Doctor George Turner

Doctor George Turner

Senior Lecturer in Social Work,
Social Work & Communities

Biography

Dr. George Turner’s research is focused on reducing health disparities by advancing sexual health equity in areas such as sexual justice, LGBTQIA2S issues, disability, and sexuality education. As a social worker, George has a demonstrated clinical expertise as a psychotherapist with over fifteen years in private practice specializing in sex therapy.

Dr. Turner is a disability and sexuality scholar who values interdisciplinary collaboration including partnering with local communities in participatory research. His research is focused on reducing health disparities by advancing sexual health equity, framed by an interest in how systems of privilege impact the intersection of race, class, ability, gender, and sexual orientation within sexual health. Through an exploration of voice, his goal is to use storytelling to illuminate the lived experiences of disenfranchised groups and expose meaning where little or none existed. Dr. Turner uses mixed methods approaches to investigate cross-cultural understandings, practice implications, and policy development regarding sexual well-being and sexual justice. As a researcher-practitioner, George’s body of research is organized around 3 areas of inquiry:

1.  increasing the understanding of stress, trauma, resilience among LGBTQ+ and people with disabilities, specifically recognizing how a pathologizing sex negativity can be used to silence, shame and segregate;

2. understanding how people experience their bodies and sexual lives; thus helping people have deeper more meaningful physical and intimate relationships; and

3.impact teaching pedagogy, policies, programs, and clinical practices through the use of a sexuall wellness informed practice lens in order to enhance the sexual health of individuals, families and communities.

As a educator, Dr. Turner employs experiential learning to maximize student development. George mentors learners to become helping professionals who are skilled advocates, practitioner and researchers for disenfranchised communities. Teaching must be grounded in a competency based curriculum that produces measurable outcomes and should be a mutually enriching journey that is respectful, affirming, challenging and interactive. George is a first-in-family/ first generation college student, thus he strives to honor students' unique perspective and provide a learning environment that values a student’s voice. More importantly, Dr. Turner aims to facilitate an atmosphere which recognizes divergent learning styles and provides opportunities to promote student success.

Prior to coming to WSU, Dr. Turner was an Associate Professor of Practice at the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare (2013-16), and a visiting lecturer at Washburn University (2012-13) in the social work department. George has taught both undergraduate and graduate units including: Human Sexuality, Practice, Multicultural Practice, Psychopathology, Sexual Trauma, and Psychopathology. A certified sex therapist (AASECT), Dr. Turner operated a thriving private practice in Kansas City, MO. USA for fifteen years specializing in sexual health, personal wellness, and relationship enhancement. This and his background in non-profit administration inform his teaching best practices in direct clinical services. Dr. Turner routinely provided sexuality consultations to Kansas City hospitals including: Children’s Mercy, St. Luke’s, and KU Med speaking to their psychiatry, OBGYN and urology departments on topics such as intersexuality, female sexual pain, and taking a sexual history. Additionally, George was a frequent speaker at non-profits such as PFLAG, the MS Society, KU Cancer Center, as well as graduate psychology and counselling programs.

This information has been contributed by Doctor Turner.

Qualifications

  • PhD Widener University
  • MEd Widener University
  • MSocWk University of Kansas

Professional Memberships

  • Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (2013)
  • Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) (2016)
  • Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) (2016)

Awards

  • Pat B. Koch Award for Research Publication in Sexuality, Widener University 2015-09-01
  • Outstanding Dissertation Award, Center for Education, Widener University 2012-09-01

Interests

  • Sexual Health and Wellbeing
  • Disability Issues
  • LGBTQI

Organisational Unit (School / Division)

  • Social Work & Communities

Contact

Email: G.Turner@westernsydney.edu.au
Phone:
Mobile:
Location: EJD.G.56
Parramatta

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Teaching

Previous Teaching Areas

  • 101664 Working with Cultural Differences, 2018
  • 101664 Working with Cultural Differences, 2019
  • 102351 Practice skills for social work, 2019
  • 400513 Social Work and Health, 2019

Publications

Chapters in Books

  • Turner, G. (2021), 'Sex therapy : social workers' potential as sexuality experts', Routledge International Handbook of Social Work and Sexualities, Routledge 9780367358662.
  • Turner, G. (2021), 'A vision of justice : seeing the sex-ability of people with intellectual disabilities', Routledge International Handbook of Social Work and Sexualities, Routledge 9780367358662.
  • Turner, G. (2020), 'The circles of sexuality : promoting a strengths-based model within social work that provides a holistic framework for client sexual well-being', Rooted in Strengths: Celebrating the Strengths Perspective in Social Work, University of Kansas Libraries 9781936153152.
  • Turner, G., Pelts, M. and Thompson, M. (2018), 'Breaking taboos : the power of group work for first-generation scholars', Group Work Stories Celebrating Diversity, Routledge 9781138302419.

Journal Articles

  • Turner, G., North, R. and Drake, G. (2023), '[In Press] Social work curriculum : preparation for sexuality and sexual well-being practice', British Journal of Social Work, .
  • Turner, G., Pelts, M., Frabotta, R. and Paceley, M. (2023), 'They were the best and the worst of times : reflections illuminate emerging adults' sexual experiences', Sexuality Research and Social Policy, .
  • Turner, G., Chhetry, D. and Round, R. (2023), '[In Press] Mentoring social work adjunct educators : a collaborative autoethnography provides a blueprint for support', International Social Work, .
  • Turner, G. and Joseph, B. (2023), '[In Press] Let's talk about sexuality podcasting in social work education : a deeply personal pedagogical approach to explore the deeply personal', Social Work Education, .
  • Turner, G. and Pelts, M. (2022), 'Sexual well-being informed social work practice : harnessing the power of reflection and a hallmark experiential sexuality education activity', British Journal of Social Work, vol 52, no 2 , pp 872 - 889.
  • Turner, G. and Stayton, W. (2022), 'Are sex therapy and God, strange bedfellows? : case studies illuminating the intersection of client sexuality with spirituality, religion, faith or belief practices', Sexual and Relationship Therapy, vol 37, no 3 , pp 324 - 341.
  • Turner, G., Round, R. and Chhetry, D. (2022), 'Teaching social work practice skills : a collaborative autoethnography identifying key practice skills and modes of delivery in the art of social work practice', British Journal of Social Work, .
  • Turner, G., Derusha, K., Meyers, L., Snyder, B., Gray, A., Asby, M. and Durham, J. (2021), 'A psychotherapy private practice social work practicum : expanding our boundaries of field education placement', Social Work, vol 66, no 1 , pp 59 - 69.
  • Paceley, M., Thomas, M. and Turner, G. (2019), 'Factors limiting SGM youths' involvement in nonmetropolitan SGM community organizations', Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services, vol 31, no 1 , pp 1 - 18.
  • Turner, G., Pelts, M. and Thompson, M. (2018), 'Between the academy and queerness : microaggressions in social work education', Affilia, vol 33, no 1 , pp 98 - 111.
  • Turner, G., Vernacchio, A. and Satterly, B. (2018), 'Sexual justice is social justice : an activity to expand social work students understanding of sexual rights and injustices', Journal of Teaching in Social Work, vol 38, no 5 , pp 504 - 521.
  • Kattari, S. and Turner, G. (2017), 'Examining more inclusive approaches to social work, physical disability, and sexuality', Journal of Social Work in Disability and Rehabilitation, vol 16, no 1 , pp 38 - 53.
  • Turner, G., Pelts, M. and Thompson, M. (2017), 'Breaking taboos : the power of group work for first-generation scholars', Social Work with Groups, vol 40, no 1-2 , pp 168 - 173.
  • Turner, G. and Crane, B. (2016), 'Teaching and learning qualitative methods through the dissertation advising relationship : perspectives from a professor and a graduate', Qualitative Social Work, vol 15, no 3 , pp 346 - 362.
  • Turner, G. and Crane, B. (2016), 'Sexually silenced no more, adults with learning disabilities speak up : a call to action for social work to frame sexual voice as a social justice issue', British Journal of Social Work, vol 46, no 8 , pp 2300 - 2317.
  • Turner, G. and Crane, B. (2016), 'Pleasure is paramount : adults with intellectual disabilities discuss sensuality and intimacy', Sexualities, vol 19, no 5-6 , pp 677 - 697.
  • Turner, G. (2015), 'A coming out narrative : discovering my queer voice, my social worker superpower', Reflections: Narratives of Professional Helping, vol 21, no 4 , pp 40 - 50.

Conference Papers

  • Turner, G., North, R. and Drake, G. (2023), 'Social work curricula down under : Australian sexual health practitioners identify gaps in their preparation to work in sexual well-being settings', Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality. Annual Conference, Vancouver, Canada.
  • Turner, G. (2019), 'A private practice field education site : illuminating a unique social work practicum placement through auto ethnography', Society for Social Work and Research. Annual Conference, San Francisco, Calif..
  • Turner, G. and Pelts, M. (2019), 'The power of sexuality reflection in the classroom : results of a case study', American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists. Annual Conference, Philadelphia, Pa..
  • Turner, G. (2018), 'Sexual justice : an activity to expand students' understanding of social justice', Council on Social Work Education. Annual Program Meeting, Orlando, Fla..
  • Turner, G. and Meyers, L. (2018), 'Using auto-ethnography to illuminate a sexual health private practice practicum site', Council on Social Work Education. Annual Program Meeting, Orlando, Fla..
  • Turner, G., Pelts, M., Meyers, L. and Chaya, J. (2018), 'Sexually literate social workers : a review of a staple of social work professional training, continuing education, indicates a lack of basic training on human sexuality', Society for Social Work and Research. Annual Conference, Washington, D.C., Wash..
  • Pelts, M., Turner, G. and Thompson, M. (2017), 'Between the acaderny and queerness : microaggressions in social work education', Council on Social Work Education. Annual Program Meeting, Dallas, Tex..
  • Turner, G., Pelts, M., Thompson, M. and Meyers, L. (2017), 'The practical application of sexual literacy to social work', Society for Social Work and Research. Annual Conference, New Orleans, La..
  • Stiritz, S., Turner, G. and Pillai-Friedman, S. (2014), 'Teaching sexuality to social work students : sixty years in a contact zone', Council on Social Work Education. Annual Program Meeting, Tampa, Fla..
  • Turner, G. (2013), 'Straight from the heart : adults with intellectual disabilities give voice to a poverty of sex education', World Association for Sexual Health. Congress, Porto Alegre, Brazil.

Other Publications

  • 2023, 'Leading Disability Research and Workforce Development: A Western Sydney Collaboration', Report
  • 2022, 'Vice-Chancellor's Gender Equality Fund Final Report 2022: Voice of Western through Data Unlinkability: Setting the Agenda for Better Equity', Report

2019 -present          Principal Investigator -     Relax, its only sex therapy: How do social workers certified in sex therapy describe their work

2016- present          Principal Investigator -     They were the best of times: Undergraduates reflect on a teaching activity and their sexual experiences 

ORCID #0000-0003-2314-1239

This information has been contributed by Doctor Turner.

Current Projects

Title: Queer and disabled: An intimate look at a sex positive art project
Funder:
  • Family Planning NSW
Western Researchers: George Turner
Years: 2021-04-01 - 2024-06-01
ID: P00027048

Supervision

Current Supervision

Thesis Title: Breaking the Limits: Deconstructing the Experience of Physical 'Disability' from the Perspective of Young Adults
Field of Research:

Previous Supervision

Thesis Title: Sexual education and experiences of violence: exploring the lives of women with physical disability
Field of Research:

Media

Title: Australian Sexual Health: Practitioners Identify New Practitioner Needed Knowledge, Skills, Comfort
Description: SSSS Conference (2021)
Title: Client Sexuality is Social Work: A human rights conversation on sexual health and pleasure
Description: Visiting Scholars Symposium: Infusing Sexual Literacy Within Social Work and Allied Health Care ( Jan 27, 2020 )
Title: Sex & Intimacy in the Older Woman
Description: Continence Foundation of Australia NSW Conference 7th May, 2021
Title: Sydney World Pride/ Mardi Gras2023
Description: Dr. George Turner Marches with Western Sydney University
Title: Whats Sex Got To Do With Social Work
Description: Dr. George Turner shares with emerging social workers what role sex, sexuality and sexual wellbeing plays within the scope of practice of social work
Title: Why do we need masters of sex professionals?
Description: Visiting Scholars Symposium: Infusing Sexual Literacy Within Social Work and Allied Health Care ( Jan 27, 2020 )
Title: Out for University
Description: George Turner is part of a panel speaking about forging your own path as first in family
Title: Episode 13 ??? Sexual Justice as Social Justice with Dr George Turner
Description: George Turner sits down with Ben Joseph, a PhD candidate at Western Sydney University and the producer for the podcast, Social Work Discoveries. On Episode 13, Sexual Justice is Social Justice, Dr George Turner discusses the intersections of social work and sexual health/ well-being. George frames much of his work through a

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