Sex Worker-Affirming Mental Healthcare: What Counselors Need to Know

Sex Worker-Affirming Mental Healthcare: What Counselors Need to Know


About this Episode:

In this episode, Megan Speciale talks with Dr. Theodore Burnes about supporting the mental and emotional health needs of clients who are involved in the sex work industry. The conversation explores Dr. Burnes’s experience as a therapist and advocate with the sex worker population and also provides an overview of common misconceptions and stigma impacting sex workers. Dr. Burnes outlines strategies to better equip counselors inside and outside of the counseling office with the knowledge, skills, and awareness necessary for affirming and resiliency-based work with this population.


About Theodore:

Dr. Theodore Burnes (he/him/his) is a counselor educator and a licensed professional clinical counselor (LPCC600) in the state of California. His professional interests include the psychology of human sexual expression and sex-positivity; teaching and training pedagogy in mental health services; clinical supervision; social justice and advocacy; mental health and wellness for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and questioning (LGBTIQ) individuals; qualitative research epistemologies and ontologies. He is a member of the Board of Directors for the California Association for Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors (CALPCC). Dr. Burnes also maintains a private practice in which he sees a range of clients and also supervises pre-licensed professionals. He is a fellow of the American Psychological Association (in Divisions 17 and 44), and is an Associate Editor for the journal Training and Education in Professional Psychology.


APA Citation for this Episode:

Speciale, M. (Producer). (2021, September 1). EP211: Sex-Worker Affirming Mental Health Care: What Counselors Need to Know [Audio Podcast]. The Thoughtful Counselor. Retrieved from


Thanks to the Following:

Photo by Gemma Evans on Unsplash

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