Saturday, March 21, 2015
09:30 AM GMT - 05:00 PM GMT

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Resource for London - Lewis Suite 
356 Holloway Road
London N7 6PA
United Kingdom

Driving Directions 


Anya Stang


Beyond the Rainbow


This year’s conference for therapists of all genders and sexualities is on Alternative Sexualities and explores issues beyond the more familiar LGBT, delving more into the what we’ve come to call the GSD (Gender and Sexual Diversities) which can get omitted from the LGBT agenda (whatever that is!). 

Arising from feedback elicited at last year’s hugely successful conference on Trans* issues, conference participants asked us to put on training around alternative relationship models, asexuality and BDSM and alternative lifestyles and practices, and this is just what we have for you this year!

The conference will take place over a single day, and will include short formal presentations to the whole conference in the morning, followed by longer and more in-depth plenaries in the afternoon on a range of issues of interest to clinicians of all sexualities and genders, plus we have a very unique conference closing session.

We will use the late afternoon session to have a meet and greet session with some members of the various ‘Alt Sex’ communities the conference is addressing.  This will be an opportunity for delegates to have personal contact with people who live their lives within and outside of the mainstream.  

However, we recognise that probably applies to us all and so everyone attending the conference will be invited to be out about any identities they are comfortable disclosing, be it their gender, their relationship status, their sexuality, ethnicity or race, or age.  The intersectionality of our different identities is what makes us the unique human beings we are.  So in addition to the conference presenters and participants, we’re also inviting to the closing session, people who are willing to be open about their alternative sexualities and relationships who are keen to help therapists understand more about their communities and lives to help improve the understanding of therapists for people from their ‘tribes’ all over a cup of tea and piece of cake!

Due to room availability, this will be a smaller conference to last year.  An early bird discount (£120) is in effect until 8 Feb when the fee rises to £140 so we recommend registering early!  

10% of the places were available discounted to students (8x£60). However, these have now all gone. 

Saturday March 21st 

9 am to 10 am: Registration & Coffee

10 am to 10:30 am: Welcome & Introductions from  Dominic Davies 

10:30 am to 11:30 am: Keynotes 1 & 2

  • Dr Meg John Barker - Non-Monogamies
  • DK Green - The Kink Paradox

12 pm to 1 pm: Keynotes 3 & 4

  • Dominic Davies - Living and Working in the Kink Communities: Professional Boundaries and Ethics
  • Olivier Cormier-Otaño - Asexualities: doing without

2 pm to 2.45 pm: Afternoon Keynotes 

  • Christina Richards - Further Sexualities: There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy
  • Louise FutcherBigs and littles - an overview of age play including enactment, dynamics, and potential benefits

2.45 pm to 3.30 pm: Afternoon Keynotes

  • Joanna RussellBirds do it, bees do it, but not all people do it!
  • Henry Strick van LinschotenThe place of kink in psychotherapy and counselling training

3:30 pm to 4:30 pm: 'Meet the Tribes'
A chance to meet and engage with people from various Alt Sex Communities over Tea & Cake

4.30 pm: Closing session

5 pm: Conference ends

Abstracts and Biographies - Morning Keynotes

Dr Meg John Barker - Non-Monogamies

This presentation covers the range of non-monogamous relationships which clients may engage in, and good practice for counsellors and therapists in this area. As with sexual and gender identities, it is becoming increasingly clear that there are a diverse range of relationships styles within and beyond the single/coupled and monogamous/non-monogamous binaries. This presentation covers some of the most common forms of consensual non-monogamy as well as briefly touching on non-consensual forms, and on relationship structures which fall between monogamy and non-monogamy. It explores key issues around relationship styles, particularly continuums of emotional and sexual fidelity; contracts; disclosure; and how people navigate wider mono-normative culture.

Dr Meg John Barker is a writer, academic, counsellor and activist specialising in sex and relationships. Meg John is a senior lecturer in psychology at the Open University and a UKCP accredited therapist, and has over a decade of experience researching and publishing on these topics including the popular book Rewriting the Rules. Website: www.rewriting-the-rules.comTwitter: @megbarkerpsych.

DK Green - The Kink Paradox

Fascination regarding all things kink related is currently pervasive within the media, society and the individual.
Therapists are often challenged when faced with someone who has both a history of traumatic abuse and concurrent interest in BDSM. This presentation will seek to help clarify what is healthy and what might need to be worked with therapeutically.
You will be invited to examine and identify whether a 'kinky sex life' is healthy (healing, cathartic, fun) or unhealthy (pattern repeating, abuse perpetuating) for the client.
We will explore this from the starting position of client as unique; consideration of their own personal history, examination of their appropriate/inappropriate processes and boundaries around consent, self care, self awareness and well-being, as well as how additional mental health issues can and do affect this exploration.

DK Green is a qualified psychotherapist and counsellor with a successful private practice in the Midlands, specialising in alternative sexualities, abuse, and self development. Founding member of http://www.polycounselling.co.uk - a quarterly peer held discussion group aiming to involve more counsellors and therapists with expertise in openly non-monogamous relationships. DK was Organising Director of Kinkfest 2004, London.

He has taught extensive alternative sexuality classes and workshops nationally since the nineties, including at four UK universities. Website: www.dkgreen.com. 

Dominic Davies - Living and Working in the Kink Communities: Professional Boundaries and Ethics

Dual relationships have always been a challenge for people who live and work within small communities. Maintaining professional boundaries whilst at the same time having a private life which increasingly occurs in the public eye via social media and for many of us through engaging with sexual networking apps is a challenge not yet embraced by guidance from our professional bodies. For those of us involved in the Kink Communities, an additional layer of personal disclosure might occur through meeting colleagues and clients in the play rooms and dungeons of kink clubs. This presentation explores some of the implications arising from how we can manage to maintain professional and ethical boundaries and still remain members of our communities of interest.

Dominic Davies is a psychotherapist, clinical sexologist and consultant in the field of gender and sexual diversity therapy. Founder and CEO of Pink Therapy, he has been engaged in training and providing therapeutic services for over 30 years. For the past four years, Dominic has been facilitating a clinical discussion group for Kink-identified therapists. He is a member of World Association Sexual Health (WAS), the Community Academic Consortium for Research into Alternative Sexualities (CARAS), the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) and the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA). In the UK he is a Fellow and Senior Accredited Counsellor/Psychotherapist of BACP and Accredited by the National Council of Psychotherapists (NCP) and member of the National Counselling Society (NCS) 

Olivier Cormier-Otaño - Asexualities: doing without

In our highly sexualised society and communities, people with low/no sexual desire and/or interest are being ignored at best, pathologised and oppressed at worst. This is reflected in the narrative of 310 asexuals in a survey conducted by Olivier Cormier-Otaño.
These findings present an important challenge to heteronormative, patriarchal and sexist views on sex, sexuality, desire, intimacy and relationships. The diversity in asexual experiences calls for a consideration of 'asexualities' as fluid and pertaining to the spectrum of sexualities.
Can Psychodynamic, Psychosexual and Humanistic perspectives embrace asexualities as a positive and healthy self-definition rather than a sexual dysfunction?
Could we therefore open up new possibilities to understanding diversity in sexual desire/interest in a non-pathologising way?

Olivier Cormier-Otaño (MBACP Accred) is a counsellor, supervisor and psychosexual therapist in private practice. A Clinical Associate and trainer for Pink Therapy, Olivier also teaches on the Diploma in Psychosexual Therapy run by the Centre for Psychosexual Health and on the Diploma in Contemporary Therapy for the BeeLeaf institute. He has written published chapters on Gender and Sexual Diversity including papers on Asexualities for various publications.  Website www.oliviercounselling.co.uk

Abstracts and Biographies - Afternoon Plenaries

Christina RichardsFurther sexualities: There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy

Further sexualities are those sexualities which are often considered to be less common than others (but in fact may not be). They include such things as adult babies (AB/DL or infantilism); Furry; and puppy play. There has been a history of moralisation and pathologisation associated with them which has caused distress to the people who have these, rather innocuous, identities and/or practices. This presentation will give a brief overview and will then consider some of the ways in which clinicians might assist those people who seek help; as well as how they might advocate for these marginalised groups.

Christina Richards is an accredited psychotherapist with the BACP and an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society. She is Senior Specialist Psychology Associate at Nottinghamshire NHS Gender Clinic and Clinical Research Fellow at Charing Cross Gender Clinic. She has published many papers and books on sexuality and gender. Website: christinarichards.co.uk Twitter: @CRichardsPsych.

Louise Futcher - Bigs and littles - an overview of ageplay including enactment, dynamics, and potential benefits

Age play is a much stigmatised and misjudged area of sexuality, even within the BDSM 'community', as it appears to combine the taboos of paedophilia and incest. However age play can facilitate littles to express their more carefree or vulnerable side, or re-experience childhood in a safe way, and enable Bigs to express their nurturing parental side. This talk will outline the different relationship configurations, how it may be enacted, and what both Bigs and littles get from this activity. I will outline how age play is separate and distinct from paedophilia and explore how, similar to counselling/psychotherapy, it can potentially be reparative and supportive, including elements such as boundaries, holding, containment, understanding and acceptance.

Louise Futcher is in private practice in East London working with adult individuals and specialising in gender and sexual diversity. She works therapeutically in a queer, non-heteronormative way - supporting all ways of living and being in the context of oppressive structures. Louise is interested in increasing awareness and acceptance of non-normative sexual practices especially BDSM, and promoting consent culture. Louise has a Diploma in Psychodynamic Counselling from Goldsmiths and is a member of the BACP. Twitter: @louisefutcher.  Website: louisefutchertherapy.co.uk

Joanna Russell - Birds do it, bees do it, but not all people do it!

Nobody really knows how many people identify themselves as being on the asexual spectrum, many more will not, as yet, even have heard of the possibility, and yet they arrive in our therapy rooms asking for help. How far do we as therapists notice contemporary society’s imperative to be sexual, and its effect on those who decline to be obligated to it?
In this workshop we will look at some current thinking about asexuality, hear the voices of some asexual people, and explore our own awareness of the perspectives they may bring to our therapy rooms.

Joanna Russell. Having variously been a music teacher, a missionary and now a therapist and asexual activist, Jo Russell has research interests in asexuality. She attended the Pink Therapy International Summer School in July 2013. She lives and works in Glasgow.

Henry Strick van Linkschoten - The place of kink in psychotherapy and counselling training

The presentation will be interactive, and about psychotherapy training, not kink. Focus: how kink should be included.
Kink / BDSM is defined as any affirmatively consensual forms of sexuality, however specialised. (Body - bodies - mind - physical objects / effects - forms of relating.) Society defines the boundaries to legality and to the ability to give consent.
The proposed training would include:
- An overview of kink
- Consent and affirmative consent
- Riskiness, violence, objectification, power
- Boundaries to kink (law, religions, feminism, medicine, psychology)
- Difficulties caused by conflicting views of boundaries and legality 

Henry Strick van Linschoten is a psychotherapist, writer, researcher and consultant. As psychotherapist he is based in London and on Skype, and specialises in relationships, anxiety, trauma, ‘difficult’ emotional, dissociative and somatic problems, and sexuality. He is LGBTQ+ / GSD-friendly, and kink- and poly-aware. He has worked in the NHS and done forensic psychotherapy. Website: www.henrystrick.com. Twitter: @henrystrick.