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Sexual Behaviors Consultation Unit

Who We Are

The Sexual Behaviors Consultation Unit (SBCU) is a specialty clinic within The Johns Hopkins Hospital. Established over four decades ago in 1971, the SBCU is committed to excellence in patient- and family-centered care, medical education, and research. Its primary focus is on issues of gender variance and human sexuality.

What We Do

The SBCU provides a welcoming patient- and family-centered environment. We seek to help our patients achieve a sense of emotional and psychological well-being. We respect the dignity of every patient and the legitimacy of what each person is experiencing. Our primary clinical components are:

Intimate Relationship Issues (Sexual Dysfunctions)
We seek to help individuals and couples who may be coping with emotional pain and interpersonal problems related to sexual intimacy. Issues addressed can include sexual difficulties created by physical illness or injury, aging, medication side effects and a variety of life stresses.

Gender Identity
We provide a nonjudgmental environment in which individuals and their families are safe to explore the choices that they feel will be best for them. Our goal is to assist patients as they seek self-acceptance and sometimes clarification of their gender identity. We strive to ensure that all of our patients are well-informed about the nature of gender identity (and gender dysphoria), and about potential risks and benefits related to various treatment options. We provide education, guidance and support to patients and their loved ones.

Psychosexual Disorders
We provide evaluation and treatment recommendations to adults, adolescents and children with a variety of psychosexual disorders (paraphilias) in an objective and caring manner. As an example, we are interested in assisting individuals who experience sexual feelings toward minors as a means of helping to prevent child sexual abuse, while simultaneously enabling our patients to lead safe, law-abiding and fully responsible lives.

A Collaborative Approach

The SBCU collaborates with psychiatrists, other physicians, psychologists, social workers, and other health professionals and agencies. When appropriate at the time of evaluation, referrals are made to specialties, such as urology, gynecology, surgery, endocrinology, pediatrics, child psychiatry and internal medicine, for further assessment and possible treatment. We also welcome referrals from those specialties. A collaborative relationship is maintained with them to ensure the highest level of patient care.

Our Expert Team

The psychiatrists, psychologists and psychotherapists of the SBCU have faculty appointments at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Medical students and others in training are sometimes present for evaluations.

Director: Fred Berlin, M.D., Ph.D.

Directors of Clinical Services: Chris Kraft, Ph.D. and Kate Thomas, Ph.D.
Medical Director: Chester Schmidt Jr., M.D.
Director of Research: Thomas N. Wise, M.D.
Administrative Assistant: Barbara Cross