Finding the Right Therapist for LGBTQ, Kinky, and/or Poly Couples

kinky therapist

One of the most difficult issues many of my clients face is finding a mental health provider who truly understands their needs as a member of the LGBTQ and/or kink and/or poly community.  All too often well-intended providers on well established referral sites click one easy button to list themselves as LGBT-friendly without training or exposure to our community.  I have heard far too many horror stories of unfit professionals harming clients and friends with good intentions over the years.

As a result I’m writing today to list some of the specialized sites I use to find referrals so you might have an easier time finding someone who understands.

Finding a referral is the first step but it’s even more important you interview your provider to be sure they are a good and knowledgeable fit for your unique relationship before you start working together. Remember your therapist works for you not the other way around.   This is your hour and your life, do not hand your trust over to just anyone. You deserve a provider worthy of your trust (and financial investment) and who can create a shame-free space for your to talk (or not talk) about these topics as appropriate.

I’ve listed a few suggested interview questions under each topic below.  If you have additional interview question suggestions please leave them in the comments section I would LOVE to add them!

Finding a provider you trust is imperative to the success of your coaching or counseling relationship.   I am happy to help you find a provider in your area if you need help.  Please don’t hesitate to contact me for assistance.  If you have a provider in mind you would like to add to the listings, please add their information in the comments section to share with others!

 

Sex Positive, Kink, Fetish, and BDSM 

Questions to ask your potential therapist or coach:

1.  Please describe your previous work with BDSM, kinky or fetish communities and clients.

2.  What does sex-positive mean to you and how does it influence your work with clients?

3.  What kind of training have you received on sex-positive, kinky, or fetish communities?

4.  What makes working with sex-positive clients unique?

Referral listings:

Kink Aware Professionals is provided by the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom and is a resource for people who are seeking psychotherapeutic, medical, and legal professionals who are informed about the diversity of consensual, adult sexuality.

Fet Life is a social media site for the BDSM, kinky, and fetish community (think facebook for kinksters).  There are some therapists who list on this site and there are groups where you can ask for community member referrals in your area.

Polyamory Non-Monogamy and Open Relationships

Questions to ask your potential therapist or coach:

1.  Please describe your previous work with polyamorous clients or open relationships.*

*I recommend asking specifically about your specific relationship style if possible, open, swinging, polyamorous, non-monogamous etc.  As you know we are a beautifully diverse community with unique needs- be sure your provider knows how to help YOU.*

2.  What kind of training have you received on open relationships and non-monogamy?

3.  What makes working with polyamorous clients and couples unique?

Referral listings:

Poly-Friendly Professionals is a list of professionals who have identified themselves as being, open-minded about polyamory and polyamorous issues.

Opening Up List based on the excellent book Opening Up (on open relationships) by Tristan Taormino, a listing of professionals worldwide.

 

LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning)

Questions to ask your potential therapist or coach:

1.  Please describe your previous work with LGBTQ communities and clients.*

*I recommend asking specifically about your specific identity group, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer etc.  As you know we are a beautifully diverse community with unique needs- be sure your provider knows how to help YOU.*

2.  What uniquely qualifies you to work with lesbian, gay, and/or bisexual clients?

3.  What kind of training have you received on transgender, gender variant, or genderqueer populations?

4.  What makes working with gender variant or sexual minority clients unique?

 

Referral listings:

Q Center Resources (this link is for Portland, OR to find a LGBT Community Center near you click here)

Portland State University Queer Resource Center (this center will likely have referrals only in the Pacific Northwest, to find a LGBTQ campus resource center near you click here)

Bisexually Aware Providers the professionals who have chosen to list themselves in this directory have all stated to the directory coordinator that they meet criteria for bisexuality-awareness.

Queer Health Care Referrals (North America)  This is a facebook group of queer and ally identified individuals referring based on personal experiences with healthcare providers.

Informed Consent for Access to Trans Health Care  Not a provider directory, but a great resource for transgender individuals seeking mental health care.

I have to say it again: Finding a provider you trust is imperative to the success of your coaching or counseling relationship.  I truly am happy to help you find a provider in your area who respects and affirms your lifestyle and is knowledgeable about your identity.  Contact me here if you would like help.

5 Responses to “Finding the Right Therapist for LGBTQ, Kinky, and/or Poly Couples”

  1. This is a great source of information and tips on finding the right therapist. It is really important that you choose the right therapist for you because to help you deal with your issues, issues that you simply can’t deal with yourself and since there are many therapists around, it could be difficult. I completely agree with the therapist working for you and not the other way around. These steps and tips here will surely help anyone find the right one.

    Reply

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