February 12th and 13th, 1pm - 3pm PST


Zoom Webinar

Traumatophilic Repetitions and the Suffering of Pleasure

In this presentation, Dr. Avgi Saketopoulou leans on psychoanalytic ideas (all of which she will explain from scratch, no prior knowledge needed) to discuss her concept of traumatophilia. Join us for a conversation about kink, BDSM, and psychoanalysis.

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Traumatophilic Repetitions and the Suffering of Pleasure

Time & Location

February 12th and 13th, 1pm - 3pm PST

Zoom Webinar

About The Event

Winter 2022

TASHRA Training

Tickets Available Now

Traumatophilic repetitions and the suffering of pleasure

Live Online Workshop

4 hours

1pm - 3pm Pacific Standard Time

First session: Saturday, February 12th

Second session: Sunday, February 13th

Training level: Intermediate

For good reasons, psychoanalysis has a poor reputation in thinking about sexual diversity in general, and kink in particular. Given its poor track record, clinicians who work with patients who practice BDSM are thus understandably hesitant to turn to psychoanalytic ideas to help inform their work with clients who practice BDSM. This, however, is no small loss: psychoanalysis has much that is both critically helpful and theoretically exciting to offer to thinking about the polymorphous perversity that our patients bring to us.

In this presentation, Saketopoulou leans on psychoanalytic ideas (all of which she will explain from scratch, no prior knowledge needed) to discuss her concept of traumatophilia. A traumatophilic approach asks us to consider what is enabled by revisiting wounds of the past through sexal encounters (trauma play). Contrary to the popular idea that we repeat trauma to master it, an idea that, it should be noted, originated in psychoanalytic thinking, traumatophilia can usher in heightened experience (sovereign experience) that has ties to subspace and topspace.

Learning objectives:

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

  1. Explain the concept of traumatophilia.
  2. Describe what a traumatophilic approach adds to clinical thinking about work with patients who engage in BDSM.
  3. Discuss the difference between repetition compulsion and the kinds of repetitions that can become transformative.
  4. Discuss some of the theoretical framework that helps us understand the convergence of sexuality with trauma, especially in edgeplay, in non-pathologizing ways.


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

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

Instructor Bios:

Dr. Avgi Saketopoulou:

Dr. Avgi Saketopoulou is a Greek and Greek-Cypriot psychoanalyst, who lives and works in NYC. She trained, and now teaches, at the NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis. She also teaches several other analytic institutes including the William Allanson White Institute, the New York Psychoanalytic Institute, and the National Institute of the Psychotherapies-and is scientific advisor for Orlando LGBT+, Greece. Avgi serves on the editorial boards of Psychoanalytic Dialogues, The Psychoanalytic Quarterly and Studies in Gender and Sexuality and her written work has received several prizes including the Ruth Stein Prize, the Ralph Roughton Award, from the Committee on Gender and Sexuality of the American Psychoanalytic Association, the annual essay prize from Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association for her essay on work with a trans girl, and the Symonds prize for her work on sexual perversity, which she approaches in a non-pathologizing way. She is the 2022 recipient of the Scholarship Award from the division of psychoanalysis of the American Psychological Association (Div. 39) and, with Ann Pellegrini, the recipient of the first Tiresias Prize, from the committee on Sexual and Gender Diversity of the International Psychoanalytic Association. Her just-completed book project, titled Sexuality Beyond Consent: Risk, Race, Traumatophilia, is forthcoming from the Sexual Cultures series, NYU Press. Her interview on relational psychoanalysis is part of the permanent collection of the Freud Museum in Vienna and she co-chaired, with Jonathan House, the first conference in the US dedicated to the work of Jean Laplanche, titled “Laplanche in the States: the Sexual and the Cultural.” When she is not working, she rides her motorcycle, hoping for good weather.

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.