I am pleased to announce that the APA Division 44 Consensual Non-monogamy Taskforce's request for the APA Psychologist Locator to add CNM & Kink/BDSM/Fetish Sexualities as searchable sub-categories was approved by the APA Committee on Sexual Orientation & Gender Diversity (CSOGD).
In March 2019 the APA Psychology Locator leadership asked the CSOGD to review the CNM Task Force’s request and make a recommendation about how to respond. On June 6th we were informed that the CSOGD will be writing a letter to Dr. Jared Skillings, the APA Chief of Professional Practice, recommending separate categories for Sexual Orientation and for Sexuality/Relationships and adding subcategories for Consensual Non-monogamy and Kink/BDSM/Fetish Sexualities, which aligns with our request.
The next step is hearing back from the current Division 44 President (Dr. Margaret Rosario) regarding support for the CSOGD response. The CSOGD and Dr. Rosario will have the opportunity to discuss if CSOGD and Division 44 are aligned. Since Dr. Rosario signed off on the CNM Task Force’s request that Psychology Today make CNM and Kink searchable terms on their directory we anticipate she will be aligned with CSOGD. If all goes as planned a signed letter should be could be sent to Dr. Skillings before the APA Convention starting August 8, 2019. We have also been in correspondence with Dr. Skillings and have no reason to believe he would deny the recommendation.
This historic step toward inclusion acknowledges the legitimacy of the CNM and Kink communities and will help eliminate a barrier and improve access to culturally-affirming healthcare. This also enhances the strength of our requests to Psychology Today and other healthcare/therapy directories in our ongoing efforts to promote awareness of this issue.
We will be sure to keep everyone informed about when (presumably) the request is accepted and the updates go live. The CNM Task Force will also be sending an update about our letter and efforts with Psychology Today soon.
Special thanks are due to Amy Moors, Bree Zimmerman, Deana Richards, and Richard Sprott for their consultation and contributions to the letter as well as the APA Division 44 leadership for their ongoing support.
Heath Schechinger, Ph.D., is a licensed counseling psychologist at the University of California, Berkeley, Co-chair of the APA Division 44 Consensual Non-monogamy Task Force and Adviser to the Kinsey Institute’s Kenneth R. Haslam Collection on Polyamory. His work regarding consensual non-monogamy has been featured in media outlets such as Goop, Vogue, and Psychology Today. He also has a private practice specializing in supporting the consensual non-monogamy, queer, trans*, and kink communities.