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Title: Practitioner psychologists' understandings of bondage/discipline, dominance/submission, sadomasochism (BDSM) : shared or separate from those who practise it
Author: Van Der Walt, Herman
ISNI:       0000 0004 5346 460X
Awarding Body: Canterbury Christ Church University
Current Institution: Canterbury Christ Church University
Date of Award: 2014
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Research with individuals who practise consensual Bondage, Discipline, Domination, Submission, Sadism, Masochism (BDSM) has revealed a complex and multi-faceted phenomenon which serves various functions for its practitioners. Historical associations of BDSM practice with underlying psychopathology, despite empirical evidence to the contrary, may lead to misunderstanding among practitioner psychologists and potentially biased or culturally insensitive psychological treatment of BDSM-oriented individuals. This Q-methodological study investigated subjective understandings of BDSM among practitioner psychologists and whether these understandings were shared with or separate from those who practise BDSM. Forty practitioner psychologists and 40 BDSM practitioners completed a q-sorting task and brief questionnaire online. Comparable majority understandings of BDSM – as a complex phenomenon concerned mainly with power and pleasure – emerged between the psychologist and BDSM practitioner groups. Psychologists generally did not consider themselves particularly knowledgeable on the subject of BDSM, partly due to having received limited teaching and training. There is a need for raising awareness among practitioner psychologists of BDSM as a non-normative, minority sexuality.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF0692 Psychology of sex. Sexual behaviour ; RC0467 Clinical psychology