Sexuality Education and Counseling Services (SECS) offers the essentials for every age and stage of life. Our mission is to provide comprehensive, honest and sex-positive health education and support that addresses the unique needs of the whole person, family and community. Ultimately, these services instill a sense of empowerment that is needed to make healthy life decisions and embrace sexuality as something that is valued, respected and celebrated. Our age-appropriate educational workshops, professional trainings, and individual, couples and family counseling, provide a truly integrative and holistic approach that builds on individuality and personal strengths.
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Heather Simonson, LMSW, founded Sexuality Education and Counseling Services (SECS) in 2009 to empower others to make healthy life choices and embrace sexuality as an essential part of life. As is the case with many of our youth growing up today, Heather knew far too many of her peers who became unexpectedly pregnant and struggled alone with difficult decisions because they were unable to communicate with their parents. This is what first sparked Heather's interest in sexuality education.
[Heather at the Long Island Breast Cancer Walk at Jones Beach]
With a strong background in counseling and higher education, Heather is a Licensed Social Worker and Certified Sexuality Educator with over 10 years experience. She earned her Masters Degree in Social Work from Stony Brook University in New York and her certification from the American Association of Sexuality, Educators and Therapists (AASECT). Heather began her career in sexuality education in 1995 as an AIDS Peer Educator during her college years at Stony Brook.
Prior to becoming a consultant, Heather was a Sexuality Educator and the Director of Training and Education for Planned Parenthood of Nassau County, where she established the agency's first parent education and training program. She also oversaw their award-winning prevention-through-the-arts peer education program, as well as the male involvement and Latino outreach programs.
Heather is now a trainer, counselor and consultant in the areas of sexual and reproductive health, youth development, relationships and curriculum design. She facilitates workshops, provides trainings and gives presentations for schools, universities, businesses and nonprofit organizations. Heather also provides private coaching and counseling to individuals, couples, families and groups.
With a mission of helping people embrace sexuality and wellness in a healthy and positive light, Heather has provided trainings throughout the United States , presented at national conferences and helped thousands of youth-serving professionals, adolescents, parents, individuals and couples to increase their knowledge of sexuality and intimacy.
To specifically address the needs of young girls Heather has also become a board member of Girls Incorporated of Long Island , a non-profit, youth serving agency created to bring gender-specific programs to girls on Long Island in order to foster equity and hope for the future.
[Heather performing in the Vagina Monologues]
While sexuality education has always been Heather's passion, as a parent herself she is inspired to help other parents talk about these important topics and brighten the hope for her daughter's future. A well-known expert in the field of sexuality education, Heather has created a series of programs to give parents and their children the skills to bolster their connection and enable them to talk openly and honestly. Working with parents and families on an individual level has helped couples to increase their intimacy, develop their communication and strengthen their families.
Mobilizing and empowering parents to become advocates for comprehensive sexuality education and working on the legislative level is also a vital part of her mission. To achieve this goal, Heather collaborates with Family Planning Advocates of New York State to bring comprehensive sexuality education to the forefront of our youth's health curricula.
Heather's work as a sexuality educator and counselor, along with her training in social work, gives her a truly holistic perspective. Using a model that addresses each aspect of self not only helps to ensure sexual health, but overall well-being. In an effort to combine eastern and western derived techniques, Heather has become a Yoga Ed.™ instructor and a yoga and tantra teacher. After 10 years of practice, Heather incorporates both yoga and tantra into her teachings and private counseling sessions to increase resiliency, as well as the health and success of our kids, our families and our communities.
After years of research on this integrative approach, Heather's work has now been published as one of the compositions in the new 4 volume series, Sexuality Education: Past, Present, And Future edited by Elizabeth Schroeder, EdD, MSW and Judy Kuriansky, PhD. Heather is a co-author, along with editor Dr. Kuriansky of " EMPOWER NOW ! An innovative holistic Workshop for Empowerment in Life Skills and Sexuality for Youth." - Please Click Here to Purchase