A.P.A. to Offer Continuing Education Credits
for Study of "Kink" Sexualities

At its 2013 annual convention in July, the nation's prestigious professional group for psychologists, the American Psychological Association, will offer a Continuing Education course entitled "Fifty Shades of Grey in Therapy-- Working with BDSM/Kink Sexualities and Communities."

The course will teach therapists how to work with clients who engage in sexual bondage and discipline, dominance/submission, and sadomasochism. The presenters say such people comprise a "community" of about 23% of the U.S. population, and that “cultural competency” requires therapists to understand and work affirmatively with them.

It should be noted that the A.P.A. does not grant Continuing Education credits for workshops that teach therapists how to diminish their clients’ unwanted homosexual behaviors or attractions.

In fact, another A.P.A. workshop at the same convention is titled “APA Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation---Affirmative Practices.” This workshop discourages therapists from attempts to help clients reduce their unwanted homosexuality. Instead, it teaches them how to present the subject in a way that will change their clients’ religious and moral assumptions about homosexual activity.

The course on “kink” sexuality is described in the APA convention catalog as follows:

Course Title: "Fifty Shades of Grey in Therapy-- Working with BDSM/Kink Sexualities and Communities."

Subject(s) Community; Sexual Behavior/Functioning

Format: Convention Workshop

Day: Wednesday, July 31, 2013

CE Credits: 4

Richard A. Sprott, PhD, California State University East Bay, Hayward, CA; Keely Kolmes, PsyD, Independent Practice, San Francisco, CA; Ryan Witherspoon, BA, Pepperdine University, Van Nuys, CA

This introductory workshop is geared toward exploring and addressing specific counseling issues that come up with people who express kink/BDSM sexuality (bondage/discipline, dominance/ submission and sadomasochism, collectively labeled “BDSM"). This aspect of sexuality is present in about 23% of the U.S. population in terms of fantasy and expressed in behavior by 10% of the population—hence, the popularity of “50 Shades of Grey.” Clinical issues and an outline of cultural competency around this kind of sexuality will be presented in lecture, case studies, and discussion.


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