Home » Spanking as a consensual supplement to clinical therapy?

Spanking as a consensual supplement to clinical therapy?

In this post I plan to discuss how spanking has evolved. From what I remember, spanking used to be a standalone fetish activity strictly connected to a sexual experience – or so that is how it was made to be perceived. These spanking experiences were usually delivered at the hands of a professional dominatrix for a somewhat exorbitant fee – a simple over the knee spanking would cost you the same amount of money you would have to pay to be vacuumed into a latex body bag. The professional dominatrix was the only option to have your spanking needs met (with possibly a few exceptions, that I myself had never been aware of). This was when spanking was much less mainstream than it is today, and it was still sort of an underground activity. It remained that way for quite some time where the pro-Domme was the only one who could capitalize on sessions where clients wanted to be strictly spanked. Then we started to see professional disciplinarian’s coming into the scene who offer spanking as a service that can very well (but doesn’t neceassarily have to) be independent of any sexual element. Most recently, I have come across many websites where therapists, counselors and life coaches offer spanking in addition to traditional therapy. But one must keep in mind that pretty much anyone is at liberty to call him or herself a therapist or counselor as these titles are not protected by law and have no sacred connotations. Those who practice therapy might not be licensed or certified or have any knowledge at all about professional therapy. This does not mean they cannot be good at their self-proclaimed profession, it just means that they lack formal training and certification unless there’s something preceding their titles that acknowledge any accreditations (Certified, Licensed, Advance Practice, etc.).

And while the majority of those who refer to themselves as counselors, therapists, and life coaches who use spanking as part of a multi-disciplinary approach to help the client in the healing process do not have official credentials  – I have been intrigued when coming across licensed or somehow otherwise legitimately certified therapists that are beginning to offer spanking sessions as a part of the therapeutic process. This utterly fascinates me for a whole host of reasons. Of course one has to question its legitimacy. Are these providers masking a sexual experience under the guise of discipline and an atypical form of behavior modification? Are they just interested in money without truly understanding the sacred connection that must be made in order for spanking to atually be therapeutic? Or are they actually rendering services where they incorporate spanking as a means of stress reduction and/or punishment for the benefit of the patient while truly having no doubts about their competency? I honestly can’t say. Most of the sites make it clear that no sexual activity will take place and that talk therapy is the critical component with spanking employed intermittently as tool used to effect change. Although intriguing, most definitely – being a lifestyle spanko, there is something inherently uncomfortable about the possible misuse of these services (intentionally or not)

I have gone over some sites before writing this to see just what this was all about and who it applies to. There are some conflicting opinions among those who practice spanking therapy as to who might benefit from it. Some practitioners believe that anyone who is interested in it for whatever reason will benefit from it because it is something that they want to experience. The fact of wanting it makes it non-aversive and non-threatening, which can illicit the necessary change via positive reinforcement. If the client desires the spanking, then the spanking will be contingent upon the client’s progress. If the client is taking the necessary steps as agreed upon by client and therapist then the client will receive the spanking as a reward. In this case if the therapists were to use punishment, it would be negative punishment. Negative punishment refers to removing some kind of desired stimulus to modify the behavior that needs to be changed. As a general example, if the client is not working in therapy, he will be deprived of the spanking. To the contrary, if he is showing progress, then he will receive the spanking.

This also naturally works the other way. A client may desire spanking for a means of structure and real punishment, but not for the fact that she actually receives any kind of pleasure from the act itself. For this client, it is her knowing that the spanking punishment is a possibility if she does not comply with therapy – that actually gets her to comply with therapy. In this case positive punishment would be used if the client finds the spanking itself to be an inherently aversive experience and something she would rather avoid than receive. Rather than removing something that the client desires, the therapist will introduce an aversive stimulus (ie the spanking) to punish the behavior. This is different from negative reinforcement, which is a tricky and annoying psychological term that has tripped me up many times. Negative reinforcement is when an aversive stimulus is introduced to produce the desired behavior and then retracted immediately when the desired behavior has been achieved. In spanking, I imagine this might work well in the context of spontaneous behavior that needs immediate correcting. For example if the client has used inappropriate language with her therapist (and not using improper language was a goal in therapy), the therapist might introduce spanking immediately and briefly until the client complies with the request not to use inappropriate language, at which point if the therapist is satisfied that the client is telling the truth – the spanking will instantly stop (aversive stimulus removed for compliance).

Some practitioners believe that spanking therapy should be reserved for clients who do not have severe mental issues such as a history of substance abuse or self-injurious behavior. Most unlicensed therapists, most likely due to liability issues, will decline and/or refer clients to a licensed professional if the client’s issues are beyond their scope of expertise (which is really a loaded and subjective statement if said therapist, counselor or coach only has a personal sense of expertise as opposed to clinical). From what I have read most unlicensed practitioners will steer clear of anyone whom they perceive to have more severe diagnoses – which I completely understand even though that greatly decreases my candidacy for this kind of “therapy.” The good news is that there have been some deviating (no pun intended) opinions that don’t necessarily believe you should be excluded if you have a more problematic diagnosis. I have also read that some practitioners believe that clients who exhibit signs of severe anxiety or depression can benefit the most from spanking therapy. And I am not certain how much merit this has, but here’s an interesting article from 2005 entitled “Methods of Painful Impact to Treat Addictive Behavior.” http://english.pravda.ru/health/26-03-2005/7950-whipping-0/ It’s a short little article but I suggest it is worth reading, and knowing what I know about spanking I do not believe this is a far-fetched concept.

Although I have not been to any kind of therapist who specializes in or includes spanking as part of treatment (I do engage in clinical therapy however), I can absolutely relate to spanking being a therapeutic experience. On a psychological level, I have found that spanking is a powerful motivator when administered as an aversive consequence – when the person administering the spanking is someone that I care about, is knowledgeable about the subject, is experienced and interested, and who is not playacting for my benefit. I believe that anybody who incorporates spanking in a therapeutic setting must really believe in what she is doing, as opposed to pocketing money for a service that she can only pretend to provide. And I also believe, as is the case with clinical therapy, that the client must have an interest in changing some sort of behavior. Or if there is not a specific behavior targeted, the release provided by the spanking in and of itself is akin to the release that one might feel from being able to verbally purge to her therapist simply for the relief and support. On a physical level, I can also relate to how spanking can be therapeutic. In one regard, the spanking can produce endorphins that assist in curbing depression and anxiety. And I have absolutely felt this. Even in spite of any punishment, or perhaps because of one. When I am spanked regularly, regardless of the reason, I notice genuine change in my overall state of being. I tend to be in less pain in general, both emotionally and physically. It is possible this is just a mind over matter kind of situation, but it is also possible that it is not. On another note, it can be the freedom from the spanking that can be therapeutic. It could be that release from the experience of continued pain that could be considered healing. Sometimes we all need to be reminded that pain is often temporary no matter how permanent it may feel at the time. For me, spanking is a good reminder of that.

We still have a long way to go – but I have a feeling that in the future as spanking becomes less and less taboo that there will be more instances of spanking in a therapeutic context appearing. This is really rather interesting to me and I look forward to seeing where this goes in terms of following it on the World Wide Web. I have no doubts regarding its potential (although I am rather concerned because it is extraordinarily easy to manipulate and exploit a vulnerable person in this way). I do hope that it can somehow become legitimate, and it might – as we are exiting the generation of people who grew up with spanking -experienced it, watch it inflicted upon somebody else, saw it on TV or read about in the comics, etc. It is very rare to see that today, and it is the spanking of children that is becoming taboo. People interested in spanking who are unfamiliar with having grown up with spanking – will probably still come across it and be fascinated by it in some way. And it might be that their only outlet to assuage their curiosities without judgment is to receive it in a therapeutic framework, because at some point it might become socially acceptable when presented in that context.

The only thing I am really left wondering about is how long it will be before insurance starts covering this…

In the meantime – she has no official clincial license – but she has provided me with more genuine therapy than I could have imagined possible… Ms. Dana Kane. 

I am sure there are other skilled disciplianarians out there but since I cannot personally vouch for them, I won’t. But I am pretty sure there are at the very least a decent handful out there more than capable of providing this kind of service – it just might take some weeding out to find them. If anyone is looking for this type of service, I would do a thorough search on the web, obtain references and exercise caution. Especially those who do have more serious conditions that might best be left to the licensed professionals.

Our psyches are fragile and we need to treat them as such.  Imagine your psyche as your child.  Would you allow just anyone claiming to have experience with children to care for him or would you make sure you have done everything in your power to insure you are putting him in safe, competent hands? If you have to think about that, you should probably leave the therapy to the licensed clinicians and the discipline to the professional spankers.

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