Alternative Sexualities/Non-traditional Relationships and LGBTQ Populations
(2 CEs)
Richard Sprott, Ph.D.


2 CEs

Presented by: Richard Sprott, Ph.D.

Recorded workshop available via video on demand



The workshop will review latest research on alternative sexualities such as fetish, kink, BDSM sexualities, and review latest research on consensual nonmonogamies such as open marriages, polyamory, swinging, etc. These areas will then be explored as they intersect with lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, and transgender populations. The workshop will highlight differences that are unique to the intersection of LGBTQ psychology and alternative sexualities /relationships. Special consideration will be given to health disparities and therapeutic issues that arise from multiple sexual/gender minority life experiences.

Learning Objectives:

This workshop is designed to help attendees:

1. Summarize the research literature on alternative sexualities as it relates to mental health

2. Explain how LGBTQ populations express alternative sexualities in distinct ways

3. List at least two specific strategies for assessing LGBTQ couples when alternative sexualities might be involved

Activity Schedule:

10 minutes: overview of kink/fetish behaviors, history, culture

10 minutes: overview of consensual non-monogamies (CNM)

15 minutes: intersections of LGBTQ populations and kink/CNM

15 minutes: therapy and kink/CNM issues

10 minutes: case presentation and discussion

15 minutes: review of practice guidelines for working with LGBTQ couples

15 minutes: discussion of practice suggestions for working with consensually

non-monogamous and/or kinky LGBTQ couples

15 minutes: case presentation and discussion

Presenter Bio:

Richard Sprott received his Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from UC Berkeley in 1994. He is currently directing several research projects, including a study of homelessness among LGBTQ teens and emerging adults; BDSM/kink identity development; healthcare experiences and health status of kink-identified people; and how social saturation affects identity and mental health. Richard currently teaches courses in the Department of Human Development and Women’s Studies at California State University, East Bay and graduate and undergraduate level courses at various universities in the Bay Area, including UC Berkeley, the California Institute of Integral Studies, and Holy Names University.

Required Readings:

Sprott, R.A., Randall, A., Davison, K, Cannon, N., and Witherspoon, R. (2017).

Alternative or non-traditional sexualities and therapy: A case report. in Journal of

Clinical Psychology. DOI: 10.1002/jclp.22511

Nichols, M. (2006) Psychotherapeutic Issues with “Kinky” Clients,

Journal of Homosexuality, 50:2-3, 281-300. http://dx.doi.org/10.1300/J082v50n02_14

Recommended Readings:

Shahbaz, C., & Chirinos, P. (2016). Becoming a kink aware therapist. New York, NY:


Sprott, R. A., & Berkey, B. (2015). At the intersection of sexual orientation and

alternative sexualities: Issues raised by Fifty Shades Of Grey. Psychology of Sexual

Orientation and Gender Diversity, 2(4), 506-507. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/


Ortmann, D. and Sprott, R.A. (2013). Sexual Outsiders: Understanding BDSM

Sexualities and Communities. New York: Rowman and Littlefield.

Wismeijer, A. A. J., & van Assen, Marcel A L M. (2013). Psychological characteristics of

BDSM practitioners. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 10(8), 1943-1952. doi:10.1111/


Hoff, G. and Sprott, R.A. (2009). Therapy experiences of clients with BDSM sexualities:

listening to a stigmatized sexuality. The Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality. 12.

Retrieved from http://www.ejhs.org/Volume12/bdsm.htm

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