Sex worker affirmative therapy is a model for therapists to engage with sex workers in a supportive and strengths-based way to mitigate the many impacts of distal and proximal stressors. As with any client-centered therapeutic approach, these guidelines should be tailored to the individual and their presenting problem(s) in therapy, and therefore, all guidelines may not be applicable to every sex worker client.
The following outline is part of our published paper, Sex Worker Affirmative Therapy: Conceptualization and Case Study, which can be viewed here.
For detailed training on becoming a sex worker affirmative therapist, take our online training.
Increase sex work and worker competency
Make connections with the sex work community
Visibly identify as a sex worker affirming therapist
Understand sex work experience from a client-centered approach
Therapist disclosure of sex work history
Validate experiences of proximal and distal stressors
Highlight sex workers’ strengths
Challenge internalized whorephobia
Explore boundary setting
Develop a sex worker support network
Manage institutional oppression through harm reduction
Foster bodily awareness
Teach and affirm healthy dating and sexuality