As we close out Pride Month in the roller coaster ride that is 2020, a year that has caused us to redefine so many aspects of our lives, perhaps we can redefine one more thing, our image of the therapeutic relationship.
For too long many members of the helping profession have allowed outdated ideas to define sexual norms and pathologize those practices that fall outside of their comfort zone. But today we see a new type of therapist emerging, a sex positive therapist, moreover a Kink Positive Therapist!!
A sex positive mindset begins with the notion that the wide variety of sexual practices that people engage in are healthy and are an important part of the human condition. Kink Positive Therapy expands that idea to assure clients that the therapist understands that there is a wide variation of relationship dynamics that are also honored and valued.
A Kink Positive Therapist:
- Understands that Kink ≠ Pathology, and does not need to be “cured”
- Allows an open space for the person to speak comfortably about their life in all its dimensions
- Respects the use of preferred names/pronouns (although any good therapist does this as well)
- Avoids heteronormative language and assumptions of dyadic relationships
- Continues to educate themselves about the variety of kink and poly relationship dynamics and to be aware of their own potential bias
Did you know that there is even a Kink Aware Pledge for therapists to take as they work forward towards creating a Kink Positive environment in their practice?
My name is Sheilagh Harrington and I am new to Sunrise -Amanecer. I am a sex positive, kink positive therapist. I believe that every person is entitled to a healthy and vibrant sex life, one that fits their needs and desires. I also believe that people have the right to define their own relationships. I honor all people regardless of where they might comfortably identify on the gender or sexuality spectrums. I have worked hard to advocate for the rights of people who have mental health diagnoses to be able fully express their sexuality as they deemed appropriate. I actively promote increased safer sex education within the ageing population as part of my sex positivity advocacy work, and I have had the honor of serving sex workers in a counseling role.
There is, of course, more to life than sex and people seek therapists for many reasons. Just know that should you seek out a therapist and you would like to find a place where you could express yourself in all of your truth. This is a safe place.