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Psychotherapy and D/s

The decision to seek psychotherapy is often a major one in our lives. It is filled with anxiety, both about our need for psychotherapy and the therapist him/herself. It is not always easy under average circumstances, and certainly becomes less so when an alternative lifestyle is involved.

We recommend finding a kink aware professional whenever possible. There is a level of depth in D/s relationships that is not achieved in vanilla relationships for the most part. There is a level of communication, a level of knowledge and awareness of your partner that people in vanilla relationships tend to shy away from because it is too intense. You need a psychotherapist that understands this.

You also need someone who does not view BDSM as a mental illness. The last thing you need is someone trying to cure you of your perversion. When you visit a psychotherapist that is not kink aware, you are the expert. The psychotherapist, in order to equalize the situation, may attempt to make you feel as if your kink is a perversion and not a lifestyle choice.

Because they have so much power in our lives it is important to remember the balance. You have made a decision about the way you wish to spend your life, you can defend this decision, you can actualize it, and you can teach the psychotherapist why it is important. In order to do that you really need to be able to be above what the psychotherapist is going to do which on some levels negates the therapeutic process.

It is for this reason that we stress the importance of seeing a kink aware psychotherapist. You need someone who can listen in a non-judgmental way. Someone who can understand the unique problems and strengths of a D/s relationship.

There are several ways to go about finding a kink aware psychotherapist, and many options when it comes to how you will communicate with him/her. If you belong to a local group/munch/organization (and we strongly suggest that you do) ask around. Chances are someone knows a good psychotherapist. Find out if the group has a newsletter or personals listing, your local psychotherapist will often advertise there.


Fetish Community. Registration is free. Just fill in the form, enter your e-mail and confirm the letter you’ll get. Then you can access to member search and busy message boards where you can meet other like minded people.


Another good resource is Kink Aware Professionals. It lists professionals in several categories around the country. If there are none listed near you call the closest ones, they may know of someone in your area.

If you are willing to consider alternative forms of therapy such as e-mail or telephone your options are expanded. Ask online friends, visit many personal listings, and search on the web. You will have a greater pool of psychotherapists to draw from and will have a greater chance of finding one you connect with. We have used both of these forms in our practice with great success and would certainly recommend it.

If you feel you must make face-to-face contact and have exhausted all available avenues for finding a kink friendly psychotherapist you have two options. Seek no psychotherapy, or attempt to communicate with a vanilla psychotherapist. Chances are that seeking no psychotherapy is not an option so we are left with trying to find someone not in the life that can at least strive to understand.

So, what do you look for in a vanilla psychotherapist and how do you talk to him/her? You must find out the psychotherapist’s view of BDSM in general. Tell him/her listen..I want you to know that what I am about to say to you I do not bring to you as a problem. I want you to know that this is something in my life that I have tested, that I enjoy and that no one has forced me into. I want to know what your position on it is to see if we can work on some of the issues I have about it. I do have issues, but I am completely convinced that this is the life I want to have. Then listen to what he/she says.

A competent psychotherapist may say ‘This is not what I think you should do, but if you decide that this is what you have to do, do it and lets talk about the results’. He/she will tell you whether they think they can be non-judgmental and if not refer you to someone who can.

However, if you find yourself faced with a psychotherapist who begins to wonder what happened to you in your childhood to cause these leanings. Or if they ask how badly you treat yourself when you are being submissive and what do you let other people do to take advantage of you, he/she may not be the therapist you are looking for. Look for judgmental words that should not be appearing.

It is perfectly alright to try on several psychotherapists. He/she will hold great importance in your life and must be chosen carefully. If any psychotherapist, kink aware or vanilla, makes you feel unduly uncomfortable you should take steps to find another. It is important for you to bring the best of yourself to your relationships, your psychotherapist should help you do that.



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