“At the centre of your being you have the answer; you know who you are, you know what you want” – Lao Tzu
Thankfully these days, it is becoming more widely recognised that there is a vast spectrum of different gender, sexual and relational expressions. Sadly though, it is my observation that the lived experiences of people who identify at differing points across these spectrums, are still not fully understood or accepted by the mental health profession as fully healthy and acceptable ways of ‘being human’. It is my view that many clinicians are still not well-educated when it comes to sexuality, BDSM, kink, polyamory and spirituality.
I believe all people deserve to meet with a therapist/counsellor who understands their identity issues and sexual practices without unnecessarily making that a focus of treatment and it is one of my goals to help change this knowledge gap. So to address this, I openly welcome working in a variety of ways with those who are engaged in consensual, albeit transgressive (a)sexualities and relationships who are seeking a place to understand and be understood.
These include, but are not restricted to people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, asexual, celibate, polyamorous, non-monogamous, or swingers and those involved in Leather, BDSM or Kink lifestyles or practices, anyone on the trans and gender variant spectrum (e.g. trans women, trans men, non binary gender people, cross dressers/transvestites, genderqueer, androgynes, plus intersex people and those living with variations in sexual development).
I can offer private counselling and psychotherapy around a wide number of issues including counselling for people already in, who are seeking or who are drawn to and want to explore Gay/BDSM/Leather/Kink relationships.
These may include issues such as fetish questions, chemsex related issues, coming out issues, negotiating and contracting power dynamics and roles, fantasy exploration and understanding, issues around masculinity, relationality, anxiety, shame, guilt and overall self-acceptance, self-actualisation and spiritual/transpersonal issues.
I have recently had two chapters published in a new book on GSRD: Critical & Experiential: Dimensions in Gender and Sexual Diversity where I attempt to open up a psychological space between BDSM, male homosexuality and psychotherapy.
Gay Men, Leather and the search for spirituality & meaning – A Transpersonal Journey through Gay Leathersex.
On Saturday 25th March 2017, I presented at Pink Therapy’s Fifth International Annual Conference.You can see a video of the presentation here.
On 3rd June 2016, I presented a Workshop at the International Psychosynthesis Congress: Psychosynthesis for the Future, in Taomino, Italy entitled: Living Gay Leathersex, a relational source on alternative sexualities for therapeutic training and practice
If you would like to discuss me holding this Workshop for you, or if you are looking for counselling/therapy or support on any issues like the ones above, please contact me here or give me a call 0n +44 (0)203 637 6566
- I have a listing in the Kink Aware Professionals Directory (KAP) here
- Here is a link to a pretty good Guide on How to Choose a ‘Kink Aware’ Therapist
- This is a link to some things I will and won’t do when working as a ‘Kink Knowledgable’ Counsellor
- And here is a link to my Professional Boundaries Statement
Gender, Sexual and Relational Diversity (GSRD) is a more inclusive term for the more traditionally used LGBT (IQ) (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender/ sexual, intersex, questioning). It encompasses a wider range of gender, sexual and relationally diverse identities including, but not restricted to, people who either engage in Kink/BDSM (bondage, dominance, discipline, submission, sadism and masochism) practices, lifestyles or relationships – irrespective of sexual orientation. This includes people who may identify anywhere across the gender spectrum and not simply intersex or transgender, plus those who identify anywhere across the monogamous/non-monogamous relationship spectrum.
Gender and Sexual Diversity Therapy is a recent and deliberate move away from Gay Affirmative Therapy (GAT) to encompass and support all forms, aspects and issues around gender and sexual diversities. It is a trans-theoretical approach where all theoretical models (Psychodynamic, Humanistic, Behavioural, Psychosynthesis) can operate within their central organising principles. It is therefore a form of therapy and counselling that is cognisant of the social context in which gender and sexual diversities live as well as the particular concerns of each individual. It works with the hypervigilance and consequences of living within a society which is biased towards heteronormativity and binary conception of gender. It helps clients understand their experiences and the impact of external oppressions, how they are internalised and a range of issues specific to these populations and communities. It stresses the need for clients to self-define and for developing personally relevant values and moral codes.
You can read more about Gender and Sexual Diversity Therapy (GSDT) here.
Although my main area of interest and experience is around gender, sexual and relational diversity, BDSM, kink and spirituality, particularly within the gay, male Leather scene, I also have a particular interest in and specifically focus on the following areas of research and practice:
- Understanding of gender, sexuality and cultural issues with specific focus on the areas of male (homo)sexuality and adolescent maturation into adulthood
- Intergenerational mentorship and the significance of ‘elders’ contribution in the community,
- Leathersex, S&M and alternative-style relationships
- Issues around chemsex
- How sexuality and spirituality are intertwined.
I completed a Masters in Gender, Sexuality and Culture at University of London, Birkbeck in 2011 and have written a number of papers around these topics. Click on one of the links below to read more:
Other MA Papers:
To What Extent Does The Construction And Use Of Initiation Rituals And Rites-of-Passage Within The Leather Scene Challenge, Subvert Or Play With Dominant Ideas Of Masculinity/Hegemonic Masculinity and/or Initiation Into Manhood?