What’s New at the World Health Organization? – Therapy Utah August Newsletter

Kathy KinghornKathy Kinghorn, UncategorizedLeave a Comment

Therapy Utah Newsletter - August

Therapy Utah Newsletter - August

What’s new at WHO?
(World Health Organization)?

A new disorder is being added and that’s a good thing!

The World Health Organization (WHO) has been around since 1948. It has 191 independent countries that are now members. Over the years their focus has changed to meet the ever-changing needs across the globe. In the early years of their existence they focused on fighting infectious killers like small pox, polio and diphtheria. In the 1970s their focus shifted to bringing life-saving vaccines to millions of children. Because of the rise in cancer, heart disease and diabetes at the turn of the century they turned their focus to healthy living and preventative care.

Currently, WHO has focused on the need for individuals to have access to mental health professionals. They have worked hard to make this opportunity available and have successfully extended mental health services in 110 countries.

So, why the history lesson about WHO?

Just this month, WHO has proposed diagnostic guidelines for compulsive sexual behavior disorder!

Although they fell short of using “sexual addiction” as the diagnosis it is definitely a step in the right direction. (See Kathy’s blog on this topic on our website.) To those of us in the field that see our clients struggling with their sexual behaviors this is very, very good news! Because, when an organization like WHO identifies a disorder several things are put into place.

1) WHO members were tasked with creating a definition (see below) for the disorder. Having an agreed upon definition enriches the discussion and allows for more accurate data tracking.

2) When a disorder is recognized by WHO funding for research is more readily available. At Therapy Utah we recognize the need for more evidence-based research. We also understand that research takes time, money and a specific subject to study. Grants will now be available to WHO that will enable them to fund evidence-based research studies.

3) We find that many of our clients are harmed by prior therapists who do not understand how devastating out-of-control sexual behavior is to individuals and their families. They dismiss the fact that it is a disorder or addiction and will often base that dismissal on the fact that well-respected organizations don’t accept it as a problem, why should they? They will then chart a treatment course that never addresses the real issue. As Brannon and Kathy present in the community, at conferences, on podcasts this recognition will help therapists understand the very real problem of sexual addiction.

4) Insurance companies will only approve payments for behaviors that are considered disorders or addictions. This new classification will allow compulsive sexual behavior disorder to be recognized by insurance companies.

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