BrainLine Military

A Service of

Turn off text only

Page Utilities


How Should Healthcare Providers Raise the Issues of Sexuality and Intimacy Post-TBI?

How Should Healthcare Providers Raise the Issues of Sexuality and Intimacy Post-TBI?


How should healthcare providers raise the issues of sexuality and intimacy post-TBI?

Click on any phrase to play the video at that point.
[Glenn Parkinson] A challenge for me personally is that I've been doing this work on and off for a long time, and I have a fairly high comfort level talking about some things that a lot of people don't. And so it's really important when you broach these topics to be very sensitive to the comfort level and the culture of the person you're speaking to. So again I mention that—drop the hint and let it go. It's really important to let it go. It's a very important part of it because what you do is you open the door again, and you wait for them to walk through it. A lot of times people have very conservative upbringings, and their parents don't talk to them about sex. They learn about—I learned about sex from my older brother. And so you don't really know where people are coming from in terms of what feels comfortable to them, what feels intrusive to them, and what they're open to. Sometimes even just saying the word "sex" out loud to a stranger feels very uncomfortable, so you have to be ready for the conversation. You have to be able also to gauge what information would be helpful to a person and what might be overwhelming to them—or feel like it's— you don't want to close the door once it's been opened. You don't want to turn someone off. You don't want them to feel uncomfortable with you. So you have to gauge it pretty sensitively, but that's part of the work—working with the people and getting a sense of where they're coming from and what they're open to.

show transcriptShow transcript | Print transcript

Click here to see other video Q&As with Glenn Parkinson.

Click here to return to our BrainLine Military Ask the Expert feature.


Produced by Victoria Tilney McDonough and Erica Queen, BrainLine.

Glenn W. Parkinson, MSW, MAGlenn W. Parkinson, MSW, MA, Glenn Parkinson, MSW, MA works as the psychotherapist on the Traumatic Brain Injury service at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. She works with active duty and retired military personnel and their families specializing in combat-related injuries.

The contents of BrainLine Military (the “Web Site”), such as text, graphics, images, information obtained from the Web Site’s licensors and/or consultants, and other material contained on the Web Site (collectively, the “Content”) are for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for medical, legal, or other professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Specifically, with regards to medical issues, always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the Web Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. The Web Site does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Web Site. Reliance on any information provided by the Web Site or by employees, volunteers or contractors or others associated with the Web Site and/or other visitors to the Web Site is solely at your own risk.


There are currently no comments for this article


BrainLine Footer

Javascript is disabled. Please be aware that some parts of the site may not function as expected!