Human behavior is fascinating, complex, and multi-determined. What someone does in any given instance is caused by an active combination of factors that are psychological, learned, biological, genetic, environmental, and occasionally instinctual. Our understanding of human behaviors is greater than our ability to predict them. Even so, that understanding is far from complete and the extant theoretical explanations are sometimes contradictory and nonscientific.
In general terms, human behavior can be classified as positive, negative, or neutral. A broader classification is to label a target behavior as normal or abnormal. The matter gets more confused when issues of legal and illegal behavior arise, wherein an illegal behavior may not be abnormal and an abnormal behavior may be quite legal.
We now have the latest iteration of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) (2013) which serves as the official classification system in the U.S. and many other countries. Mental health disciplines and health insurance companies accept this guidebook as the “bible” of the field.
This course will address three unusual psychosexual syndromes which typically receive scant or no attention in the latest DSM or most abnormal psychology textbooks. The three syndromes presented here are koro, autoerotic asphyxia, and necrophilia. These disorders of course, are relatively infrequent in occurrence, yet they are fascinating illustrations of the extreme forms that human sexual behavior can take.
Clinicians need to be familiar with the entire spectrum of disordered behavior that may potentially be presented by their clients and patients. We will focus primarily on the symptoms and descriptions of the syndromes and assume that therapists and counselors will determine the best treatments to invoke, as based on their own theoretical perspectives and training.
Unusual Psychosexual Syndromes, Part 1: Koro, Autoerotic Asphyxia, and Necrophilia is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course that presents three of the most unusual human sexual behavior disorders. Each syndrome is a relatively rare, yet extraordinarily intriguing pattern of behavior. These men and women have fashioned highly unorthodox means of gratifying their basic needs for love and attention. These syndromes are typically ignored or receive only mere mentions in most abnormal psychology textbooks. Yet, these individuals could very well appear in mental health professionals’ practices as inpatients or outpatients. They all have clear forensic implications as well. Each syndrome is presented with a full description of its typical symptoms, relevant case histories, brief theoretical descriptions from the psychodynamic and behavioral perspectives, and the recommended treatments according to the best available current knowledge. Course #30-74 | 2014 | 35 pages | 20 posttest questions
This online course provides instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. After enrolling, click on My Account and scroll down to My Active Courses. From here you’ll see links to download/print the course materials and take the CE test (you can print the test to mark your answers on it while reading the course document). Successful completion of the online CE test (80% required to pass, 3 chances to take) and course evaluation are required to earn a certificate of completion. Click here to learn more.
About the Author:
Louis R. Franzini, PhD, received his B.S. degree in Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh, his M.A. degree in Clinical Psychology at the University of Toledo, and his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh. He then completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Behavior Modification at the State University of New York at Stony Brook (now Stony Brook University). Following the postdoctoral program Dr. Franzini joined the Psychology Department at San Diego State University, where he spent his entire academic career. He retired as Emeritus Professor of Psychology. His international academic experience included appointments as Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the Universite Catholique de Louvain, Louvain-le-Neuve, Belgium and Senior Fellow in the School of Accountancy and Business, Human Resource and Quality Management Division at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Dr. Franzini is licensed as a psychologist in Florida and in California.
Professional Development Resources is approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC ACEP #5590); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB Provider #1046, ACE Program); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA Provider #3159); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR Provider #PR001); the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy (#BAP346), Psychology & School Psychology (#50-1635), Dietetics & Nutrition (#50-1635), and Occupational Therapy Practice (#34); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501); the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193); and the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678).
Related Online CE Courses:
Unusual Psychosexual Syndromes, Part 2: Erotomania & Frottage is a 2-hour online continuing education (CE) course that is part 2 in a series presenting five of the most unusual human sexual behavior disorders. Each syndrome is a relatively rare, yet extraordinarily intriguing pattern of behavior. These men and women have fashioned highly unorthodox means of gratifying their basic needs for love and attention. These syndromes are typically ignored or receive only mere mentions in most abnormal psychology textbooks. Yet, these individuals could very well appear in mental health professionals’ practices as inpatients or outpatients. They all have clear forensic implications as well. Erotomania and frottage are presented with a full description of typical symptoms, relevant case histories, brief theoretical descriptions from the psychodynamic and behavioral perspectives, and the recommended treatments according to the best available current knowledge. Course #20-93 | 2014 | 22 pages | 25 posttest questions
Unusual Paraphilias is a 1-hour online continuing education (CE) course that will describe a variety of paraphilias and specific fetishes that you may encounter in your practice. A paraphilia involves stimulating sexual arousal in someone by an object or fantasy that for most people is commonplace and not sexually related, either directly or symbolically. What you will learn in this course is that there is a clear continuum of unusualness for paraphilias. There are some familiar ones and there are also very many paraphilias reported in the clinical literature which are indeed extremely unusual. This course will include discussions of the eight standard Paraphilic Disorders included in the DSM-5: 1) Voyeuristic Disorder, 2) Exhibitionistic Disorder, 3) Frotteuristic Disorder, 4) Sexual Masochism Disorder, 5) Sexual Sadism Disorder, 6) Pedophilic Disorder, 7) Fetishistic Disorder, and 8) Transvestic Disorders, as well as a number of additional paraphilias and specific fetishes, which are generally quite rare. Course #10-85 | 2015 | 15 pages | 6 posttest questions
Really Bizarre Sexual Behaviors is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course that reviews a variety of infrequent and atypical sexual practices. The range of extant human behavior is truly extraordinary. But, the range of sexual behaviors is exponentially more so. Some are so infrequent and atypical that we call them “bizarre.” Such sexual practices may be described by some laypersons as “sick” or “abnormal.” Even some health care professionals may label such behaviors as “paraphilic” or “psychopathological” or a major behavior or personality disorder or as simply symptomatic of very serious emotional disturbances. This course is intended to familiarize clinicians with a variety of “really bizarre sexual behaviors” that they might at least occasionally encounter in their practices. Our discussion is limited to behaviors and fantasies occurring with a human partner of either sex who consents to participation without coercion. No animals or children are involved as sexual objects or partners. It is useful to be aware of what some people like to do sexually and the language typically used in the informal sexual underground. There is no need to engage in such practices personally or even to “experiment” with them to become sufficiently knowledgeable. It is also important to know where to go to learn more. Finally, this course will suggest criteria on how to make the decision on whether to treat such behaviors. Society claims an interest in an individual’s intimate practices and may sometimes invoke the criminal justice system to enforce those interests. Thus, there are ethical implications about court mandated treatment programs for behaviors that are consensual and not harmful to anyone. Course #30-88 | 2016 | 41 pages | 26 posttest questions
Gender Identity and Transgenderism is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course that reviews issues in the formation of gender identity and the possible resultant condition of transgenderism, formerly transsexuality. After viewing oneself as a human being, the most important aspect of our self-concept is that we are a male person or a female person. That is the very essence of our humanness and the most basic sense of who we are. To experience a conflict between our physical body and our concept of maleness or femaleness is the most fundamental existential distress imaginable. This course will discuss the ongoing distinction between sex and gender, causes and prevalence of transgenderism, harassment of transgender children, DSM-5 diagnostic criteria, theories of gender development, conversion therapy, modern medical and socio-psychological treatment of transgender patients, passing, and postsurgical relationships and therapy. Certain prominent transgenderists are discussed, and several autobiographies are referenced to further our understanding of the complex transgender life experiences. Finally, some examples of positive changes are presented, which increase the knowledge base for the professionals who see transgender patients in their practices, along with other nascent societal changes, which, in turn, can improve these patient’s lives. Course #30-91 | 2016 | 41 pages | 20 posttest questions