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Working with Sex Workers 101

Angie Gunn LCSW, CST, Raquel Savage MS & Melissa Paulino LMSW

Therapists— are you caring for sex workers in your current practice? How are you meeting their unique needs? Historically sex workers have been ostracized, excluded and/or directly harmed by most social institutions, in particular legal, academic and clinical settings. Culturally we have not only discounted the work, but also the humans who choose it, and thrive within it. In this workshop we will expand our knowledge of sex work and it’s current sociocultural presence in our world. In addition to learning about sex work generally, we will explore current clinical strategies for treating those in the work. Just as multicultural and LGBTQIPA+ inclusivity has expanded our skills with specific populations, we need specific skills and tools for treating sex workers ethically and equitably. Treatment interventions we will explore include liberation psychology approaches, calling professionals to enhance critical consciousness, and challenge the impact of colonization, patriarchy, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, sexism and mononormativity in sex work. Unpacking those perspectives and internalized bias’ provides a foundation for expanding our clinical reach to those who have been traditionally left out of clinical care and dialogue. This is an introductory conversation, a teaser for the equitable care certification which will be offered in later 2021 including 36 CE hours of sex work specific content. 

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