All therapists hold underlying beliefs which direct their therapy. These beliefs are based on a combination of things: personal bias, scientific principles, psychological research and principles, and the psychological school of thought from which the therapist is working. There are numerous schools of thought in psychology. To name a few, there are: Jungian therapists, Client Centered Therapists, Solution Focused Therapists, Relational Therapists etcetera.
As a single clear example of personal bias, a very conservative Christian therapist would likely hold a personal bias that the best therapeutic outcome is to facilitate a couple staying together under almost all circumstances with exceptions related to drug addiction, abuse and adultery. Generally speaking if you went to this kind of therapist’s webpage, you would understand that if you saw them for marriage counseling, the counselor’s goal would be to try to facilitate reconciliation. If you were miserable and unsure about whether the relationship was good for you, and you wanted to get a divorce unless things could dramatically change, you would probably not want to go to that therapist.
If, on the other hand, your desire is to try to maintain your marriage at all cost, due to your own personal beliefs or life circumstances, it is good for you to know that you can go to the above-mentioned therapist and find help. You will know upfront that your therapist is going to do everything in his or her power to try to help you salvage your marriage, even if by other’s standards it appears unhappy.
In situations where therapist bias is less clear, you are unfortunately entering into a therapeutic relationship that may not serve you well, and it may take a while, and a lot of money, to find out that you are in the wrong place and moving in the wrong direction.
In the world of psychology, it seems to be frowned upon to acknowledge that the therapist’s personal biases might play a part in therapy. Amongst our colleagues, we talk about personal bias as if it is a curse and we discuss ways to try to limit it as much as possible. For this reason, many therapists will talk about their psychological school of thought, but will not talk openly about bias.
Personal bias can be a bad thing. If a therapist is blind to their own bias and subsequently directs you toward their personal goal, as opposed to helping you find your own path to peace and happiness the process is destructive.
As an extreme example, if a therapist is generally biased against marriage and encourages a client to get a divorce, despite the pain a divorce would cause the client, the bias is destructive.
My therapeutic approach is solution focused. This means that my therapeutic goal is to focus on solutions to problems. While I am sensitive to emotions and value the positive role they can play in our decision making process, I tend to rely on client’s strengths and to use those strengths to help clients find solutions to those problems.
My bias, as it pertains to BDSM/Kink/Fetish/GLBTQ is that all of these things are hard-wired in our brains. We are born gay, straight, bisexual, transsexual, or queer; kinky or vanilla; with fetishes or without them. We are born with a need for BDSM or we are not. For some people, awareness of these drives doesn’t come until sexual awakening in puberty, but I have heard from countless clients that some of their earliest memories were of sneaking into their mother’s lingerie drawer and trying on her underwear, and loving the feeling. I have heard clients say that they remember wanting to be tied up with rope, or even playing with rope, as young as five or six years old. I have heard from female clients who related that at a young age (pre-pubescent) they felt aroused by genital pain and didn’t understand it. These are just a few of the countless stories people have entrusted me with.
I want to be clear. I believe that all forms of sexuality, whether considered normal or abnormal, are hard-wired. For this reason, I believe that it would be unethical for me to tell a client that, with enough time, hard work, and money thrown my way, I can ‘fix’ them. I do not believe that sexual identity (including yearning for kink) is influenced by environment.
I cannot, and will not, try to ‘fix’ you. I don’t think you’re broken.
What can I offer? I can help you manage your kink. I can help you with strategies for coping with issues that arise from your need to engage in behaviors which most of society condemns. I can help you make decisions about whether or not to come out of the closet, and to whom. I can educate you about most kink related issues. I can offer you the relief of finally being able to be completely honest about your deepest secrets without fear of being judged. Not only will I not judge you, I will embrace this part of you, and teach you to embrace this part of you, because it is a unique and special part of who you are.
While this page focuses on issues around human sexuality, our therapy does not need to be limited in scope. I am experienced in helping people with a wide range of issues including but not limited to: depression, anxiety, general marital issues, life transitions, grief management etcetera. In fact, most of my clients come to me to work through every day issues, many of which have little or nothing to do with kink. These clients have chosen therapy with me because kink is a fundamental part of who they are and they know they can talk to me about every aspect of their lives without fear or shame.
Thank you for reading. I look forward to hearing from you.