dear friends and colleagues

I am pleased to announce the publication of my new book The Amateur’s Guide To Death And Dying: Enhancing The End Of Life.

(Click on the book art below for a synopsis and to purchase the book.)

The Amateur’s Guide To Death And Dying is specifically designed for terminally ill, chronically ill, elder, and dying people from all walks of life. But concerned family and friends, healing and helping professionals, lawyers, clergy, teachers, students, and those grieving a death will also benefit from reading the book.

The Amateur’s Guide To Death And Dying is a workbook that offers readers a unique group/seminar format. Readers participate in a virtual on-the-page support group consisting of ten other participants. Together members of the group help each other liberate themselves from the emotional, cultural, and practical problems that accompany dying in our modern age.

The Amateur’s Guide To Death And Dying helps readers dispel the myth that they are incapable of taking charge during the final season of life. Readers face the prospect of life’s end within a framework of honesty, activity, alliance, support, and humor. And most importantly readers learn these lessons in the art of dying and living from the best possible teachers, other sick, elder, and dying people.

The Amateur’s Guide To Death And Dying engages readers with a multitude of life situations and moral dilemmas that arise as they and their group partners face their mortality head on.

The Amateur’s Guide To Death And Dying offers readers a way to share coping strategies, participate in meaningful dialogue, and take advantage of professional information tailored to their specific needs. Topics include spirituality, sexuality and intimacy, legal concerns, final stages, and assisted dying. The book does not take an advocacy position on any of these topics. It does, however, advocate for the holistic self-determination of sick, elder, and dying people, which can only be achieved when they have adequate information.

Facing your mortality with the kind of support The Amateur’s Guide To Death And Dying offers does not eliminate the pain and poignancy of separation. Rather it involves confidently facing these things and living through them to the end.

This innovative workbook on death and dying is now available on Amazon and in bookstores. I welcome your thoughts, comments, and reviews.

All the best,
Richard

Richard Wagner, Ph.D., ACS
richard@theamateursguide.com
Our website: The AmateursGuide.com
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Buy the book HERE!

Kay Jaybee Interviews Dr Dick

Author Kay Jaybee interviews me about my book, and other topics of interest.

 

Click on the Kay Jaybee’s logo above to view the interview.

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Benic Way interviews Dr Dick

Audio interview with Benic Way.

Click on the ELM Avenue logo to view the interview.

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Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

Scheduling difficulties prevent me from bringing you the latest installment of The Erotic Mind podcast series today. But with a little luck, that will resolve itself by next week.

Actually, I’m glad I have this positing opportunity, because September, as you may know is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.  And I have something important to say about that.

Curiously enough, I was contacted by another website recently and asked to contribute to a series they were doing on this very issue. They were looking for a unique take on prostate cancer awareness. I told them I had just the thing; and proceed to outline what I think is an exceptionally important, yet universally overlooked, aspect of prostate health — prostate self-awareness. Alas, the folks who run the website thought the concept of prostate self-exam was too edgy for them. After they declined my offer I thought to myself; man, there is incredible resistance, on virtually every front, for us men to become proactive in this aspect of our health.

Name: Gordon
Gender: male
Age: 67
Location: Florida
I guess I have more of a comment than a question. I’m 67, a widower and have been recently diagnosed with prostate cancer. I never was very adventuresome when it came to sex. In fact, before my wife died two years ago, I never had sex with any other woman. I never gave prostate cancer a thought, never gave my prostate a thought either. Now I’m mad as hell that I didn’t. You see when I started to go to a prostate cancer support group I discovered I could have monitored myself better with a simple self-examination. Why don’t doctors tell us about this? Women are supposed to examine their breasts why don’t men examine their prostate? It’s so easy actually and yet it’s this big secret. Why don’t people talk about this? It makes me so mad because it could have made a big difference in my own life. Do you know about this self-examination Dr Dick? If you do why don’t you tell other people about this? I think it would help a lot if you could get the word out on this. Now that’s all I have to say. Thank you.

No, thank you Gordon. Thank you for sharing your concern with me…with us.

I’ve been a tireless activist of prostate self-exam for decades. Let me explain. My career as a therapist began in San Francisco in 1981. That was precisely the same year a mysterious new disease began showing up among gay men. Back then it was being called gay cancer, but soon it would have another name — HIV/AIDS.

As it turned out, my private practice focused down almost exclusively to working with sick and dying people. Luckily, I discovered that I was well suited for the job and I liked it very much. So much so that in the mid-90’s I founded a nonprofit organization called, PARADIGM; Enhancing Life Near Death. It was an outreach and resource for terminally ill, chronically ill, elder and dying people. This was brilliant cutting-edge work and I learned so much from the people I was working with. One of the things that struck me most was that regardless of the disease — cancer, HIV, MS, you name it, or even aging process for that matter — there was always a woeful lack of information about regaining a sense of sexual-self post diagnosis, or sexual wellbeing for seniors.

I recall one participant in particular, a man much like you, Gordon. He too had prostate cancer and, like you, he was mad as hell with the indifference of the medical industry toward prostate self-exam. One day during a group session, John was railing against doctors and cancer associations for their lack of interest in promoting prostate self-awareness. He pointed to the success of the cultural campaign to encourage women to self-examine their breasts. There is even a modest campaign to promote testicle self-exams. But apparently the medical industry draws the line at prostate self-exams. I guess no one is going to encourage a man to finger his ass, even to save his life.

Another group member, Clare, a senior woman in her 70’s and a breast cancer survivor, helped put things in perspective. She reminded us that breast self-awareness is a relatively new phenomenon. Her mother, aunt, sister and a niece all died of breast cancer before the self-exam campaign began in earnest. Clare went on to say that it was only through the hard work of individuals and grassroots organizations that actively campaigned for breast self-exams that things began to change. Eventually, this movement changed the medical and cultural mindset. Clare said that it was these individuals and grassroots organizations that helped all of us overcome the denial, shame and embarrassment that was associated with women touching themselves, even to save their lives.

This is an indication of just how ingrained the sex-negativity and body-negativity runs in this culture.

I continue to work with sick and dying people here in Seattle. I had a brief gig at a local cancer center where I developed an NIH (National Institute of Health) funded program for women newly diagnosed with ovarian cancer. At the same time, I was also working with a group of women with breast cancer and group of men with prostate cancer. Again every therapeutic intervention I encountered — government funded or foundation funded — was woefully lacking in any clear and unambiguous information about sexual health, wellbeing and intimacy issues post-diagnosis or surgical intervention.

To remedy this, I decided to produce a series of videos for people experiencing life threatening and/or disfiguring illnesses. Videos that would help them address reintegrating sex and intimacy into their lives post diagnosis. One of the first videos was going to be Public Service Announcement showing men how to do a prostate self-exam and what to look for. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the necessary funding for this groundbreaking work. My grantwriting efforts turned up zilch. I did, however, get a whole lot of, “What a fine idea, Richard. Good luck with that…” brush-off letters though. No foundation would be caught dead funding sexually overt pattern films, even ones with the laudable intent of assisting people with the life-saving information they needed most.

I’m sorry to have been so long-winded in my reply, Gordon. I just wanted you to know that many have preceded you with outrage at the conspiracy of silence regarding prostate self-exam. Let’s face it; our society is so ass-phobic that we’d rather see men die than offer them simple instructions on how to finger their butt, find their prostate and keep tabs on their prostate health.

If we want this to change we all need to speak out…as well as stick a finger in our ass.

Keep up the fight, Gordon! And please, stay in touch.

Good luck

Therapy Available

I’m a Clinical Sexologist in private practice here in Seattle. I’ve been a practitioner of psychotherapy, sex therapy and relationship counseling for over 30 years. I am a sex positive and kink aware helping professional.

I am available weekdays, some evenings and weekends so you can comfortably fit your sessions in around your work, family and social life.

If you would like to talk to someone about your sexual thoughts, feelings, lifestyles and/or experiences then arrange for a consultation at our mutual convenience.

WHAT I OFFER / THERAPY, COUNSELING, CONSULTING or COACHING SESSIONS
I provide therapy in a variety ways —

  • on the telephone
  • online
  • in person

All sessions are 60 minutes in duration. Telephone and online appointments are paid for in advance via Paypal.

Here’s a bit more about the way I work.

I don’t believe therapy should become a lifestyle. Thus, my therapeutic intervention is short term, goal directed and personally liberating. I generally contract with my client(s) for four, six or eight visits (clients of course can terminate at any time). This way we build in an automatic termination date, keeping all of us focused on the goal and honest about the progress we’re making. And, more importantly, the end is always in sight. Rarely do I see client(s) for more than eight session in a row. If my client(s) doesn’t have what he/she/they need to work independently on the problems he/she/they face by that time, then I didn’t do my job properly.

I also firmly believe in at-home-work and journaling. These things keep my client(s) integrated and involved throughout his/her/their with me. Our time together will be concentrated, so there will little time to waste…either yours or mine.

My fee is $110 per session. I do, however, offer a sliding fee schedule for those who have need of that.

You’re welcome to contact me for an appointment if you’d like to move forward with this. You can reach me at: dr_dick@drdicksexadvice.com

TELEPHONE
Some people find it easier to talk about intimate aspects of their life over the phone rather than in person. Access therapy from the comfort and privacy of your own home, car or office. Telephone therapy helps get round geographical, transport and mobility issues.

ONLINE
I can also provide my services via the most commonly used chat and message platforms such as Skype, Yahoo Messenger, etc.

SCHEDULE THERAPY
To book your therapy session(s) email me your preferred date and time dr_dick@drdicksexadvice.com. We will then arrange your preferred payment method. Sessions can be made in block bookings or singly whatever suits your budget and commitments. Early booking is advisable.

CANCELLATIONS
A 24 hours notice is required from the client to cancel or change a booked appointment time. Clients will not be entitled to a refund or an alternative appointment if a cancellation is made with less than 24 hours notice.

PUNCTUALITY
All sessions will start and end at the agreed time. Late calls or visits will result in a shorter consultation. All consultations are by appointment only.

SERVICES
Clinical services cover a full range of sexual heath concerns including:

— Guilt associated with religious upbringing or training.
— Sexual trauma and/or sexual abuse
— Conflicts or sexual dissatisfaction between partners.
— Ejaculation and/or erection concerns.
— Orgasm concerns.
— Sexual orientation/lifestyle preference.
— Sexual inhibitions.
— Socio-sexual skills.
— Sexual misinformation.
— Love and sexuality.
— Jealousy and possessiveness.
— Poor body image.
— Unsatisfactory sexual outlet.
— Safe-sex concerns.
— Sexuality and illness or disability.
— Sexuality and grieving.

My practice combines the best of a short-term cognitive behavioral therapy model with a compassionate, person-orientated counseling technique. My purpose is to help clients come to terms with their sexual problems and conflicts as these relate to their own life values, expectations and goals.

My services are open to individuals, couples, families and groups, of any sexual persuasion, who have sexual concerns. I am available for lectures, workshops, and in-service training.

BACKGROUND
Since the completion of my doctoral studies in 1981 I have been involved in a wide range of sexological activities including counseling, teaching, lecturing, writing, publishing, video production, in-service training and facilitating groups and workshops.

I’ve been writing this online sex advice column for well over fifteen years now.
I am the founder and former Executive Director of the nonprofit organization, PARADIGM; Enhancing Life Near Death — an outreach and resource for terminally ill, chronically ill, elder and dying people.

My therapeutic training includes The Institute for Advanced Study in Human Sexuality San Francisco, The University of California, San Francisco Human Sexuality Unit, and The Pacific Center for Human Growth, Berkeley.
Besides my sexological training I carry a Masters degree in Theology from the Jesuit School of Theology, Berkeley.

I am Board certified by The American College of Sexologists, The American Board of Sexology and The American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists.

Richard Wagner, M.Div., Ph.D., ACS





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