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Summer Institute Faculty & Program


Institute Co-Directors:

Chris Donaghue, PhD, LCSW, CST. Psychotherapist, SexTherapist & Activist. Tv Host, LoveLine podcast cohost & "author of Sex Outside the Lines

Prem Pahwa, MSW, LCSW, CST, CSTS, Director of the Sexual Health Certificate Program, University of Michigan


Institute Faculty:    

Chris Donaghue, PhD, LCSW, CST. Dr. Chris Donaghue is an international lecturer, therapist, and educator. Dr Donaghue is the Director of Clinical Education for The Sexual Health Alliance (SHA), host of the LoveLine podcast, weekly expert on “The Amber Rose Show”, and frequent co host on “The Doctors” tv show.  He previously hosted WE tv’s “Sex Box” and Logo tv’s “Bad Sex”.  He is published in various professional journals and top magazines, and has been featured on The Today Show, VICE, CNN, HLN, OWN, Nightline, Dr Drew and in Newsweek, New York Times, Daily Beast, Mens Health, Cosmo, and National Geographic.Author of the book, “Sex Outside the Lines: Authentic Sexuality in a Sexually Dysfunctional Culture”.

Session Title: Outside the Lines: Liberating Sex from Problematic Culture, Psychology, and Normativity

Working in mental health and education in our current climate requires unlearning the standard oppressive models and definitions for sexual-relational health. 

Inclusion is no longer enough, as current models seek to force assimilation and act as agents of social control.  This lecture will explore new paradigms that center alternative ways of practice and theory.  Not affirmative, but legitimizing non-traditional (non White, hetero, cis, ablebodied, monogamy centric) ways of being, thinking, and sexing.  The language of sex and relational therapy is far too often pathologizing towards minorities. 

We will explore how sex therapy (and psychology) still thinks in terms of neurosexism and gendered brains, ignores social justice systems perspectives and intersectionality.  We will open up to possible new diagnoses, theories, and new forms of practice

The goal is to end the trauma of forcing diverse clients into mental health models not made for them, that erase their unique ways of being.


Bradley Lewis MD, PhD is associate professor at New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study and a practicing psychiatrist. He is affiliated with NYU’s Disability Studies minor, Department of Social and Cultural Analysis, and Department of Psychiatry. Lewis writes and teaches at the interface of humanities, cultural studies, disability studies, madness studies, medicine, psychiatry, and the arts. His recent books are Narrative Psychiatry: How Stories Shape Clinical Practice and Depression: Integrating Science, Culture, and Humanities.

Session Title: Queering Mental Health: The Intersections of Sexism, Heteronormativity, and Sanism

“Do we truly need a true sex?” This is the question that Michel Foucault, a founding figure for both queer theory and mad studies, finds himself asking in the course of his work. We can add to Foucault question a set of further questions, “Do we truly need a true gender?” “Do we truly need a true sexuality?” “Do we truly need a true diagnosis?” “Do we truly need a true medication?” “Do we truly need a true treatment?” In thinking through these questions, queering mental health becomes less about sex, gender, sexuality, diagnostic status, and treatment regimes and more about questioning the logics of truth and power—sexism, heteronormativity, and sanism—which organizes so much of our thinking in these domains. Building on Foucault’s work, as it has been developed in queer theory and mad studies, helps us shift from “truth” to “aesthetics.” When we let go of the truth of ourselves, we can move to an art of life as a creative practice of self and relationship, bodies and pleasures, love and lifestyle, differences and similarities.


Keiko Lane ,MFT is a Japanese American psychotherapist, writer, educator, and activist. She has a psychotherapy practice in Berkeley, CA. specializing in work with queers of all genders, artists, activists, academics, healers and clinicians, and other clients self-identified as post-colonial. Keiko writes about the intersections of queer culture, oppression resistance, racial and gender justice, HIV criminalization, reproductive justice, and liberation psychology and she teaches graduate and post-graduate psychotherapy courses on queer and multicultural psychotherapies, sexualities and countertransference, and the psychodynamics of social justice. Her writing has appeared most recently in The Feminist Porn BookQueering Sexual ViolenceThe Remedy: Queer and Trans Voices on Health and Healthcare, and online on and    

Session Title: “Queer(ing) Attachements: Sex, Death, and Trauma

Most traditional Western models of psychotherapeutic thinking understand healthy attachment as a function of early relationships in service of survival. How are sexualities and relationships which do not include fantasies of futurity (marriage and reproduction) disavowed or pathologized in current clinical thinking? How might we think about the intersections of sexual desire, agency, and self-determination in the context of queer embodiments and traumas?

We will explore the ways in which our clinical training has aimed us toward setting goals of self-protection and longevity with our clients, often overlooking the ways in which queer traumas and survivals shape desire and embodied experience.

With case examples focused on the ways in which HIV/AIDS has shaped community survival and narrative; and experiences of queer people navigating political migrations and exiles, we will ask what it might mean to re-center pleasure and mutuality without the goals of cultural assimilation or fantasies of permanence.


Dalychia Saah, MSW is an educator and the co-founder of Afrosexology. Afrosexology creates educational content and workshops that centers the pleasure and liberation of Black people. Afrosexology’s work covers topics such as masturbation, self love, enhancing communication in relationships, radical twerking, oral sex, body agency and much more. Through Afrosexology, Dalychia has created space for thousands of people of color to reclaim their sexuality. Dalychia believes that systematic forms of oppression can be overthrown by a reclamation of intra- and interpersonal power.

Dalychia is an adjunct instructor at the Brown School of Social Work, where she teaches courses in social theory, social justice, and sexuality.   

Dalychia’s work and words have been featured in HuffPost, Vibe Magazine, Fusion, Playboy, Sex Out Loud with Tristan Taormino, and Sex Gets Real with Dawn Serra.

Session Title: Sexual & Social Liberation: Connecting our Pleasure to our Power

As we work to imagine and build a more liberated world, we are tasked with deconstructing external and internal oppressive ways of being. We exist in a culture that sends us daily messages that we are less than, should feel ashamed to be our authentic selves, to operate in competition instead of collaboration, that institutional violence and exploitation are the norm, and that we are not powerful enough to actualize liberation. These messages are also internalized, normalized, and perpetuated through our intrapersonal and interpersonal interactions. Through unpacking and challenging the ways that we've been separated from our authentic selves, our most loving and erotic selves, our liberated selves, we will begin to identify how pleasure can serve as a pathway to sexual and social liberation. 


Shanna Kattari, PhD, MEd, CSE is an assistant professor at the University of Michigan School of Social Work and core faculty at the Center for Sexuality and Health Disparities. A queer, White, Jewish, cisgender, disabled, chronically ill Femme, her practice and community background is as a certified sexuality educator, and social justice advocate.  Dr. Kattari’s extant research focuses on understanding how power, privilege and oppression systematically marginalize, exclude, and discriminate against people regarding their identities/expressions through negative attitudes, policies reinforcing oppression, oppressive actions and isolation. Her work centers on disability and ableism, and transgender/non-binary (NB) identities and transphobia, using an intersectional lens. Recently, she has focused on the health disparities among trans/NB communities, across physical and behavioral health, as well as working with the community to better understand how the lack of inclusive providers has increased these disparities. She is also interested in examining sexuality in marginalized communities, particularly disabled adults and LGBTQIA2S+ individuals.

Session Title: Sexy Spoonies and Crip Sex: Intersections of Sexuality and Disability

Almost a quarter of adults identify as having a disability, impairment, or chronic illness, and many others will experience this short term, or as they age. While society often perpetuates the ableist idea that disabled individuals and people with impairments are simply not sexual, nothing could be further from reality. This workshop is both discussion and lecture-based covering issues around the intersection of disability and sexuality, such as coming out to/discussing a disabled identity with a partner(s), how to discuss disability needs around sex (inlcuding sex toys, working with PCAs, etc.), new things to try and creative ways to so, use of sex workers and sex surrogates, correct and accurate terminology, negotiating sex play (including kink/BDSM play), and other topics on this subject. 



Jamila M. Dawson, LMFT is a kinky, queer, polyamorous sex therapist, activist, and educator. She specializes in counseling around sexuality, relationships, personal and organizational development with a specialty in supporting high-achieving people of color. In particular, her work focuses on helping people in the kink/polyamory/swinger communities enhance their relationships and move beyond sexual challenges via therapy that combines interpersonal neurobiology, sex-positivity, liberation psychology, and the politics of pleasure. She believes deeply in the ethic of embodied social justice to explore the intersections of sexual health, and relational wellness. An educator at heart, Jamila has lectured at USC, Antioch University Los Angeles, collaborated with sex educators such as Tristan Taormino, and she has also worked with Buzzfeed, Playboy, Harper’s BAZAAR and other media outlets.

Session Title: Centering the Edge: Sex Therapy and BDSM

In the face of policies and social structures that inhibit sexual wellness and harm us all, Queer Black people and others who engage in BDSM, ethical non-monogamy or social justice communities continue to imagine and construct new ways of healing and relationship-building. If we pay attention to the methods of mindful connection encoded in these alternative practices and consider a therapist-as-activist paradigm, we can enhance our lives, our therapist/client relationships, and the practice of sex therapy as a whole.

Kendra Holliday is the author of The Beautiful Kind. She is a passionate bisexual sexplorer when it comes to kinks, fetishes, BDSM, swinging, sex work, and polyamory. She is also a mother, daughter, sister, friend, and volunteer.

She is a co-founder of Sex Positive St. Louis and has served as an Alternative Lifestyle Advisor and Gynecological Teaching Associate for Washington University School of Medicine. Featured countless times in The Riverfront Times and winner of their Web Award for Best Sex Blog, she has a professional consulting site Be Open and Honest, where she offers sex and relationship advice and sex surrogacy services (talking and hands-on intimacy).

Her life experiences include monogamous marriage, divorce, sex work, parenthood, as well as being fired and sued for her sexuality. A nudist and sex-positive activist, she is in a polyamorous BDSM relationship with her long-term partner, Matthew.

Session Title: The ABC's of Sex and Disabilities

Sex and intimacy should be accessible to all adults, regardless of their abilities. Often people with disabilities are overlooked or left behind in this arena. How can they catch up to their peers? What do they need to know? How can their loved ones and care team support them in their romantic endeavors? Kendra Holliday will offer a comprehensive overview of sex and disabilities based on over a decade of hands on experience with various conditions and how to navigate challenges with playful and creative solutions.

More information coming soon!