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12 Hours

12 Hours


Painful Sex: Working with GPPD



Credits (CEC)


12 Hours


About the Course

The course encourages you to critically examine your own personal beliefs, biases, stories, and reactions to sexual pain and existing treatments, and consider how these show up in your office as you relate to clients.

Our goal is to help you become a GPPD-informed practitioner by helping you expand your knowledge around working with Genito-Pelvic Pain / Penetration Disorders by:

  • Introducing you to many tangible issues and fundamental concerns including relationship issues with GPPD clients

  • Helping you increase your confidence, competence, and tools for working with clients who suffer from painful intercourse and/or painful genitals

  • Introducing you to screening, assessment, and types of referrals

  • Providing ways to identify your own sexual biases and stigma that may impact your work with clients

  • Giving you practical resources to implement in your practice immediately and share with clients

This training has been pre-approved for twelve (12) CEC’s from the Canadian Counselling & Psychotherapy Association.

Genito-Pelvic Pain/Penetration Disorder (also known as GPPD or GPPPD) is a condition that causes cis-women and those with female genitalia difficulty and/or pain with vaginal penetration or penetration attempts. An estimated 6.5 to 45% of older women and 14 to 34% of younger women experience some form of variation of these conditions.

Historically, GPPD was thought to have been caused by either physical complications or psychological and sexual difficulties, however recent studies show it is a combination of biomedical, cognitive, affective, behavioural, and interpersonal difficulties.

This condition can impact relationship satisfaction, as well as psychological well-being, and can result in feeling deprived, confused, and guilty.

As care providers, we must understand how to recognize GPPD, the best treatment options available, and how to take an approach that is sensitive to the pain clients might be experiencing.

Topics covered include:
  • Different types of GPPD and how the symptoms present

  • Understanding the prevalence, significance, and impact of GPPD for clients

  • An exploration of other common concurrent genito-pelvic pain conditions and how you can tell the difference

  • An overview of common causes of GPPD (biomedical, psychological, and relationship factors)

  • Clinical considerations for working with clients suffering from genito-pelvic pain

  • How to do basic screening and assessment for GPPD so clients can get the proper treatment

  • An overview of best medical treatment practices

  • An overview of best psychotherapy treatments

  • Barriers to accessing mental and physical healthcare for clients

  • Case studies and personal stories

  • Suggested readings, worksheets, resources

  • Plus much more…

We also have in-depth interviews from experts in the field, such as Pelvic Floor Physiotherapists, Sexual Pain Researchers, as well as those who have suffered from GPPD themselves, to help you navigate the broad range of impacts that GPPD can have.

And throughout the program you will be encouraged to thoughtfully and critically examine your own personal stories, biases, and reactions to sexual pain, and how they relate to client’s presenting concerns – all from the comfort of your own home at your own pace.



Watch in-depth expert interviews with members of the GPPD community and allied professionals. They share their personal experiences and what they feel practitioners need to know to work with this community ethically and effectively.

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