April 24th and 25th: 9am-11:30am PST


Zoom webinar

Playing with Dark Emotions: Playing with fear and shame in scenes of humiliation, objectification, and dehumanization

Questions of psychological health and the long-term impact of such “dark emotion” play are often difficult to discern or assess. This workshop reviews the range of theories about psychological sadism and masochism, and explores the motivations that people report for engaging in this kind of play.

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Playing with Dark Emotions: Playing with fear and shame in scenes of humiliation, objectification, and dehumanization

Time & Location

April 24th and 25th: 9am-11:30am PST

Zoom webinar

About The Event

2021 Spring

TASHRA Innovations Training

Tickets Available Now

Playing with Dark Emotions: Playing with fear and shame in scenes of humiliation, objectification, and dehumanization

Live Online Workshop

5 hours, 1 weekend, Saturday and Sunday

9am to 11:30am Pacific Standard Time

First session: Saturday, April 24th

Second session: Sunday, April 25th

One of the more challenging issues for clinicians is when a client discloses involvement in kink scenes of intense negative emotion: scenes of dehumanization, objectification, and humiliation.  Questions of psychological health and the long-term impact of such “dark emotion” play are often difficult to discern or assess.  This workshop reviews the range of theories about psychological sadism and masochism, and explores the motivations that people report for engaging in this kind of play.  Other topics to be addressed include what we know about the experience of “drop” and the basics of psychological first aid relevant to “dark emotion” play.

Attendees will also have the opportunity to discuss possible countertransference experiences and how to hold them and use them for more effective treatment.  These types of scenes challenge deeply held beliefs about what is good and ethical kink, and appropriate response to clients’ engaged in these scenes.

Learning objectives:

After completion of the webinar, attendees will be able to…

  1. Outline the various psychological motivations for people to engage in play that involves humiliation, objectification, and dehumanization
  2. Describe two theoretical approaches to understanding the experience of “drop” - temporary mood changes after intense kink experiences
  3. List specific strategies useful for psychological first aid when a scene goes awry, as psycho-education for clients interested in psychological edge play
  4. Summarize theoretical explanations for people’s fascination with humiliation, objectification, and dehumanization (psychological sadism and masochism)

Format: The workshops will combine didactic instruction, case examples, and group discussion to demonstrate the practice of working with kink-involved clients.

Cost:  $150 with 4 APA CE credits, $75 without APA CEs;  All attendees receive AASECT CEs.

Instructor Bios:

Richard Sprott:

Richard Sprott received his Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from UC Berkeley in 1994. His early work was on social and language development in early childhood. Throughout the 1980s, he conducted program evaluations for educational programs for migrant farmworker families and worked in other areas of migrant farmworker education. As a researcher he has examined in detail the relationship between professional identity development and the development of professional ethics in medical doctors, ministers and teachers, and professional identity development in emerging fields of work.  He is currently directing research projects focused on identity development and health/well-being in people who express alternative sexualities and non-traditional relationships, with a special emphasis on kink/BDSM sexuality, and polyamory or consensual non-monogamy.  He is the President-Elect of the Society for the Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity (APA Division 44) for 2020-2021.  He is also the co-author of Sexual Outsiders: Understanding BDSM Sexualities and Communities (Rowman & Littlefield, 2013). Along with Dr. Elisabeth Sheff, he is co-editor of a new book series Diverse Sexualities, Genders, and Relationships from Rowman & Littlefield. All of these efforts highlight the ways in which stigma, prejudice, minority dynamics, health, language, identity development and community development all intersect and affect each other.  Richard currently teaches courses in the Department of Human Development and Women's Studies at California State University, East Bay and graduate level courses at various universities in the Bay Area, including UC Berkeley and Holy Names University.

Anna Randall:

Anna Randall, DHS, LCSW, MPH (she/her/hers) is co-founder & Executive Director of TASHRA - The Alternative Sexualities Health Research Alliance (tashra.org), a national nonprofit research and clinical training organization. She holds a Doctorate in Human Sexuality, a Masters in Public Health, and a Masters in Social Work from Boston Univ. Dr. Randall is a published researcher on the lived-experienced of kink-involved (BDSM & fetish) individuals, a sex therapist & adjunct faculty at Widener Univ. Recent involvements: Clinical Practice Guidelines for Working with People with Kink Interests, founder of the MOTE Conference, and Co-lead Investigator on the Kink Health Survey 2021 based on the 2016 preliminary findings.


Continuing Education

The complete two-day event of two hours each day is eligible for 2 CE units.  CE credit is APA and/or AASECT credit. 4 CE credits are available total.

CARAS is the organization that will sponsor the CE credit. CARAS is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. CARAS maintains responsibility for this program and its content. www.carasresearch.org

Many states honor APA CE credits for other licenced health professionals, please check with your own state licensing board.

This program meets the requirements of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) and is approved for 2 CE credits per module. These CE credits may be applied toward AASECT certification and renewal of certification.  Completion of this program does not ensure or guarantee AASECT certification. For further information please contact info@assect.org.

For further information on CE credit, please contact Richard Sprott at richard@tashra.org directly.

Cancellation Policy

You may cancel up to ten days before a scheduled workshop without penalty and receive a credit for another workshop or a refund minus $10 for processing costs. If you cancel less than ten days before, you will be responsible for payment. CARAS reserves the right to cancel any event that is less than 60% full within 4 business days of the class. If CARAS cancels an educational event, you will receive a credit toward another workshop.

CARAS Complaint Resolution Procedures

CARAS is committed to conducting all activities in compliance with the American Psychological Association's Ethical Principles of Psychologists. CARAS will adhere to all legal and ethical responsibilities to be nondiscriminatory in promotional activities, program content, and the treatment of program participants. Monitoring and assessment of these standards will be the responsibility of the Continuing Education Administrator. While CARAS makes every attempt to assure fair treatment for all participants, occasionally complaints will arise about continuing education programs. The procedures for addressing complaints are as follows:

When a participant files a complaint, either orally or in written format, and expects action on the complaint, the following actions will be taken.

1. If the grievance concerns a speaker, the content presented by the speaker, or the style of presentation, the individual making the complaint will be asked to put his/her comments in written format. The on-site CE Coordinator will then pass the comments on to the speaker, assuring the confidentiality of the complainant.

2. If the complaint concerns a workshop offering, its content, level of presentation, or the facilities in which the workshop was offered, on-site CE Coordinator will mediate and attempt to resolve the complaint on-site. If the participant requests action, the Coordinator is empowered to:

a. attempt to move the participant to another workshop, or

b. provide a credit for a subsequent year's workshop, or

c. provide a partial or full refund of the workshop fee.

Actions 2b and 2c will require a written note, documenting the grievance, for record keeping purposes. The note need not be signed by the grieved individual.

3. If the complaint is made after the program has occurred or concerns the CARAS CE programming more generally, the CARAS Complaint Panel will address it as follows:

a. Request that the complainant submit a written complaint and propose an appropriate remedy,

b. provide the instructor(s) with the opportunity to respond to the complaint and propose an appropriate remedy,

c. review these documents, make a final determination, and decide on any remedy.

For further information, contact the Executive Director of CARAS, Richard A. Sprott,

at richard.sprott@carasresearch.org or at 510-919-4488. You can also contact us at

CARAS, P.O. Box 812, Rio Vista, CA 94571





  • Licensed Professional with CEs


    This ticket includes both APA and AASECT certificates.




  • Non or Pre-licensed Profess.


    This ticket only includes an AASECT certificate.






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