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The Sex Worker Affirmative Therapy Model: The Minority Stress of Sex Work

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

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