Investigating bias in psychotherapy with BDSM clients

J Homosex. 2006;50(2-3):301-24. doi: 10.1300/J082v50n02_15.


There is a concern among consensual BDSM participants that they will receive biased care from mental health professionals. Results are presented of an anonymous Internet-based survey administered to both BDSM-identified individuals who have received psychological care and to mental health professionals. The survey included socio-demographic data and invited participants to write narrative accounts of biased or culturally sensitive care, from which common themes were identified. Mental health providers (N=17) responded in fewer numbers than those who identified as BDSM-identified participants (N=175). Descriptive characteristics of the sample will be discussed. Themes from the qualitative data may be useful in informing the future development of guidelines for practitioners to work more responsibly with clients who identify as members of this sexual minority group.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Culture
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Masochism / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Prejudice*
  • Professional Competence
  • Professional-Patient Relations
  • Psychotherapy* / ethics
  • Sadism / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires