Diversity and Diverse Relationships
LGBTQIA+ / non-traditional identity / sexuality / open relationships / polyamory / kink & BDSM / cultural competency / strength / unique
In order to strengthen and repair ourselves and our relationships it is necessary to create emotional safety and understanding. I have been privileged to work with a diverse group of former clients, and have the cultural competency to assist clients in navigating the often complex nuances of their backgrounds. Cultural competence stems from building connection upon understanding your experience and your identities. I bring evidence-based practices and a natural openness and curiosity in combination with a deep understanding of the social contexts surrounding you and your identities. We will seamlessly address your unique challenges and experiences while molding strategies to your individual needs...
I practice from an affirming, feminist, and anti-racist philosophy. This means that I unconditionally accept and value my clients’ gender, sexual, racial, cultural, and other identities. My practice takes into account each person’s unique experiences within contexts of social and systemic oppression, and the impact on your relationships. I practice from a place off cultural humility and allyship to black, indigenous, and other people of colour.
I have expertise in treating relationships and individuals navigating the impact of minority stress and discrimination. I practice affirming therapy that explores greater awareness and understanding of the ways in which emotional experiences and responses to experiences contribute to what is going on for you and your relationships. Navigating these challenges in your life has promoted strength and resilience in coping, paving the way for creative and successful approaches for managing future challenges. I help clients see these strengths in themselves, and create harmony and balance in their lives. I bring a stance of genuine curiosity and cultural competence that includes your different identities and their intersectionality.
In regard to relationships, I am able to work with two primary partners and/or any number of partners or individuals who would like to participate in therapy. I practice kink-, and LGBTQIA+ - affirming therapy. I have specific expertise in relationship diversity (i.e., polyamory, open-relationships, swingers, throuples, consensual non-monogamy, FWBs, etc.), diverse sexuality, exploring gender identity and sexual orientation alone and/or in established relationships, same sex relationships, asexual relationships, issues related to hookup apps (i.e., Grindr, Tinder) and ghosting, and relationships struggling with communication around transitioning or exploring gender identity and sexual orientation in the relationship or through parenting an LGBTQIA+ minor. I also help couples who are considering opening up their relationship navigate this process with compassion, authenticity, and integrity.
Kink, pornography, sex therapy, sex-worker ally, BDSM, leather, fetishism, swinging, polyamory, non-monogamous couples, & non-traditional sexuality, identities, and relationships
I am non-judgemental and affirming, and I understand the stigma associated with navigating non-monogamous and kinky relationships. Kinky desires and behaviors have been around much longer than the concept of kink-affirming therapy. Being kinky does not equate to difficulties with mental health or wellbeing. Whether you are a long time practitioner of BDSM, a swinger, a daily consumer of pornography, or trying to navigate an open relationship, or simply trying to translate secret fantasies into experimentation, I provide supportive treatment that does not pathologize sexuality. I am a kink-aware, kink-affirming, sex-worker allied, and kink-knowledgeable therapist. Kink and unconventional relationships can be an avenue for healing past traumas, deepening insight and self-understanding, encouraging peak life experiences, and promoting spiritual transformation. These experiences can foster positive growth in both individuals and relationships.
I am a member of, and advocate for, the LGBTQIA+ community. I am proud to provide affirming therapy and I have expertise in working with the experiences of sexual and gender minority individuals, and couples using CBT, DBT, and the Unified Protocol for emotional disorders. Together we can explore the impacts of coming out, internalized stigma, minority stress, intersectionality, discriminations, difficult family-of-origin relationships, giving and receiving support, families of choice, intimacy, sex, gender/sexual fluidity, identity, transitioning, and so much more. Together we can navigate the challenges of living in an oppressingly heteronormative world in order to form a healthy and affirming queer identity. Or, we don’t explore these at all - but we remain aware and mindful. I am also proud to consider and provide capacity evaluations and letters of support for my transgender clients seeking gender affirming surgery through an informed consent model.
Intersectionality and Cultural Competency
Many people identify with various racial, cultural, religious, spiritual, gender, and sexual identities. More often than not, these identities and complex personal experiences come into conflict due to different ideologies, and attempts to reconcile them can cause distress. Together, we can navigate, examine, and deconstruct the effects and meanings that each layer of identity contributes to your life.
Minority Stress Theory
Minority stress refers to the stress that stigmatized groups experience due to interpersonal, systemic, and historical prejudice and discrimination. Stress processes (i.e., expectations of rejection, hiding, concealing, internalized homophobia, problematic coping processes, etc.) are affected by stressors like prejudice, sexual stigma, poor social support and socioeconomic status. Stigmatized groups are pressured to adapt, and incur stress that affects physical and mental health outcomes. These stressors are unique, chronic and socially based. Together we can assess current coping strategies, define new ones, and affirm an authentic positive self-identity. In therapy, I strive to identify and promote your strength and resilience - both of which may be difficult to see, but have always been a part of this journey.