In this episode
In this episode, we interview Sexual Health Alliance’s Director of Clinical Education, Dr. Chris Donaghue. Chris takes us on a deep dive through his beginnings as a sex therapist. His mindset as a sex therapist is to always learn and grow. Dr. Chris Donaghue also shares his experience being a sex therapist with a growing social media presence. He tells us about the pros and cons of it, and what he’s doing to remain true to his beliefs.
The Power of Knowledge
Chris’ mentality towards his practice is what makes his work so authentic and distinct. When approaching his work he looks beyond the topics of sexuality and mental health. He derives inspiration from other aspects of his life such as art, anthropology, and education. Chris continues to do research and study things that are transformative to himself.
He is a strong believer in the power of books. Behind him in the interview is his gigantic collection of all the books he has read. He gives us the inside process of his reading triad which is one book within the field (sex therapy, sexuality), one book outside of his field, and one book that is random and fun. Outside of literature, he also researches what is current and “trending”. Down to the lingo and slang, he believes that staying aware of what’s going on in the world helps practitioners communicate and relate with their clients.
“They were the kindest, most honest, authentic, forward-thinking people and they were living truth.”
Social Media and Fame
When it comes to media, Chris lets us in on the rocky road of gaining fame and attention. We learned that Chris never had intentions of pursuing an image in the media. He told us that he chose to be a part of the LogoTV show “Bad Sex” because it was a project that he was passionate about, and that it aligned with his ethics. From his time in the spotlight, Chris has learned that people are harsh on social media. He was given some tough love from his co-host Amber Rose of the “Amber Rose Show with Doctor Chris” that he needed to grow a tougher skin. Chris has come to realize that with more media attention, comes the ability to reach out to more people. With more eyes on him, more opportunities arise where he could say things that insult or harm people. Chris’s advice and personal philosophy for tackling this topic are to continue to have empathy. He focuses on educating and transforming himself with the hope of being as inclusive as possible, and not spreading hate.
“I think the people that are gonna be the most successful both in clinical practice and even in the media are people that are gonna have a goal and a mission.”
🎙 6:57 How Dr. Chris Donaghue’s neighbor influenced him when he was younger
🎙 8:56 A story of being the right person at the right time
🎙 12:28 What books Chris is reading right now and what he recommends
🎙 14:00 How feminism and queer theory changed his view on sexuality and himself
🎙 23:23 Working with therapy in the media in shows like Bad Sex and Sex Box
🎙 27:07 Dealing with criticism from the media and the lessons Chris has learned
🔗 Chris Donaghue’s website
🔗 E-mail Chris Donaghue
🔗 Sexcasters Sexuality Professionals Podcast Community
🔗 SHA Certification Trainings where Dr. David Ley is on the advisory board
🔗 Respark Therapy & Coaching for sex therapy and couples therapy in Colorado and Texas
🔗 Practice Outside the Lines
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Meet Dr. Chris Donaghue:
Dr. Chris Donaghue is a therapist, lecturer, and an educator. Dr Donaghue is the Director of Clinical Education for The Sexual Health Alliance (SHA), the host of the nightly live stream show “I’m Listening; Stay Connected” on Radio.com, and hosts the relaunched iconic “Loveline” nightly radio show. He is the author of the books “Rebel Love” and “Sex Outside the Lines: Authentic Sexuality in a Sexually Dysfunctional Culture”.
Dr Donaghue is the former co-host of the “Amber Rose Show with Dr Chris” podcast, frequent co-host on “The Doctors” tv show, and was a weekly expert on “The Amber Rose Show” on VH1. He also previously hosted WE tv’s “Sex Box” and Logo tv’s “Bad Sex”. He has been featured on The Today Show, VICE, CNN, HLN, OWN, Nightline, Dr Drew and in Newsweek, New York Times, Daily Beast, Men’s Health, Cosmo, and National Geographic and has been published in various journals and magazines.
Dr. Donaghue has lectured at prestigious Universities including USC, UCLA, and Princeton as well as being the keynote at various professional conferences such as Chicago Ideas Week, American Association for Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT), and The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (SSSS).
Dr. Chris Donaghue is a Doctor of Clinical Sexology and Human Sexuality, Doctoral trained in Clinical Psychology, Licensed Clinical Therapist, a Certified Sex Therapist and a Certified Sexologist.
Dr. Donaghue practices general psychology, and specializes in individual and couple’s sex, relational, and marital therapy. His areas of focus include sexual and relational trauma work, sexual compulsivity, sexual dysfunctions, body image issues, body dysmorphia, body positivity, gender, and non-traditional sexuality, identities, and relationships. His work is also with diverse individuals, including all gender expressions, sexual orientations, and Kink/BDSM/Poly issues. His office is located in Los Angeles.
Dr. Donaghue is a member of American Association of Sex Counselors, Educators, and Therapists (AASECT), the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (SSSS), and the American College of Sexologists (ACS).