PG Diploma in GSRD therapy awarded!!

Two years of study comes to an end. Just completed the Pink Therapy PG Gender, Sex and Relationship Diversity Therapy diploma. It’s been an inspiring, learning, developing time, both personally and professionally. Being surrounded by other queer counsellors/therapists has significantly added to the experience. It’s not my place to speak for others, but I’d like to think we’ve all had a wonderful time together. I certainly have.

I’m grateful to Dominic Davies and all the other tutors involved in the course. Plus, also a great big thanks to all the other students who took part in the course. Over the two years, I’ve met people living in many parts of the world – Belgium, Bolivia, Columbia, England, Germany, New Zealand, Scotland, Spain, and Sweden.

It’s hard to summarise in a short blog post the benefit and value, both personally and professionally, I have felt, in taking the diploma. Weaving through all aspects of the course, for me, is the idea that you don’t know what you don’t know, until you do know. This course has shown me what I didn’t know or realise, expanding my understanding and ability of being with GSRD clients. Brian Thorne, a person-centred therapist, once said: “I have discovered since that love devoid of understanding, although it can bring comfort and solace, can never heal.

Whilst I can say, from what clients have shared, I have brought comfort and solace and healing to my queer GSRD clients, the diploma has expanded and deepened my understanding of the GSRD community, with all we experience, thus enabling me not only to continue to bring comfort and solace, but has enabled me, I feel, to offer further deeper healing to those clients who seek it.

The course outline, modules and objectives were fulfilled for myself. Knowledge was expanded and deepened through the eight modules:

  • Dimensions of Sexuality
  • Understanding Kink / BDSM
  • Substance Use & Misuse
  • Intimate Partner Violence & Minority Stress
  • Parenting outside heteronormativity
  • Working with Younger People
  • Working with Older People: Ageing & GSRD – The Specific Needs Of People Growing Older
  • Faith, Religion & Spirituality

Difficult to choose one module over another in adding the most value for myself. If pushed I would say the faith, religion and spirituality module. It brought a greater understanding that for some GSRD people, faith, religion and spirituality is deeply important and valuable in their lives, in a way unique for each individual. There being no one way for everybody. Whilst for some, with equal value, faith, religion and spirituality has no part in their lives.

The first year foundation course began with a week residential at Roehampton university. One experience still stands out to me, that I related here. Maybe it’s because Sue Sutherland is not with us any more that makes that shared time more poignant? Sue greatly expanded my understanding of Betty Martin’s Wheel of Consent.

Has it been easy? Nope. Would I have wanted it to be? Perhaps part of me would, but then learning and developing would likely be limited.

Would I recommend this diploma? Absolutely. If any counsellor/therapist has an interest in queer studies, in wanting to learn more about counselling GSRD/LGBTQ+ individuals and families of any make up, apply here.

50 Distinguished Sexual and Gender Health Revolutionaries


I’ve been privileged to have contact with Dominic for several years. Firstly, through emails, as a contact with Pink Therapy. In the last few years as my counselling supervisor. Lastly as my tutor and mentor on the Pink Therapy Gender, Sex and Relationship Diversity Therapy diploma. A well desired award.

Congratulations to my supervisor, tutor, mentor, and friend! 🌈

The text below is from the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at The University of Minnesota, which lists the other recipients of their 50 Distinguished Sexual and Gender Health Revolutionaries award.

Dominic Davies

Dominic Davies is Founder and CEO of Pink Therapy. He has worked as a psychotherapist, clinical sexologist and practice consultant for almost 40 years. He has been referred to as the grandfather of LGBTQ+ therapy. He has pioneered the development of Gender, Sexuality and Relationship Diversity Therapy in the UK and Europe.

In 1986 Dominic was appointed to spearhead an HIV Prevention and Caring for People with AIDS project for the whole of the Mersey Region. Whilst in post, he directed a training programme all the Buddies in Manchester and Mersey Region. He also ran Eroticising Safer Sex workshops in gay bars and various other pioneering health initiatives. After a move back into University Counselling, he wrote the majority of the first British textbook on Counselling with LGB clients and together with Charles Neal, co-edited a further two volumes (1996 & 2000). He has just started co-editing two further volumes with Silva Neves. He has contributed numerous other papers and chapters to the literature of this emerging field and presented at many national and international conferences including taking a team of Pink Therapy faculty and colleagues to WAS in 2019.

Pink Therapy is one of the original signatories to the Memorandum of Understanding on Conversion Therapy and Dominic has been active in advising the leading psy/therapy bodies about this as well as consulting to the Council of Europe on this issue. The UK Government are now working on a legal ban.

Over the years Dominic has received a number of honours and awards for his pioneering work in the field of gender and sexuality. In 2015 He received the Practitioner award from the Sexualities Section of the British Psychological Society. He is the only non-psychologist to ever receive this award. In 2016 He was made a Fellow of the National Counselling Society and last year, in 2018 Dominic received the Lifetime Achievement Award for Sexual Freedom. Dominic has also been made a Fellow of the National Council of Psychotherapists. Fellowship is the highest level of membership for these professional bodies.

For the last decade, Dominic has directed a two-year Diploma in GSRD Therapy (the last five years has been online) with students across the world studying and sharing their pioneering work with the International Faculty. He mentors, supervises and supports therapists across the world.

Yet again – “We All Have a Place in the Lord’s Church” – really?

So last year I wrote a post “Is Reconciling Being Gay and Mormon possible?” following an article in Pink News that an openly gay man, a member of the LDS Church, had put on twitter how happy he was being married to a straight woman. More power to the couple, however long that lasts. See my post, linked above, for reasons I’m sceptical. Also, an older post.

So, now we have an article on The Church website, currently on the home page, written by another openly gay man, Arteh Odjidja – an award-winning portrait photographer and educator born and raised in London. A brief bio describes that Arteh “considers London to be his home and a place of inspiration for his work. He also draws much inspiration from his global travels and his focus on empowerment through the medium of portraiture.

Some inspirational thoughts Arteh expresses in the article:

I believe my purpose is to offer perspective to others through my words, my art, and my insights—to encourage compassion towards others. I don’t think my life is any more important than anyone else’s, but hopefully my perspective can offer others the peace I now feel about having a personal testimony of Jesus Christ and His purpose for our lives.

As an artist who captures human stories, I’ve become enlightened to the many hidden faces of humanity: the untold stories, the silent and silenced voices of suffering. It is important to me to inspire others to empathise with those we deem as “other,” as we are all brothers and sisters. Unfortunately, we have a long way to go before division, injustice, and prejudice are eradicated from people’s hearts. I know how integral it is to our collective progression to have charity in our hearts and to bear one another’s burdens.

I try to champion unheard voices because that’s the very least I can do to play my part and love as the Savior would.

So what’s my objection to the article? Same as before, it portrays being gay and Mormon as compatible, that the two ways of being can be reconciled. As said before, I strongly believe, unless a person is asexual, the denial involved, required by The Church, for an LGBTQ+ person to be life long celibate, is cruel, heartless and not what God, however, whatever, you may consider her/him/them/it to be, wants or desires.

A lot of people I know may be offended by that last paragraph. Though, hopefully, a lot of my LGBTQ+/GSRD friends will understand my reasonings.

So is Arteh asexual? I have, of course, no idea. From the article he sounds a wonderful person. From the selected quotes in the previous couple of paragraphs he has some amazing qualities and ideals. I hope he can maintain his discipleship. Though I seriously wonder how long he will be able to maintain that, whilst being an openly gay member of The Church. He’s been a baptised member since April 2016. It’s now February 2021. Will this article still be on The Church website in a year’s time, 5 years time, 10 years time? Or will it disappear like many videos/stories from what used to be the Mormon and Gay part of The Church website, now renamed to same-sex attraction, which seems a further rejection of being being gay, putting more emphasis on sex, rather than on relationships.

Do “We All Have a Place in the Lord’s Church?” Until there is full acceptance of those who are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer in anyway, my answer is, no.

Thoughts on BDsM / Kink – quite normal really…

In their book Rewriting the Rules, Meg-John Barker quotes Gayle Rubin (1984):

Most people find it difficult to grasp that whatever they like to do sexually will be thoroughly repulsive to someone else, and that whatever repels them sexually will be the most treasured delight of someone, somewhere… Most people mistake their sexual preferences for a universal system that will or should work for everyone.

What it’s not

Before continuing, it will be probably be helpful to dispel a couple of myths and misconceptions about BDsM/Kink.

Many will have heard about, if not read, or seen, the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy. Here we have Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey entering into what we are led to believe is a BDsM relationship. It is not. It is an abusive relationship. Consent is missing. There is no full consent between the two.

Also, BDsM is not psychopathological. It’s normal. It’s okay. It may not be your “normal”. You may not be “okay” with it. And that’s fine for you, so long as you don’t impose those thoughts and ideas on to others. Reread the opening quote, from Gayle Rubin, if you’re in any doubt about this.


BDsM is a term which covers a wide range of behaviours, generally involving the use and exchange of power in an eroticised relationship. Informed Consent (, the leading website about BDsM in the UK, defines BDsM as ‘a catch-all phrase’. I use ‘BDsM participant’ or ‘SMer’ to describe those who identify with BDsM as a lifestyle or as an activity, and ‘kink’ and ‘kinky’ to describe both BDsM practices and practitioners.

BDsM – Bondage and Discipline (B/D), Domination and Submission (D/s) and Sadism and Masochism (S/M) – is a term used to describe a range of practices or a lifestyle that is characterised by the consensual exchange of power, role play and often intense sensory stimulation (or deprivation). It is a kind of umbrella term for forms of sexuality that include restraint, pressure, sensation, and elements of power exchange between people.

“Sexuality is influenced by the interaction of biological, psychological, social, economic, political, cultural, legal, historical, religious and spiritual factors” so also in BDsM. It should though be noted that not all BDsM/Kink is sexually based. Some practices / scenes do not engage in sex at all.

The body is involved in the physical aspects, as are the emotions with relationships. For some, participation brings greater sexual desire, as interplay of relationships are managed, along with power and control. Amongst everything communication skills are vital. BDsM/Kink can also help in recovering from shame, which is where the brain comes in. Plus the mind can be caught up with the challenge BDsM/Kink brings to social, cultural and religious beliefs, sexual preferences, desires, attractions, tastes, along with the impact of societal censure, not being seen as a “normal” pastime.

A distinction can be made between the sexual and the erotic. There are many practices and activities that are not sexual, though may be experienced as highly erotic. An example, being restrained and put on display need not involve anyone’s genitals or any actual bodily contact, but can result in an intensely pleasurable and exciting experience. For those who do engage sexually with BDsM/Kink, the following quote on sexual health is relevant:

Sexual health: “a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction or infirmity. Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence. For sexual health to be attained and maintained, the sexual rights of all persons must be respected, protected and fulfilled.”

In 2005, Margie Nichols wrote, “in many ways the BDSM community of the early 21st century resembles the gay community of the 1970s, and individuals who struggle with BDSM desires experience a similar internalized shame about their sexuality” (2005, p. 292). Similarly, the limited research done, as that of early LGBTQ research, has been based on single troubled individuals in a specific situation, unrelated to being LGBTQ, that are then, unfortunately, applied across the board.

Although recently de-pathologised in the DSM V, and is now viewed less critically in the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) ICD-11, BDsM/Kink continued to be pathologised in the WHO’s ICD-10, so unfortunately myths still continue concerning the BDsM/Kink practice/lifestyle within society and even parts of the therapy community, as it can take a while for new approaches to be accepted. Here I hope to further break down some of the myths.

Much of society and culture sees the world in a binary way. Right and wrong. Good and bad. Female and male. Likewise gender and sex can fall into this viewpoint. So that many see BDsM/Kink as wrong, as being bad. Questions come as to who decides this? However, if we can move away from a binary view, towards a much less restrictive view of human sexuality, we are more able to embrace a diversity of the sexual and erotic. It is my hope readers will gain encouragement toward reflecting and exploring their own belief systems around BDsM. I examine some of the BDsM and kink practices and consider the meanings these may have for people. I concentrate more on the principles, than the specific practices. Before getting into what BDsM/Kink is about, I want to clarify guiding principles that underpin BDsM/Kink.

Safe, Sane and Consensual

Safe, Sane and Consensual – title of a wonderful book, also a crucial strap line for the values of BDsM and kink. I look at each separately, though like a lot of things when looked at individually something is often lost, as they overlap considerably. As well as values and actions being focused on behaving in ways that are “Safe, Sane, and Consensual” (SSC), an alternate phrase is “Risk-Aware Consensual Kink” (RACK) and more recently, “Caring, Communication, Consent, and Caution” (4Cs).


This is about the safety of all involved. Physical safety. Emotional safety. Psychological safety.

Some may wonder about safety, when aspects of BDsM/Kink can be about pain. The type and degree of any pain is though consensual. It is sought after, rather than being imposed on someone. I recognise that may seem bizarre to anyone not familiar with BDsM/Kink. Some may also worry, not only about pain, but about bondage or restrictions on breathing, breath play and asphyxia.

Safety though is a relative concept, as even what is termed, vanilla sex carries risks. Penises can get damaged through vigorous thrusting and then ‘snapping’ if one hits the pubic bone rather than entering the vagina, resulting in Peyronies, and people often have injuries from falling over or off the bed, or bruised throats or tired jaw muscles from vigorous oral sex. Any sex poses risk.

People need to consider risks and consent. Which is perhaps why SSC has fallen out of favour for some, with more people talking now about RACK or 4Cs.

As mentioned, BDsM/Kink is not necessarily sexual. Sometimes it can be about power. Though not power over, in the way power is often viewed, as that would be abusive. Whilst from the outside BDsM/Kink may be thought of and viewed as abusive, the BDsM/Kink community are very keen to protect participants from any kind of abuse. BDsM/Kink is where one participant submits willingly to another. They are not submitting because another wants them to, but rather because they wish to be submissive (often referred to as being a submissive or slave), having sought someone who is willing to dominate (often referred to as being a Dominant or Master) them for a specific activity and time period, commonly known as a scene, wherein a particular type of “play” occurs. Power is exchanged. The submissive hands over some control and yet can take it back at any time. Trust is crucial here. Safe words are crucial in this.

A submissive needs to be careful when choosing a BDsM Dominant. They need to be sufficiently educated, trained and aware to notice if a submissive has some unresolved trauma that may be behind the desire to be dominated or be caused pain. They would then not start the scene, signposting the person to an understanding counsellor / therapist. If this does not happen then the possibility of abuse is present. There are though times where abuse survivors find BDsM/Kink extremely helpful in processing their emotions. An example shown later.

A Dominant should not be out to inflict pain on others for their own satisfaction, more as a service, only as wanted, having deep concern present for their submissive, there being what might be termed genuine or perhaps great empathy and compassion between all participants.

Whilst you may not see any pleasure in pain being administered to yourself, it is certain, that for some there is pleasure, even ecstasy from receiving pain. It should be noted that because a person delights in pain received in a DBsM scene does not mean they appreciate all types of pain. Like many the pain often experienced having a root filling at the dentist is not enjoyed!!

Three quotes from submissive practitioners, show differing perspectives on the pain received:

I use the word ‘intense sensation,’ it’s more than pain, it’s the energy in the sensations. It has always been an amazing spiritual connection with myself, blissful. It’s beyond pain. There is a ritualistic aspect which is very spiritually charged. (Interview, slave L, 2016)

The pain is there, but, within a short time it morphs into an embodied meditation. But it is not like a mental meditation, it’s both out of and in the body. I am flying, free, ecstatic, but fully in the body. (Interview, slave C, 2014)

I came across an online group who called themselves ‘The healthy self-masochist.’ Seeing the spin on the use of words healthy with masochism gave me an insight to affirming my experiences in a positive way. I was able to affirm for myself, yes I enjoy these things, these things come from a healthy place. (Interview, slave L, 2016)

A comparison, that works for some people, is the marathon runner. There comes a point in the running, breaking through an initial pain barrier, when things can start to turn blissful.

Abuse Prevention

To Check against possible abuse there are questionnaires to aid in this, such as the Shahbaz-Chirinos Healthy BDSM Checklist, where there is a set of questions that can be used to help determine if abuse is present. BDsM and abuse are not the same. It is unfortunate that books and films such as the “Fifty Shades” series imply that it was Christian Grey’s youthful abuse that contributed to his desire to be a BDsM Dominant, which he doesn’t do well at.

It can be difficult to detect when BDsM is being used in an abusive fashion, particularly if the activities involved are ones that ‘squick’ a therapist.” This being where another person feels discomfort from hearing about another’s pleasure. This is why it’s helpful to see a BDsM/ kink aware therapist.

Two sayings:

  • Don’t Yuk someone else’s Yum
  • Your kink is not my kink, but your kink is ok”.

Part of staying safe is being aware of the equipment being used. Is it in good condition? Is it well designed and constructed to fulfill its purpose? Also, an awareness of surroundings. Is anything likely to get in the way? Plus, an avoidance of alcohol and drugs that would inhibit a person’s awareness of everything. This applies to both the Dominant, so they are in control of themselves and the submissive so they know if things do go too far for them, so they can appropriately use the agreed safe words.


This is where fantasy and reality are kept separate. People ideally will not confuse any exercise of power exchange negotiated within a BDsM/Kink relationship outside of that context. Part of recognition of this difference is what can make a play scene transformative. This may not work for everyone. Quoting from Safe, Sane and Consensual, to show the possibilities of BDsM:

We can script a scene so we get to be child, parent, brat, hero, bully, betrayer, cops, criminals, prisoners, interrogators, priests – the possibilities are endless. We can also get to feel a particular emotion: rage, pathos, grief, shame, cunning, predatory, helpless, hapless, omnipotent. A friend of mine once set up a scene with four gay men she knew. She asked them to tie her firmly to a padded table so she could struggle as hard as she could while they flogged her and shouted every insult they could think of that men have shouted to women – cunt, bitch, on the rag and so on. What she wanted to experience fully was her rage, and so she did, screaming and struggling, yelling back, a burning ball of fury safely tied to the safely padded table. They played it through till they were all exhausted, and my friend felt she had accomplished her purpose to completely express her rage at the sexism she had been subjected to all her life. Note that she specifically chose gay men as her tormentors – hetrosexual men might have been a little too threatening.”

“Sagarin and his associates (2009) also reported findings that BDSM practices contribute to health benefits related to stress management, evidenced in decreased cortisol levels. They suggest the “flow” described by BDSM practitioners is similar psychobiologically to the “high” described by athletes and spiritual “peaks” meditators experience. In attempts to further explain these results, Sagarin and his team propose that BDSM may be transformative.”


People talk about consent being a crucial part in all relationships. However, within BDsM it is treated with a level of seriousness and detail not always present in many other places.

If consent is not present, it’s not BDsM, it’s abuse. Without full consensual understanding, by all participants in a scene, it’s either abuse of another or self-abuse.

On her Sexplanations YouTube channel, Dr Lindsay Doe interviews Midori regarding sexual negotiations that take place within BDsM/Kink relationships. See the video below. A 17 minute introduction on the topic, outlining communication skills applicable in all sexual relationships.

Another help towards consent is the Yes-No-Maybe list. The link opens a four page PDF of things to consider. This list is specifically for BDsM/Kink.

Mentioned here, Betty Martin’s Wheel of Consent website is another wonderful place to learn about and further develop ways of consent in relationships.

For some BDsM/Kink practitioners this discussion of consent is very arousing, along with anticipation of what’s to come. Compared to, what might be termed regular sexual consent, which is often a yes or no to having sex in general, without much specifics, Kink consent is vastly different. As portrayed in the video above, not only what is going to happen is talked about, there is also the how, where, when, plus length of time.

Take flogging, for example. What type of whip. Soft, gentle, hard strokes. Where, as in which part of the body, buttocks, back, front. When, as in the first part of the scene or later. Length of time, 1 minute, 2 minutes, longer or perhaps how many strokes. Also, there are safe words chosen, which when used the Dominant will immediately slow down or stop whatever they are doing. Often yellow and red.

Such discussions are had about every aspect of a play scene, continuing throughout. If they are not then I’d have concern as to whether the participants are experienced or trained enough. If a client mentioned not having such consensual discussion prior and during a scene I’d offer a caution toward looking for a different Dominant or submissive or getting further BDsM/Kink education.

After care

Following a scene after care is crucial, for both the submissive and the Dominant. Physical care may be needed. Also emotional and psychological support. Perhaps just a hug is needed. Sometimes greater support is required. Water, food are helpful.

Kink – what exactly happens?

Here are a couple of non graphic SFW (Safe For Work) introductions. A 5 minute 44 seconds video, BDSM 101 by lacigreen, interviewing and displaying some BDSM/Kink equipment.

And a slightly longer, 17 minute 38 seconds video from Dr Lindsay Doe, with Amp from Watts The Safeword:


Many studies suggest that counsellors who have negative misconceptions about people involved or interested in BDsM/kink, are largely unfamiliar with key research findings on BDsM/kink relationships and practices, plus there can also be a lack of basic clinical skills needed to provide adequate care for people involved or interested in BDsM/kink. Unfortunately this can result in unethical clinical practices and ineffective or harmful therapeutic outcomes.

In an article Y. Gavriel Ansara identified five essential clinical skills for trauma psychotherapy with people interested or involved in BDsM/kink:

  1. understanding and identifying BDsM/kink relational roles and headspaces
  2. distinguishing BDsM/kink from abuse
  3. understanding and identifying key components of non-abusive BDsM/kink relationships
  4. determining the clinical salience of BDsM/kink
  5. and identifying and managing freefall

There isn’t space here to detail this. If your interest is sparked here’s the article.

When someone comes to see a counsellor regarding BDsM/Kink one thing to determine is are they BDsM/Kink aware or perhaps a practitioner themselves.

As a client are you the partner of someone involved in or who wishes to be involved in BDsM/Kink. Are they hoping you’ll perform some kind of reparative therapy for the partner who wants to or is engaged in BDSM/Kink? We, of course, do not engage in reparative therapy.

The book When Someone you Love is Kinky can be helpful in helping the partners to understand each other more.

Something to take into the counselling room, is that if a client/s comes to see us regarding their experiences with BDsM/Kink, we must not make assumptions about their motivation or be dismissive and try to “fix” them, by implying that what they may have experienced or desire is wrong. We do though need to be thoroughly aware of the possibility of abuse and check that is not occurring. See above for a checklist to assist in this.

As counsellors/therapists we need to decide early on if a client comes to us about some aspect of BDsM, do we or do we not feel able to work directly with the BDSM/Kink community? If not we need to be aware of counsellors who are experienced working with the BDsM community who we can signpost a client to.

Communities and finding one

The sites below are BDsM/Kink communities, some in the UK, others elsewhere. They are NSFW (Not Safe For Work). There are also educational and enlightening.

If you want to get invloved in BDsM / Kink take your time. Maybe see a BDsM / kink aware therapist, to explore your whys and wherefores. If looking for a Dominant here are a couple of articles to help – How Do I Find a Dominant? and How Do I Find a Dominant Partner (in a Nice Way)?


BDsM/Kink is hugely complex. This blog post is but an introduction. If this has sparked an interest in any aspect of BDsM/Kink, or you feel a personal desire to be involved, I’d recommend further study. The books listed in the references will be helpful, plus courses, such as those from Pink Therapy. Don’t rush. Take your time. Enjoy yourself 😊


  • Rewriting the Rules, Meg-John Barker, Routledge; 2 edition; Mar. 2018
  • Becoming a Kink Aware Therapist, by Caroline Shahbaz and Peter Chirinos, Routledge; Oct. 2016
  • Life Isn’t Binary, Meg-John Barker and Alex iantaffi, Jessica Kingsley Publishers; Mar. 2020
  • Safe, Sane and Consensual: Contemporary Perspectives on Sadomasochism, D. Langdridge (Editor), Meg Barker (Series Editor), Palgrave Macmillan; 2007
  • Williams et al., 2014
  • squick – combination of the words ‘squeamish’ and ‘icky’.
  • Margie Nichols, 2005
  • Life Isn’t Binary, Meg-John Barker and Alex iantaffi, Jessica Kingsley Publishers; Mar. 2020
  • Sexual Outsiders: Understanding BDSM Sexualities and Communities, David M. Ortmann and Richard A. Sprott, Rowman & Littlefield; 2013
  • Trauma psychotherapy with people involved in BDSM/kink: Five common misconceptions and five essential clinical skills, Y. Gavriel Ansara, PhD Psychol, MSc Soc Psychol, MCouns, BA Intl & Cross-Cultural Health with African Studies, Dip Adv Clin Family Therapy, CCTP-II, CFTP, Ansara Psychotherapy & Imanadari Counselling Melbourne Branch;
  • When Someone you Love is Kinky, Dossie Easton and Catherine A. Liszt, Greenery Press; 2000

Diploma in Psychosexual therapy

Recently completed a diploma in Integrative Psychosexual therapy, further enabling me to work with clients’ psychosexual health issues, doing so in an integrative, holistic way, appreciative of diverse sexualities.

On Saturday, 14th June this year, completed a diploma in Integrative Psychosexual therapy at The Centre for Psychosexual Health. For me, a wonderful two years of learning and development. This has further enabled me to work with clients’ psychosexual health issues, doing so in an integrative, holistic way, appreciative of diverse sexualities.

The diploma espoused a new model for the understanding of human sexuality and psychosexual health which encompasses the body, mind, brain and heart, as well as the social and cultural environment.

Over the two years we explored clients sexual issues in terms of their therapeutic meaning and potential, rather than as ‘dysfunction’. It included sexual education, information and self help tools.

It included supporting clients within a therapeutic relationship to rediscover themselves sexually and to develop a more conscious sexual self-esteem.

If you have concerns about any aspect of sex or sexuality either for yourself or within any relationship please get in contact.

Sexual Outsiders – David M. Ortmann & Richard A. Sprott

A quote from the book:

“So my therapist said to me, ‘No one gets to dictate what your kink looks like and you don’t have to run around seeking other people’s approval for who you want to be in the scene or in your life.”

The idea, to me, sounds similar to:

“don’t yuck someone else’s yum.”

Sex Education

Recently I finished watching the Netflix series “Sex Education”.

If you haven’t seen the series yet and don’t want any spoilers, best not read any further. Though I don’t really discuss any plot angles. I will say I was surprised to see one story line from 10 Things I Hate About You. Just go and watch it and come back here after 😊. Be aware it’s been given an 18 rating in the UK. Nudity from the opening scene. Strong language throughout. The story revolves around Otis giving sex therapy to various of his school peers, having picked up things from his Mum, who is a qualified and practicing sex therapist.

Made in South Wales, the location for the filming was the University of South Wales’ old Caerleon campus, which was closed in 2016. Despite this and the actors being from the UK, the setting is made to appear as if in a US high school. Bit confusing initially. Doesn’t distract too much.

Is it a comedy? Well, yes and no. There are many scenes that had me laughing out loud. There are many scenes that show the pain of being a teenager – bullying, not being part of the “in crowd”, coming to accept your gender and sexuality, not feeling adequate enough, clever enough, cool enough, affection not being returned by someone you fancy.

There are so many aspects of gender, sex and sexuality portrayed. With sex being biopsychosocial (biology, psychology and social) the series demonstrates this complexity. The following is a list (not in any particular order) of things I noticed that were touched on. Some in more detail than others. If I’ve missed any please comment so I can update here, listed alphabetically, rather than to try another kind of order.

  • Abortion
  • Asexuality
  • Bullying
  • Condom use
  • Complexity of family and friends relationships
  • Consent
  • Cross dressing
  • Divorce
  • Ejaculation difficulty
  • Faking orgasm
  • Homophobia
  • Internalised homophobia
  • LGBTQ+
  • Masturbation
  • Owning your sexuality and gender
  • Sex and relationship therapy
  • Vaginismus

The title of the series being sex education, wouldn’t it be wonderful if sex education in our UK schools covered the subjects listed above in depth. Perhaps then the difficult experiences of many teenagers regarding sex and relationships could be avoided.

Would I recommend watching it? Yes. Not everyone’s cup of tea, but I would recommend it.


After much thought decided to add a blog about different aspects of counselling. Obviously, this will not be for discussing clients or things that they bring to sessions. I have a supervisor for that. It will be about myself. Things I’ve read or am learning – I see learning as a lifelong endeavour. Yes, I have a psychology degree, plus a diploma in counselling, yet there is ever more to be learnt about myself and how to be a more engaged congruent, empathic, loving person and counsellor. As such, I’ll share continued further development of myself as an individual and as a counsellor.

Having this past September (2018) started a new diploma in Psychosexual and Relationship Therapy there will probably be much concerning that. There will also be reviews of books, magazines and web articles, experiences on courses, sharing of others blogs.

If there is a theme, it will likely be connected to Gender, Sexual and Relationship Diversities (GSRD).

How often will this page be updated? Weekly I don’t see as an option. Maybe monthly, maybe fortnightly. we’ll see 🙂