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Thu, Dec 07



Sexuality & Intimacy as We Age

Join Carolyn Torkelson, MD & Catherine Marienau, PhD, for an evening workshop on nourishing your sexual self and overall well-being as you age!

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Sexuality & Intimacy as We Age
Sexuality & Intimacy as We Age

Time & Location

Dec 07, 2023, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM CST


About the Event

What do Sexuality and Intimacy mean to you? Aging brings life transitions that can create opportunities for older adults to enhance or redefine what sexuality and intimacy mean to them.  In this interactive workshop, we will explore how physical and emotional changes affect your sexual health.  We will discuss messages from the past, partnered and solo pleasuring, and ways to nourish your sexual self and overall well-being.

Carolyn Torkelson, MD & Catherine Marienau, PhD, are authors of Beyond Menopause: New Pathways to Holistic Health

Carolyn Torkelson, MD

Dr. Torkelson's route from history major to integrative health physician has been circuitous. She began her health career as a nurse, eventually working as a nurse practitioner in a holistic clinic, an experience that inspired her to go to medical school with a focus on preventive care and holistic health. But once in practice, she quickly learned that Western medicine had few answers to the array of chronic illnesses that plagued her patients. She committed herself to find alternative solutions to the myriad problems and concerns she heard about every day. At the time, formal training programs in integrative holistic medicine did not exist, so Dr. Torkelson studied botanical and functional medicine, explored self-care, and became active with the American Holistic Medical Association, a group of like-minded practitioners. What sets Dr. Torkelson apart is her rich knowledge of traditional medicine through life experiences. She spent a year in Guatemala working in a mission clinic, worked on the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation in North Dakota, and spent time in northern India learning about Tibetan medicine.

After 10 years in family medicine, Dr. Torkelson joined the faculty of the University of Minnesota and completed a master's in clinical research. She has been involved in numerous research studies on integrative medicine. Since 2004, her clinical practice has focused on women's health and providing integrative healthcare to women of all ages. When she reflects on how she came to be an advocate for integrative health care, Dr. Torkelson realizes it was in incremental phases. In her words, "I did not have a transformative experience or an 'aha' moment that sent me on a quest for enlightenment. Rather, it was a slow emergence of an innate understanding that how we eat, think, sleep, and move affect our emotional and spiritual states." Dr. Torkelson is emblematic of many women her age who experience ups and downs, successes and failures, but more importantly, are infused with the desire to continue on a purposeful life journey.

Dr. Torkelson is on the boards of Pathways, a crisis healing center, and of the National BOlder Women's Health Coalition. She co-chairs the Minnesota Holistic Medicine Group, an organization that started 30 years ago and now connects 900 holistic providers from multiple healing disciplines. Although Dr. Torkelson retired from the University of Minnesota in December 2019, with the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic, she returned to a faculty position as a community preceptor.

Catherine Marienau, PhD

For more than 50 years, Dr. Marienau has been listening to women's stories in their pursuit of higher education. While serving as an academic tutor at the Center for Higher Education for Low-Income People (HELP) at the University of Minnesota, she witnessed the power of learning for nontraditional learners--people who because of age, location, life circumstance, or ethnic or racial identity--had been shut out of higher education. The women attending the HELP Center had especially inspiring life stories because they pursued learning in the face of enormous barriers, including limited finances, family responsibilities, work obligations, low self-esteem, unsupportive family and friends, and more.

Dr. Marienau continued serving adult learners in the University Without Walls program during its experimental start-up year in 1971, going on to become the program director and academic mentor from 1974-1983. Her philosophy was "the ethics of choice and care," and her goal was to reform higher education, along with providing access and quality learning opportunities for nontraditional or marginalized learners. Three-quarters of the students in the program were women in their thirties to sixties, a statistic that persists to this day in adult-focused programs across the country.

In 1983, Dr. Marienau joined the School for New Learning at DePaul University in Chicago where, again, most learners were mature women. For 35 years, she taught a course on women's issues, in various formats. She conducted research on the barriers to higher education for rural women and on experiences of vital women in their 70s and beyond. Again, she based her mentoring on and practiced her philosophy of choice and care, working in partnership with women to ensure that their learning and its outcomes mattered.

Dr. Marienau holds a master's degree in the social and philosophic foundations of education, with an emphasis on anthropology and innovative higher education, and a doctorate in curriculum and instruction with emphasis on adult higher education. She is a master practitioner of neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), which complements more recent study and writing in affective neuroscience and learning.


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