Kink/BDSM Archives - The Affirmative Couch

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Defining Power for Affirmative Therapists

Posted: 8-4-21 | Melissa Dellens

Clinics, treatment centers, and group practices play an important role in the communities they serve. Power flows through every relationship from the individual dyad in treatment to a community clinic’s relationship with federal policy (Hess & Schultz, 2008).  Moreover, these dynamics can be seen as both a commodity and resource (Peterson & Zimmerman, 2004) in [...]

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Kink-Aware Therapist: Challenging Your Awareness

Posted: 7-7-21 | Rachel Gombos

Please note that this article contains content related to sexual trauma.

Together, we have journeyed through the previous articles in this series towards becoming a kink-aware therapist, Depathologizing Kink in Therapy and Kink-Aware Therapy: Consent and Negotiation to discuss kink practices and understand the consent and negotiation tactics that govern them. Buehler (2017) [...]

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4 Barriers to Affirmative Clinic Change

Posted: 6-9-21 | Melissa Dellens

Gerald Caplan is seminal in developing some of the early theories of consulting work (Caplan, 1960). Caplan worked in Israel after World War II providing mental health support to 16,000 displaced and orphaned teens in overwhelmed residential and refugee facilities (Mendoza, 1993). Caplan’s resources were limited, and his team had no way of serving the [...]

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Depathologizing Kink in Therapy

Posted: 4-17-21 | Rachel Gombos

Please note that this article contains content related to sexual trauma.

Surviving sexual trauma can change the way that sexual contact is experienced and enjoyed, and the prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms in sexual assault survivors is outrageously high, at around 94% (Chivers-Wilson, 2006). At the same time, rediscovering enjoyable physical contact as a [...]

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Kink-Aware Therapy: Consent and Negotiation

Posted: 12-16-20 | Rachel Gombos

By Rachel Gombos MSW, LISW

Please note that this article contains content related to sexual trauma.

In this article, the first in a three-part series about kink-aware therapy, I will lay the groundwork for practitioners to gain an understanding of BDSM and key concepts such as consent and negotiation. Many may believe that BDSM represents [...]

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Telepsychotherapy Protects Queer Communities From COVID-19

Posted: 3-15-20 | The Affirmative Couch

Telehealth offers psychotherapists a way to provide quality mental health services while still practicing and promoting extreme social distancing. This practice, instituted early, can help save lives during the COVID-19 pandemic (Pueyo, 2020; Stevens, 2020). Psychotherapists who work with queer communities should be switching to telehealth in order to decrease the risk faced [...]

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Helping Queer and Trans Clients Navigate Fatphobia During the Holidays

As we approach winter and prepare for “hibernation,” diet culture often kicks into high gear.  Family meals, holiday parties, and New Year’s resolutions surround us, regardless of whether we celebrate, and become fertile ground for fat shaming. The “holiday season” is already hard enough for many LGBTQIA+ folx*. It can also be an exceptionally dangerous [...]

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