As helping professionals, mental health workers have an ethical and a professional responsibility to provide culturally sensitive care to our clients. Sensitive care is especially crucial for individuals who are underserved and misunderstood in society, such as those involved in kink and fetish. When some find their way to mental health professionals for help, they may be fortunate to find a therapist who is knowledgeable and experienced with kink and BDSM. Yet, many more may find clinicians unfamiliar with kink or fetish sexualities. Due to the  lack of training or resources for clinicians, there can be a gap between the help people need and how our field can provide that help.  People involved in kink often fear being stigmatized and can experience the negative effects of minority stress.

To change this, in the Spring of 2018, a team of highly experienced clinicians gathered to explore what constitutes clinical best practices in working with those who are interested and/or involved in leather, kink, BDSM, and/or fetish eroticism.

Because our goal is to have this project be community-informed, we need YOUR input so our guidelines are culturally aware, clinically relevant, strengths-based, and useful. We invite clinicians and educators, especially those unfamiliar with kink and fetish sexualities, to share their ideas via our new 2019 Clinical Practice Guidelines Draft Survey. Your involvement will make these guidelines better informed, more useful to clinicians, and inclusive of many backgrounds when it comes to helping people involved in kink.

Please invite others to participate as well. When we work together, we can create a safer world and better mental health resources for those who need them!

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