The Affirmative Couch, LLC supports the mental health of sexual, gender, and relationship expansive communities through education. The Affirmative Couch, LLC is dedicated to a world where everyone has access to affirmative psychotherapists and information about their unique mental health needs.
The Affirmative Couch, LLC was founded in 2018 due to a severe problem in which the mental health needs of the sexual, gender, and relationship expansive communities were not being met. We noticed the frequency of LGBTQIA+, consensual non-monogamous, or kinky people seeking mental health services without success due to the lack of competent professionals. We witnessed their resistance in accessing services due to fear (unfortunately sometimes a realistic one) that those services aimed at supporting them would further traumatize and erase their identities and experiences. People who needed services were going without due to both the fear that they wouldn’t find someone affirmative and the fact that most mental health professionals are not trained in working with sexual, gender, or relationship diversity. We aim to bridge this gap.
To solve this problem, The Affirmative Couch, LLC takes a multi-pronged approach: train more affirmative psychotherapists, empower communities with information, and create visibility of affirmative mental health professionals.
First, The Affirmative Couch provides ongoing education and training to psychotherapists seeking to gain greater competence in their clinical work with LGBTQIA+, consensual non-monogamous, and kinky people. Increasing the supply of affirmative therapists will help more sexual, gender, and relationship expansive community members gain support through ability to access competent mental health services.
Second, The Affirmative Couch publishes the online magazine, Out on the Couch, as a way for community members to learn about their unique mental health needs. Increasing access to information will empower members of sexual, gender, and relationship expansive communities to advocate for their own needs, gain tools to deal with stigma and oppression, and know when professional help might be warranted.
Third, The Affirmative Couch offers a way for members of sexual, gender, and relationship expansive communities to learn about the services of affirmative mental health professionals, since authors and presenters can highlight their clinical practices. Through connecting community members to affirmative mental health professionals, The Affirmative Couch, LLC hopes to decrease stigma and increase acceptance through psychological healing.