Living in what may be deemed as an “alternative lifestyle” by the conventions of society, you may struggle with communication, boundary-setting, and questions concerning your identity. Perhaps you grapple with feelings of shame and a fear of being judged.
It’s likely that if you have sought counseling for your alternative lifestyle in the past, you were met by a therapist who pathologized or made you feel that something was wrong with your choices as they relate to intimacy, relationships, or work in the sex industry. As a result, you may struggle with obstacles to your mental health along with lifestyle-specific issues that have caused you to feel isolated and misunderstood.
You may be curious about elements of kink—including BDSM and other exciting sexual experiences—and how to introduce them into your sex life. Whether you’re single or partnered, it’s possible that you’re wondering how to communicate your desires without being shamed or judged.
Similarly, you may be having communication issues if you’re a couple trying to explore the possibilities of ethical non-monogamy. Feelings of guilt, jealousy, and a lack of meaningful boundaries are likely to arise in polyamorous partner orientations, and you and your significant other might benefit from counseling as you navigate goals and fears in opening up your relationship.
Alternatively, you may be a sex worker who often feels the need to hide or lie about the nature of your work. Perhaps you’ve disclosed information to therapists or other providers in the past only to immediately assume that you’re unhealthy in some way.
At Kind Mind, our therapists aren’t interested in judging or pathologizing you, no matter the alternative lifestyle you lead. We will work with you in counseling to help you fully embrace your identity as you start letting go of the shame and stigma that society has inflicted on your choices.
Alternative lifestyle choices such as polyamory, kink, and sex work are often villainized in our puritanical culture when in fact, such identities are incredibly common. For instance, a 2016 study found that one-fifth of the adult population in the US has engaged in ethical non-monogamy at some point. And that same year, research found that around 75 percent of people have a fetish.
Similarly, sex work is very common and slowly becoming destigmatized (and decriminalized) in our society. However, because protective laws are not regulated in this industry, sex workers face a wide array of dangers in their profession and continue to be dehumanized by society at large.
Bias toward alternative lifestyles often originates in ignorance and a narrow worldview of what is and is not acceptable in relationships and sexual preferences. Our cultural norms often go against lifestyles involving kink, polyamory, or sex work, perpetuating fear and a lack of self-acceptance for those forging their own paths.
These factors ultimately contribute to minority stress—or stress that takes place due to being part of a marginalized/oppressed group of society—often resulting in PTSD, anxiety and depression, and other obstacles to mental health.
Living poly, with a kink, or as a sex worker, you’re probably not used to feeling accepted and understood wholeheartedly by healthcare providers. But the therapists at Kind Mind are here to approach your challenges with an open mind and affirming techniques so that you can start to heal and live as authentically as possible.
Counseling begins with a standard intake process that will address your presenting issues, concerns, and goals for therapy. Once you pair with one of our culturally competent clinicians, you will meet with them for an initial session in which you will collaborate on a treatment plan.
Our clinicians are trained to use a combination of trauma-informed approaches that help our patients reduce minority stress. We treat the whole person and will tailor counseling for alternative lifestyles in a way that will help you understand and minimize the impact that stigma has had on you.
If you’re interested in exploring your kink and other elements of your sexual appetite, Kind Mind works with both individuals and couples in sex therapy. Your provider will help you approach your desires with curiosity and openness so that you can begin to clarify goals and work toward a healthy, fulfilling sexual dynamic for both you and your partner(s).
In addition, we offer counseling to couples who are curious about creating an open relationship. Given our training on ethical non-monogamy, our therapists understand how polyamorous lifestyles work and what they need to thrive. We will work with you and your significant other(s) to attain and maintain healthy partnership dynamics.
On the other hand, if you’re a sex worker looking for a safe place where you can discuss your personal and professional experiences, our clinicians are here to treat you with the utmost respect and dignity as we work together to address your concerns in counseling. We understand that there are many reasons beyond your profession that have caused you to seek therapy, and we will not make assumptions about what brings you to our practice.
No matter your alternative lifestyle, therapy at Kind Mind allows you to gain the emotional awareness, communication, and coping skills needed to fully embrace your identity, relationships, and desires.
I’m worried about the cost of therapy for alternative lifestyles.
If you’re concerned about the cost of counseling, please note that we do accept Cigna along with out-of-network insurance plans that will reimburse you. Our team can help you clarify your benefits even if you’re out-of-network.
In addition, if you are uninsured or continue to worry about the cost of therapy, each of our providers has a set number of sliding scale appointments that will determine your rate based on what you can afford. If you’re curious about your payment options for therapy at Kind Mind, we invite you to contact us for more information.
How can I be confident that my Kind Mind provider will treat me with respect and open-mindedness?
We pride ourselves on offering culturally competent and informed care. A big part of our training involves avoiding bias and providing affirmation. You can be confident that in counseling for alternative lifestyles at Kind Mind, your identity will be honored and validated as you feel empowered to live authentically.
I am concerned about privacy issues.
Therapy for alternative lifestyles at Kind Mind is a HIPAA-governed process, meaning that nothing you share (except for safety concerns that we’ll go over with you) will ever be disclosed elsewhere.
If you’re interested in exploring polyamory, a kink, or your experience as a sex worker in counseling, therapy for alternative lifestyles at Kind Mind offers an affirming approach that will help you accept yourself and live authentically.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with our culturally competent therapists, please contact us or call (646) 918 – 1181.