Winner of the 2021 AASECT Book Award!
Winner of the SSTAR Professional Book Award 2021!
Winner of the SASH Media Award 2022!
The Leather Couch provides a comprehensive overview of the BDSM and kink community and guides clinicians on how to meet the unique relational and mental health needs of its members.
The text offers a 101-style introduction to BDSM before delving into topics ranging from intersectionality within the kink community, to conducting a kink-affirming risk assessment and how to discern between domestic violence and consensual power-exchange. The author explores differential diagnoses and clinical concerns that are relevant to health care providers, including social workers and therapists as well as primary care physicians and sex educators.
Interwoven throughout with real-world case studies, each chapter presents practical suggestions, tools, and handouts the reader can use to inform their practice and serve clients in ways that meet the needs of each individual, couple, or partnership.
Written in a conversational, accessible style for clinicians and members of the BDSM community alike, The Leather Couch is the go-to resource for any mental health professional or educator looking to transform their practice from kink aware to kink affirming.
Table of Contents
1. What Does Kinky Look Like? 2. Intersectionality in BDSM 3. Power-Exchange Relationships 4. Morals, Values and Ethics in Kink 5. Myths and Misconceptions 6. Intimate Partner Violence, Sexual Assault and Consent in Kink 7. Diagnostics, A Discussion 8. Psychological Benefits 9. Clinical Considerations 10. Best Practices
Stefani Goerlich is a sex therapist with over 15 years of experience in supporting clients with gender, sexuality, and relationship differences and issues related to these populations as well as the BDSM community around the country.
"Through sitting on the leather coach, Stefani Goerlich takes the therapist/reader on a respectful and immersive journey. She helps us understand our kinky clients, and gives us the tools to be able to join them in their work - compassionately, positively, and well-informed. A must read for all clinicians." - Prem K. Pahwa, LCSW, CST, co-director, The Sexual Health Certificate Program, University of Michigan