Intro to Clinical Guidelines for Clients with Kink Interests

October 30, 2020 6:00-8:00 pm

If you would like to read the Guidelines, we have a downloadable version of the 2020 Kink Clinical Guidelines here.

As helping professionals, mental health workers have an ethical and a professional responsibility to provide culturally competent care to our clients.

Clinical competence is especially crucial for individuals who are underserved and misunderstood in society, such as those involved in kink and fetish. When some find their way to mental health professionals for help, they may be fortunate to find a therapist who is knowledgeable and experienced with kink and BDSM. Yet, many more may find clinicians unfamiliar with kink who have unaddressed biases or may pathologize them. Due to this care gap and high likelihood of negative experiences, people involved in kink often fear being stigmatized and can experience the negative effects of minority stress.

To change this, in the Spring of 2018, a team of highly experienced clinicians gathered to explore what constitutes clinical best practices in working with those who are interested and/or involved in kink, BDSM, and/or fetish eroticism. These guidelines were published in January 2020 and will be reviewed during this presentation.

Following a review of the clinical guidelines, case examples will be used to help clinicians become familiar with the guidelines and use them to inform clinical decisions.

Participants will be able to

  • apply the Kink Clinical Practice Guidelines to clinical situations.
  • identify why Kink Clinical Practice Guidelines are necessary.
  • explain how kink stigma and discrimination can affect the health and well-being of clients.
  • discuss how consent is defined and negotiated in the context of kink interations and power-exchange relationships.