How do you see gender and sexuality?
Gender and sexuality exist on spectrums. People identify themselves and their preferences in a number of ways.
I make an effort to educate myself about LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, asexual) issues. There is so much information out there, and happily, it is constantly expanding.
I appreciate your patience with me as I continue to learn.
How can you help me navigate gender and/or sexuality concerns as a therapist?
First, not every LGBT+ identified person has difficulties related to their gender and/or sexuality. This will only be a focus of your treatment if you want it to be.
Second, historically, therapists have misunderstood and severely mistreated LGBT+ identified folks. Because of this history, you may approach therapy with skepticism or even fear. I wouldn’t blame you.
An Affirming Approach
As your therapist, I’ll be most interested in your unique experiences with gender and/or sexuality.
Your concerns may not be straightforward (no pun intended!). You might not know for sure how you identify yourself, or what you want. I can help you explore these questions, on your own timetable and terms.
Maybe you already know exactly who you are. You’re seeking therapy because of the impact of discrimination or abuse on your mental heath. Or perhaps you’re having difficulty finding an accepting community. I’m here to listen and help you cope.
How do you identify yourself?
My pronouns are she and hers. I am a cis woman married to a cis man. I would label my sexuality as “questioning.”
What do you know about BDSM?
Frankly, most of my background knowledge about BDSM (bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism) is from the podcast Risk by Kevin Allison. Not *necessarily* a bad thing. I have some experience treating clients who are in the BDSM community.
My philosophy about BDSM is the same as it is about most other things: Each person’s experience is unique.
Under the right circumstances, I believe BDSM can be healing and pleasurable. BDSM can also be re-traumatizing or problematic. It all depends on context.
What about sex addiction?
What makes an addiction an addiction? The havoc it wreaks on your career, finances, relationships, or other important aspects of life.
If you have a lot of sex, masturbate a lot, watch a lot of porn, or cheat on significant others, it’s not necessarily a sex addiction. You may just be really sexual; there’s nothing wrong with that.
Alternatively, you may be chasing sexual pleasure to avoid other feelings. Maybe you’re looking for a temporary self-esteem boost. Maybe you use sexual encounters to decrease loneliness or boredom.
Hypersexuality is sometimes a symptom of mania or sexual trauma.
So as you can see, addiction is just one of many explanations for what might be happening. I can help you work out what’s really going on, and how to cope.