private consultations

In keeping with my travel schedule, I often make time for private teaching and coaching sessions for people who prefer to learn one-on-one, as a couple or relationship unit (triad, quad, vee, etc.) or in a small selected group. I also do telephone and Zoom consultations as appropriate.

Private consultations can be an occasion to hash out the details of your relationships or explorations in kink, non-monogamy or queer sexuality with a sympathetic and experienced community member. I also offer skills-based consultations.

One-on-one consultations and relationship consultations

Trying to work up the courage to explore the kink scene? Looking for a sympathetic ear as you work through some queer relationship challenges? Figuring out your value system around non-monogamy? Seeking guidance or a sounding board on your path in D/s or M/s? These are all great reasons to meet up with me and hash out what’s on your mind. We can meet once, several times, or regularly, or we can play it by ear.

I’m not a therapist, and for some issues nothing compares to the services of a good therapist who’s appropriately educated about non-monogamy, kink or other alternative sexuality topics. Unfortunately, such therapists can be hard to come by even in major urban centres, waiting lists can be long for the ones who are taking clients, and even those with the best intentions can trip up sometimes—for instance, just because a therapist has wrapped their head around the idea that spanking isn’t automatically a sign of abuse doesn’t mean they’ll be comfortable counseling you through a full-time D/s dynamic. Another common challenge is therapists who are open to non-monogamy as long as it retains a hierarchical structure that doesn’t depart too far from traditional monogamy in its baseline values, but are uncomfortable or ill-equipped to handle alternative structures such as triads, quads or non-hierarchical ecosystems. Consulting with me isn’t a substitute for therapy, but it can be an excellent complement to a therapeutic process or a good way to start unpacking what’s on your mind with someone you already know “gets it.”

The bulk of my one-on-one and relationship consulting clients contact me for one of two reasons:

1) New explorations. A lot of folks need a shot in the arm as they work up the nerve to get started on a new path—a relationship, an identity, a sexual community, a D/s role, and so forth. Congratulations! These are exciting and scary times! I can listen to your concerns, provide realistic advice and reassurance, and suggest a few places to get started, whether that means referring you to reading material or recommending a group to join or an event or workshop to attend.

2) Endings and transitions. Life transformations are complex—leaving your spouse, letting go of a D/s identity or relationship, changing the type of non-monogamy you’re doing. These situations and many more can bring up a whole host of new perspectives and questions, even if you’ve been doing “this thing” (whatever your thing is) for many years. I’m happy to provide a space for processing as you navigate a transition along your journey.

I am of course happy to meet with you one-on-one as well as with couples, triads and other non-monogamous groupings.

Skills-based consultations

Looking to learn a new skill or perfect a technique? I can help. Private skills development can be invaluable in terms of getting you the focused learning you need, to say nothing of reducing the intimidation factor that can come into play when practicing something new in a group or public setting. I teach a wide range of skills-based workshops and I’m happy to tailor their content to your needs for a private session, or to create specific content for you. Feel free to check out my workshops list for topics, or send me a note at veryqueer3 at yahoo dot ca to inquire about my expertise in a given area. I will only teach material I feel very confident that I’m qualified to teach; if you’re looking to develop skills that are outside my range, I will happily refer you to books, workshops or other private consultants as appropriate.

Please note that a skills-based consultation is not a euphemism for BDSM play, domination, sex surrogacy or sex work services. Sex work is legitimate work—it’s just not what I do! If that’s what you’re looking for, depending on where you live I may be able to refer you to some wonderful pros.

Confidentiality

I’m not a professional therapist or counsellor of any kind, but I’m trained as an active listener and have six years’ past experience as a queer hotline listener, as well as regularly teaching active listening skills. I work on the premise of being non-judgmental, and with the principle that you are best equipped to solve your own problems and my job is to facilitate that process. As well, I have plenty of information and ideas to share as needed. Expect nuanced questions, clear and gentle challenges when appropriate, lots of kindness, and probably two or three book recommendations or referrals to workshops or other resources.

Confidentiality is 100% respected. With private clients I am very careful to maintain scrupulous confidentiality and I keep no written records of any kind, but because I am not licensed as a counselor, that means I am also not supervised or constrained by a professional board or regulatory body. This means that clients must simply trust me to keep my word.

Structure

For new clients, I usually suggest a two-hour meeting for a first session, as it gives you plenty of time to tell me your story while also leaving us time to talk about next steps, suggestions and possible new perspectives before we part ways. Subsequent sessions are usually an hour, unless a long time has passed since the last one, or a significant new concern has arisen, and you need to give me a substantial update. Of course this structure is flexible depending on your needs and availability.

I leave it in your hands to decide whether you want to work together just once, occasionally as needed, or on an ongoing basis for an open-ended period of time. Sometimes, clients just need a little shot of help to get over a hump or make a tough decision; because this is not a therapeutic process in the clinical sense, you might not need a regular commitment in order to get what you need from our work together. Sometimes, some regular support is a great investment for a period of time, to help you feel supported in a more sustained way. It is entirely up to you! We don’t need to decide right away – playing it by ear is just fine.

Fees

My basic consultation fee is CAN $60 per hour plus 13% HST (my standard freelance rate for all the work I do), and I can accept payment in cash, by cheque or bank transfer. My services are not covered by insurance.

Contact

Contact me at veryqueer3 at yahoo dot ca to inquire about scheduling and to discuss details.

2 thoughts on “private consultations

  1. Hi, I sent an email to veryqueer3@yahoo.ca and it came back as an unknown address.
    Hi Andrea,
    I got your name from one of my former students as someone who might point me in the right direction around kink etc. I am a research in the area of couple therapy in the context of childhood and developmental trauma. I am currently writing a manual for therapist working with couples and trauma. Of course, a section will be devoted to sex and sexuality, the impacts of trauma—especially sexual trauma—and I’ve been thinking a lot about issues around kink-BSDM etc and the various ideas that people/couple therapist have about this. As you are no doubt aware, there is a strong belief in the psychotherapy world, or part of it at least, that kink and BDSM following sexual trauma is simply a reenactment or dissociated artifact of history and, therefore, is retraumatizing. However, there is also the idea, not as prevalent or pervasive, that kink and DBSM can be an empowering way for survivors to take back their sexualities. From my perspective, I feel as though I have seen both. I have worked with people whose adult sexualities are painful and dissociated, very much repeating history in a way that feels against their “will”. And, I have worked with individuals and couples where they feel very engaged with and alive in their kink experiences in a way that empowers and vitalizes them.
    Anyway, you know all of this! I’m wondering if you are familiar with any resources out there that might help me grapple with this in a way that could result in my having a clearer head about how to write about this for therapists?
    Thanks
    Heather

    1. Hi Heather,

      That’s weird, you got my correct email address and I use it daily. Some folks use .com instead by accident – maybe that’s what happened?

      Anyway, I do have a number of resources to suggest. In fact an annotated list which I just recently updated: https://sexgeek.wordpress.com/kink-resources/reading-for-therapists/
      I don’t specialize in this area as a scholar so I don’t have any journal articles to suggest – from friends who are in the field I know some work does exist but I’m not aware of whether anything addresses your specific question. I can put you in touch with someone if you want but you’re probably a more seasoned researcher. My other best suggestion would be to contact Peggy Kleinplatz in Ottawa directly (I forget if she’s U of O or Carleton) because she’s definitely a go-to for this topic. She doesn’t do email but is quite responsive to phone calls.
      Hope that helps!

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