Current Appointments and Roles
Heather S. Howard, PhD is a board certified sexologist and Mind-Body Health Facilitator. She founded the Center for Sexual Health and Rehabilitation to help clients meet their sexual and intimate goals, and developed the Ergoerotics® process to promote comfortable pleasure.
In addition to her private practice work as a sexuality counselor, she serves as an adjunct professor of human sexuality at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) in San Francisco. Heather is developing a series of educational videos to help patients with chronic health conditions to find comfortable pleasure, as well as a library of ergonomic sexual positions to assist health care providers with making clinical recommendations to patients. She is also completing funded research entitled "A Culturally-Informed Educational Program to Promote Sexual Health and Well-Being Among Refugee Women."
She is the Membership Chair and serves on the board and nominating committee of the International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health (ISSWSH), a reviewer for the Journal of Sexual Medicine, and a CE Provider for the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT). She is formerly a clinical skills instructor for the Stanford School of Medicine Obstetrics & Gynecology Department and for the Herman and Wallace Pelvic Rehabilitation Institute.
She offers classes and workshops for individuals and couples seeking sexual enrichment, support, and/ or recovery from sexual pain conditions, as well as educational programs to provide health care providers with tools to support the sexual challenges their clients face. She also conducts pleasure education workshops for private groups and is available for public speaking engagements.
Training and Philosophy
Heather is a board certified sexologist with the American College of Sexologists (ACS); a certified sexuality counselor and certified sexuality educator with the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT); and an ISSWSH Fellow (IF) through International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health (ISSWSH).
She received her BA from the University of California at Berkeley (1993), her MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business (1995), her PhD in human sexuality from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality (IASHS) (2008), and her MPH in human sexuality from IASHS (2012).
Her doctoral research explored the relationship between sex and pelvic pain and the potential for sexual response to be integrated into the treatment program for pelvic pain. She founded the Center for Sexual Health and Rehabilitation to provide resources for people facing sexual challenges or seeking sexual enrichment, and has created a private and non-threatening environment for clients to ask questions and discuss sensitive topics, as well as purchase products that promote sexual health and pleasure.
Heather has found that sexual health is facilitated by enhanced mental and physical consciousness, and she utilizes a variety of techniques aimed at promoting consciousness and mind-body integration. She trained in a consciousness technique called Voice Dialogue at the New York Voice Dialogue Institute (2001-2004) and Voice Dialogue Australia in Melbourne (2004). She also learned to use the Body Dialogue method of accessing the voice of the body in her training with Voice Dialogue Australia.
Personal Journey and Skills
Heather began to explore her sexuality in an attempt to overcome debilitating pelvic pain. She sought medical and alternative care around the world and did extensive research on sexuality as a method for, as well as a goal of, overcoming pain. Her journey and progress gave her the desire to share the benefits of her experience with others.
She enjoys travel and exploring the other cultures. She has lived in many cities in the United States in addition to London, Madrid and Hong Kong, and collaborates with an international community of researchers, educators, and health care and wellness practitioners in order to provide the latest information to her community and beyond. Her exposure to diverse cultures and experience of living in foreign countries provided her with a unique ability to identify the religious, philosophical and cultural constructs that may be contributing to sexual concerns. Helping clients to identify and demystify the cultural messages underlying their beliefs enables them to find sexual solutions that honor their constructs, or to determine when those constructs are no longer useful.
Heather continues to explore creative pain and sexuality management options for herself and her clients. She applies diverse skills and perspectives, including methologies borrowed from other industries, to problem solving. For example, she trained extensively in the Bel Canto classical singing technique and in latin and ballroom dance. In addition, she cultivated her analytical and organizational skills while training and working in various positions in finance. Her unique and rich toolbox enables her to design innovative and effective programs for her clients.
Heather is a member of International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health (ISSWSH), World Association for Sexual Health (WAS), American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT), International Pelvic Pain Society (IPPS),
National Vulvodynia Association (NVA),
Interstitial Cystitis Association (ICA),
Interstitial Cystitis Network (ICN),
and International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP).