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

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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 202