Report from the NACS conference 2017

Sexuality and mental health!


Successful conference and annual meeting in The Nordic Association for Clinical Sexology in Trondheim, Norway 12-15 October 2017.


The annual NACS conferences venues alternate between the Nordic countries; in 2016, the conference was held in Tartu, Estonia, in 2018 it will be held in Turku, Finland. This year the conference was held in Trondheim, Norway on the topic ”Sexuality and mental health”.


To highlight the international work on sexuality and mental health, Lale Say, from WHO attended the conference and presented the WHO operational framework, where sexual health is intertwined with reproductive health. She also presented the proposition for the ICD-11 to add a new chapter on sexual health where both sexual dysfunctions and gender incongruence are included, and hence excluded from the chapter of mental disorders.

1111The NACS conferences are attended by many practitioners who are more interested in obtaining new knowledge than presenting their own research; the conferences can therefore put more effort in giving space for interesting lecturers to present their work on relevant topics.

At this conference, Norwegian doctor Anna Louise Kirkengen presented her work under the title “Sexually abused –Bodily inscribed” – about the long-term consequences of sexual abuse. Consequences that can also be “read” in physiological changes in the CNS.

Jon Arcelus from University of Nottingham, UK, presented research on mental health in Trans youth, suggesting that it may benefit young trans people to start hormonal treatment earlier than what is common in present practice.

111Specialist in clinical psychology Atle Austad from Norway talked about genital identity in men, and the need to teach young boys about what is a normal penis.

Specialist in psychiatry, Haakon Aars and specialist I clinical psychology Cecilie Brøvig Almås, both from Norway, talked about the need to be aware of sexuality in psychiatric patients. Aars highlighhted problematic consequences of medication on sexual function, and Brøvig Almås went into depths on psychotic patient´s ambivalence concerning intimacy.

Professor Leif Edward Ottesen Kennair form the University in Trondheim presented research about risky sexual behaviour and health outcomes.

Specialist in clinical psychology, Elsa Almås described options of using modified sex therapy to help clients repair sexuality after sexual trauma.

Professor Janniko Georgiadis from Groningen, Netherlands gave an instructive presentation of a theoretical framework of the human sexual brain and gave examples from studies focusing on sexual response.


I addition to the invited speakers, there were 21 oral presentations and 6 posters from all the Nordic countries, and from Turkey and Morocco on topics such as gender incongruity, social sexology, sexual problems, medical sexology, sexuality and culture, and sexological counseling.


Participants expressed great satisfaction with the scientific program as well as the social program. The organizing committee in Trondheim had organized a magnificent organ concert in the great cathedral Nidarosdomen, live chamber music at the get together at Litteraturhuset on Thursday night, and live ballroom music at the gala dinner on Saturday night. The food, the hotel, the surroundings were all very satisfactory for the 150 participants from the Nordic countries and our guests from England, Netherland, Morocco, Palestine and Turkey!

We now look forward to the 40th anniversary of NACS in Finland next year!


Elsa Almås

President NACS 2017-2018