I want to be honest here about where I do have some experience in the realm of difference,,, and where I don’t. This way I hope you’ll have more information in your decision to work with me or not.
I will have blind spots, given I was raised, lived and absorbed a whole heap of racist, heteronormative, disablist, binary and gender norms. There’s gonna be stuff I have not yet worked through, and saying that, ignorance doesn’t get me off the hook. So I’d say, in acknowledging my privileges, if something I say, on my website or in this post, feels off to you, trust your instinct. I very much hope you can find someone to work with who you won’t need to defend against, even subtly – you deserve that space.
Firstly I’ll talk about: Gender, Sexual and Relationship Diversity (GSRD)
I haven’t been on a course about gender, sexual and relationship diversity. Ever. That’s probably not great, and something I will change. My original training (12 years ago) barely mentioned this. I don’t necessarily believe a course is the only way or sometimes the best way (unless it’s really good) to challenge oneself or to notice internalised oppressions, but still..
I have read many many articles and listened to podcasts and learned from relationships with others (personally and professionally), especially by listening to myself in what feels good, which is often not what I’ve been told ‘should’ feel good. I often begin a reading-thinking-exploring-feeling feast when I am trying to open up and see how others really are, and I take time to reflect inwardly and continue to explore my own diversities.
I keep uncovering layers of where the script of monogamy, the relationship escalator (or the many ‘norm’ escalators out there), binary genders (or in fact binary everything) and patriarchal stuff gets in the way of being with ’myself’ and being with others. I will undoubtedly continue to work on this, and will try my best to challenge what comes up in me – hopefully fast enough so you don’t need to deal with it, but I might be slow at times – if I am, I hope we’d find a way to recognise that and value you and your input in any of the ways which will be open to us. I do want to do this work in a fair way.
I have worked and continue to work with those who define as or are curious about: non binary, non-monogamous, gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, asexual and fluid. I’m hoping to become a ‘kink aware’ therapist, but am not there yet and have a lot to learn. I haven’t worked with clients who define as transgender.
I have a sex critical approach, which definitely definitely doesn’t mean I’m sex negative. Sex (in all its forms) can be all sorts of great, and intimacy comes in many forms too (including the non sexual). There are so many important and authentic ways to be seen and to live, and the important relationships we have with others can and, I’d argue, should look different because, well, we are all, as are our desires. I’m not ”sex positive” because my experience of this is that it becomes another set of norms about i.e. sex=good which isn’t helpful.
This >sex is good</>sex is bad< is another binary which isn’t helpful for us to uncover the erotic, that which brings us to our senses, brings us to life. Our erotic selves can be renewed by our relationship with other(s)(the human and non-human), ourselves, ideas, nature,… the list is probably endless.
Many have experience of the sexual and the intimate as a place of abuse and hurt, so I work with the affects of trauma in mind with an essential gentleness and awareness.
If this feels about right for you then, if you’re looking for a counsellor, be in touch; but if something I’ve said, even subtly, displays an ignorance, then I’d say, trust that part of you which notices what you need to. Feedback is welcome, and not expected.