Clinical Practice Guidelines for Working with People with Kink Interests

In 2019, the long-awaited international guideline for kink-friendly, sex-positive therapists was released.

 

I follow these guidelines and here you can read them in headlines:

Clinical Practice Guidelines for Working with People with Kink Interests

Guideline 1: Clinicians understand that kink is used as an umbrella term for a wide range of consensual erotic or intimate behaviors, fantasies, relationships, and identities.

Guideline 2: Clinicians will be aware of their professional competence and scope of practice when working with clients who are exploring kink or who are kink-identified, and will consult, obtain supervision, and/or refer as appropriate to best serve their clients.

Guideline 3: Clinicians understand that kink fantasies, interests, behaviors, relationships and/or identities, by themselves, do not indicate the presence of psychopathology, a mental disorder or the inability of individuals to control their behavior.

Guideline 4: Clinicians understand that kink is not necessarily a response to trauma, including abuse.

Guideline 5: Clinicians recognize that kink intersects with other identities in ways that may shape how kink is expressed and experienced.

Guideline 6: Clinicians understand that kink may sometimes facilitate the exploration and expression of a range of gender, relationship, and sexuality interests and identities.

Guideline 7: Clinicians recognize how stigma, discrimination, and violence directed at people involved in kink can affect their health and well-being.

Guideline 8: Clinicians understand the centrality of consent and how it is managed in kink interactions and power-exchange relationships.

Guideline 9: Clinicians understand that kink experiences can lead to healing, personal growth, and empowerment.

 

Guideline 10: Clinicians consider how generational differences can influence kink behaviors and identities.

Guideline 11: Clinicians understand that kink interests may be recognized at any age.

Guideline 12: Clinicians understand that there is a wide variety of family structures among kink-identified individuals.

Guideline 13: Clinicians do not assume that kink involvement has a negative effect on parenting.

Guideline 14: Clinicians do not assume that any concern arising in therapy is caused by kink.  

Guideline 15: Clinicians understand that reparative or conversion therapies are unethical. Similarly, clinicians avoid attempts to eradicate consensual kink behaviors and identities.

Guideline 16: Clinicians understand that distress about kink may reflect internalized stigma, oppression, and negativity rather than evidence of a disorder.

Guideline 17: Clinicians should evaluate their own biases, values, attitudes, and feelings about kink and address how those can affect their interactions with clients on an ongoing basis.

Guideline 18: Clinicians understand that societal stereotypes about kink may affect the client's presentation in treatment and the process of therapy.

Guideline 19: Clinicians understand that intimate partner violence / domestic violence (IPV/DV) can co-exist with kink activities or relationships. Clinicians should ensure their assessments for IPV/DV are kink-informed.

Guideline 20: Clinicians strive to remain informed about the current scientific literature about kink and avoid misuse or misrepresentation of findings and methods.

Guideline 21: Clinicians support the development of professional education and training on kink-related issues.

Guideline 22: Clinicians make reasonable efforts to familiarize themselves with health, educational, and community resources relevant to clients who are exploring kink or who have a kink identity.

Guideline 23: Clinicians support social change to reduce stigma regarding kink.

KINK CLINICAL GUIDELINES DEC. 2019

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