Despite its history as the home of the Kama Sutra, the mostly conservative nation of India frequently views frank conversations of intimacy and sexuality as obscenity.
Members of the BDSM community enjoy inflicting or receiving pain, bondage, or relationships with hierarchical power structures. The BDSM places a strong emphasis on consent, which all participants must give voluntarily before engaging in any activity. Participants may withdraw their consent at any moment.
But in the eyes of the general population, BDSM is the complete opposite of "normal." Furthermore, it is still viewed as abusive, violent, or even an illness. A great portion of that responsibility can be attributed to Freud, who classified masochism and sadism as "diseases" brought on by the improper development of the brain during childhood in his 1905 work "Three Essays on Sexuality." Since then, that has largely been how scientists have viewed S&M (and hence, BDSM).
According to the BDSM community, this is unfair. To us, this stuff comes quite "naturally." Additionally, they claim that Freud was watching individuals with mental health issues rather than those with normal sexual appetites.
The most recent DSM-5 now states that participation in BDSM activities does not automatically qualify for "paraphilic disorder" unless accompanied by significant psychological distress or doing so with non-consenting people, the latter of which is a form of abuse.
However, 11% or more of BDSM community members claim to have encountered prejudice from mental or medical healthcare professionals. Members of the BDSM community frequently have past encounters with prejudiced mental healthcare, including therapists who assumed that participating in BDSM was harmful, abusive, or a sign of past abuse, and therapists who demanded that clients stop participating in BDSM in order to continue therapy.
Negative attitudes, feelings, and behavioural responses directed explicitly at groups of people who are not heterosexual and are not seen as the sexual norm are known as sexual-minority stigma. Previous research focusing on sexual-minority stigma shows that stigma-related stress can create a negative response in those who experience it where there is an increased risk for depression and anxiety (Hatzenbuehler, 2009). Internalised kinkphobia, loneliness, problems with coming out or being outed, sadness or anxiety, expectations and preconceptions, as well as guilt and shame, are all common in people seeking treatment for their mental health issues.
It is necessary to create alternate settings for people to declare their interest in, or who already practise, BDSM, in light of the widespread misinterpretation and discrimination of the BDSM culture by many mental health care providers.
Mental health and BDSM counsellors in India
The stigmatization of BDSM throughout history is mostly attributable to a lack of education and comprehension of the subculture. To comprehend how pain is used in BDSM, it is essential to comprehend the psychological concepts of power and suffering. Regarding mental and emotional states, some pain levels have analgesic properties and can cause euphoric states associated with the "decrease of psychological urges and the sense of detachment or trance."
In addition to coping with prejudice against mental health disorders, BDSM practitioners must deal with stigma and discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Individuals in the BDSM do not have a higher risk of developing mental health issues, and taking part in BDSM activities can help participants achieve better mental health results. The psychological effects of repressing kink identity include increased worry and/or depression, relationship stress, loneliness, the development of bad coping mechanisms, emotional outbursts, impatience, and behaviour changes. In addition to failing to provide support, therapists who push or encourage clients to hide kinky behaviours and/or identities really play an oppressive role.
According to studies, the majority of BDSM practitioners do not express anguish over having kink needs; rather, they express distress over the ongoing prejudice and abuse they experience as a result of people's ignorance of the lifestyle. Practitioners of the BDSM score lower on the neuroticism and agreeableness scales and higher on the well-being, rejection sensitivity, extraversion, openness to experience, and conscientiousness scales. By conquering barriers, learning new skills, and being considerate of one another, BDSM dynamics promote personal growth. A complete examination of life can be found in BDSM trips when looking past the sexual lens.
While gaining knowledge is a crucial step in transitioning from pathological understandings to offering qualified assistance to those with marginalized experiences, narrative therapy proponents have persuasively argued that knowledge alone does not constitute non-discrimination. A BDSM counsellor in India should be aware of their own reactions, strive for a non-judgemental and open-minded attitude, and learn about the specific customs, values, and norms of the BDSM culture, such as how consent and boundaries are negotiated. They should also avoid ignoring or over-focusing on the subject of BDSM.
Kink-awareness and kink-affirmation can be considered as essential, complementary viewpoints to create beneficial, rewarding therapy with BDSM-practicing clients, with therapists educating themselves on issues pertinent to their clients and arming clients with the relevance and importance of BDSM in their lives, promoting their wellbeing. Practitioners of the BDSM consider it advantageous when therapists conduct independent research on the subject. Therapists should educate themselves on BDSM typically on their own and not largely from their clients in order to respect the working relationship between therapist and client, respect for the client's time in therapy, and care not to exploit clients who are dependent on their therapists. If a client wants to explain something about the BDSM, it should be done on the client's terms and not as a substitute for the therapist finding out additional information.
Each therapist must conduct independent research when dealing with topics they are unfamiliar with. The BDSM advocates suggest that therapists take ownership of their professional behaviour, demonstrating a client-centered, collaborative, and laid-back approach with appropriate curiosity, openness, encouragement, humility, and acceptance. Providers must make sure they have a thorough awareness of the accepted methods of consent and negotiation in the kink community. Psychotherapists can make sure they are confirming their clients' objectives and behaviours in a safe and healthy way by taking advantage of training and continuing education opportunities.
Kinks are one technique for both queer and cis-het individuals to investigate their sexuality and identity. Kinks and kink exploration serve as a means of preventing dissociation, whether it occurs during sexual activity or not. At Another Light, we are aware of how kink and plays relate to and reflect societal norms and power. You may let go of the "shame" that society wants you to have because the discourse is always open and secure. Another Light Counseling's founder, Aanchal Narang, gives you access to Indian BDSM counsellors who are knowledgeable in kink to assist you in maintaining healthy relationships and dynamics and to provide you the tools and knowledge you need to make your kinky play fun and safe.
Aanchal Narang wants to ensure that everyone has access to trauma, gender, sexuality, addiction, and kink-affirmative treatment. Aanchal Narang holds a Master's in Applied Psychology (Clinical) from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai and has trained more than 3000 people.
With an understanding for the mind, body, and spirit, her team of BDSM counsellors in India uses an integrative approach that incorporates narrative, psychodynamic, EMDR, emotionally focused, and mindfulness-based therapies. In the conservative nation of India, BDSM counsellors assist individuals in finding a means to overcome challenges while respecting their expertise, skills, customs, and values. Our Indian BDSM counsellors, foster a secure environment for talking about kink, BDSM, and non-monogamy.