Kay Cohen Therapy
 
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PHILADELPHIA QUEER, TRANS, SEX + TRAUMA THERAPY

 

First things first: You are the author of your story – the expert in your experience! My role as your therapist is simply to support you in unearthing and building on the strength you possess, the insights you hold, and the world you envision for yourself.

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I enjoy working with individuals of diverse identities and lived experiences. I have experience working with a range of issues and concerns including depression, anxiety, sexual abuse, relationship concerns and family conflict. In particular, I specialize in gender identity, queer experience, sex and sexuality, BDSM/kink, polyamory/non-monogamy, and trauma. Finally, I have extensive experience and take delight in working with adolescents and young adults.

As a therapist, I am inspired by the power of authentic connection and collaborative work together. Whether it’s your goal to manage anxiety and stress, build a healthier relationship with your body and self, engage in healing around traumatic experiences, or develop more rewarding relationships, I provide a confidential, non-judgmental space in which we’ll work together to unpack and explore those things that feel hardest to manage alone.

 
 
 

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ABOUT ME

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My name is Kay and I’m a queer and trans-identified human who’s called Philly home for seven years now. I obtained my Masters of Social Work and Masters of Human Sexuality from Widener University in 2015 and am currently working toward my certification with the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT).

My work experience includes providing therapy services and advocacy for young folks experiencing homelessness, providing support to folks living with HIV/AIDS, working with survivors of violence and abuse, and working to end the stigmatization of sex work within social service agencies in Philadelphia.

In addition to my therapy practice, I currently facilitate support groups for trans folks in recovery and provide educational workshops on gender, sex, and sexuality around the city. When not working, you can probably find me exploring the world with my pup Prynce (who also sometimes joins me at work as a Certified Therapy Dog!).

 

 

 
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my therapeutic approach

 

RELATIONAL-CULTURAL

 

In short, I’m not here to pathologize you, tell you what’s broken, or tell you why you’re wrong. A relational-cultural approach to therapy means I value a relationship between you and I that is as equitable as possible, and one that moves you toward a life that resonates with your definition of personal, social, and political empowerment (rather than a life built on who I think you should be). In addition, knowing that our relationships and communities are central to our wellbeing, relational-cultural therapy means we’ll put lots of energy into building your connectedness with others and expanding your networks of care, kinship, and support.

 
 
 

FEMINIST /SOCIAL JUSTICE

It’s important to me as your therapist to be accountable to the power dynamics and social systems that inform our relationship and the way you move through the world. Using a feminist/social justice approach means I’m interested in working with an understanding of the roles that oppression takes in our lives and our healing, including the impact of racism, classism, cissexism, heterosexism, and other sources of inequity.

On my end, this means routinely engaging in self-accountability measures to ensure I’m aware of how my position in the world influences our work together. Together, this means I will support you in your entitlement to move through the world in whatever body, self, and community feel like home, in your ability to endure and resist the forces of power, control, and judgment in society, and in your right to be safe. And outside of our time, I will tirelessly advocate for your right to thrive.

 
 
 

TRAUMA-INFORMED

There are as many types of trauma as there are symptoms of trauma. Negative events and experiences often stay with us long beyond the traumatic moment itself, showing up throughout our daily lives and impacting our ability to feel secure and be present in our world. Using a trauma-informed lens means that we’ll work together to build an awareness of the ways that our trauma can shape our physiological, interpersonal, and emotional experiences, and working through these symptoms of trauma to reclaim a sense of groundedness in our everyday lives.

 

additional TRAINING

 

EMDR (EYE MOVEMENT DESENSITIZATION & REPROCESSING

EMDR is a process used to access different brain sequences to alleviate symptoms associated with trauma. Though not for all people, EMDR has proven to have positive outcomes in the processing of facts and feelings in our brain – processing events that, despite what we might assume, occur in different areas of the brain. Using EMDR enables many for whom talk therapy is insufficient to identify and work through our intellectual and emotional responses, process past experiences, and begin to heal.

 
 
 

SOMATIC EXPERIENCING

 

I believe that we all have the wisdoms that we need, and that our bodies do too. Somatic Experiencing is a neuroscientific approach to relieving and resolving symptoms of trauma, PTSD, stress and anxiety. Somatic experiencing explores trauma’s impact on the nervous system and provides a window to locate the inherent wisdom in your body and return you to that as a source of support.

 
 
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therapeutic services

 

INDIVIDUAL THERAPY

 

Individual therapy means different things to different people. At its core, it means you and I will work together, one-on-one, to address whatever it is that you’re seeking support around.

Here are some things we can work on in individual therapy:
•    Developing self-awareness – of body, identity, values, needs, desires, wants, dislikes
•    Developing a system of self-love and self-care
•    Uncovering and addressing trauma
•    Shifting patterns that no longer serve us
•    Building better relationships
•    Getting unstuck, finding focus, exploring desires, and setting plans
•    Moving through difficult times
•    Addressing depression and anxiety

What to expect:
First, we’ll meet for a consultation. This is a time for us to chat and see if you’re interested in working with me. If you are, we’ll decide on the plan that works best for you, find a time to meet, and begin our work together. No pressure, no mandatory lying on couches – unless you feel like it!

 
 
 

relationship therapy

Relationship therapy covers a whole lot of territory. Basically, relationship therapy is a tool to support you and your relationship partner(s) in identifying barriers to intimacy, reconciling differences, or expanding the nature of your relationship.

Here are some things we can work on in relationship therapy:
•    Improving communication
•    Rebuilding trust and emotional intimacy
•    Rebuilding sexual intimacy
•    Navigating non-monogamy
•    Exploring sex and sexuality
•    Working through conflict
•    Working through changes in relationship dynamics or environment
•    Negotiating boundaries that suit everyone
•    Discussing differing needs and compatibility

What to expect:
First, all of us will meet together to discuss your goals and see if it’s a good fit. After that, we’ll meet separately to make sure everyone is on the same page, and to give me a chance to hear a bit about what each of you is individually seeking. After that, we’ll decide on a plan that works for you and set a time. Though most of our work will be together, there will be times where it’s important for us to meet separately.

 
 
 

SEX & SEXUALITY

Sex and sexuality are central to our experiences in the world – they are core to ourselves and our relationships. And yet there are so few spaces where we’re invited to speak openly about sex and sexuality – sometimes, we never get the chance to! Whether it’s coming out to family, negotiating BDSM power dynamics, building trust in non-traditional/poly relationships, or reinvigorating sexual intimacy in your partnership, I’m here to support these conversations, build comfortability and clarity around your wants and needs, and help you develop a rewarding relationship with sex and sexuality. I provide a shame-free, non-judgmental environment dedicated to supporting you in feeling healthy, positive, and satisfied in your body.

Here are some of the things we can work on:
•    Exploring sexual identity – attraction, behaviors, interests, naming sexuality, shifting sexuality
•    Exploring sexual interests
•    Learning about/practicing kink
•    Poly/non-traditional relationships
•    Sexual trauma
•    Living with an STI
•    Communicating about sex with partners/potential partners
•    Exploring consent
•    Sex work
•    Addressing unwanted sexual behaviors
•    Navigating stigma

 
 
 

GENDER

Gender: it’s about who we are, how we feel, how we present to the world, and how the world responds to us. So how do we come to a gender that is fully ours – one in which we can inhabit our body, our spirit, and our mind in a way that makes us feel at home? As your therapist, I am enthusiastic about supporting you in living fully in your gender – exploring how it impacts your world, what you wish were different, and where you want to go.

Note: As a trans therapist, I understand that for many people gender identity isn’t central to their interest in therapy, nor central to what they’re seeking support around. I understand this and am interested in following your lead around to what extent you do or don’t want to incorporate talking about your gender into therapy. Just know that I will always hold a space that is safe and affirming!

Here are some of the things we can work on:
•    Exploring your relationship (or lack thereof) with gender
•    Coming out – to partners, families, friends, workplace, community
•    Transitioning
•    Accessing health care, documents, etc.
•    Addressing dysphoria and bodies
•    Building a rewarding sexuality
•    Navigating transphobia and cissexism

 
 
 
 
 
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WORKSHOPS & CONSULTATION

 

FOR THERAPISTS: Case Consultation & Trainings

 

I offer case consultation for therapists seeking support around working with queer and trans individuals. I’m available for consultation services in both short- and longer-term capacities, and additionally offer trainings for group practices seeking to expand their services for queer and trans individuals. Please contact me for training samples, references, and/or further information.

 
 
 

FOR COMMUNITY AND/OR THERAPISTS: Workshops

I offer a host of educational workshops around sex and sexuality for students and therapists in the Southeastern Pennsylvania region. I’m interested in working with you and your group to tailor content to your specific needs and interests – feel free to contact me to discuss your ideas! Facilitator’s Note: These workshops are trans and queer inclusive, steer away from gendered language and anatomical assumptions, and recognize how systems of oppression impact sexual norms, generate shame and stigma, and interrupt access to safer sex information and supplies.

Sample workshops include:

Safer Sex, Sexier Sex. For Every Body.
Can you practice safer sex and still keep your sex life smoking hot? Of course you can! This workshop will cover safer sex fundamentals, including: barrier methods, lubing up for safety and pleasure, sex toy basics, the ins and outs of anatomy, risk reduction methods, and much more. Take note: This workshop is not about what you should or shouldn’t be doing in bed! Instead, we’ll focus on developing the tools you need to make informed choices about what you can incorporate into your sexual repertoire to make sure your sex life suits you, your pleasure, and your health.

Yes Means Yes, No Means No, WTF Does That Wink Mean?
Consent may seem like a simple concept - yes means yes, no means no. But in reality, practicing good consent can be a bit more complicated. What words do I use? How do I say no? How do I deal with rejection? How do I know if someone consents? How long does consent last? How do I ask for what I want without putting pressure on my partner? Can I actually make consent sexy (Yes!)? This workshop will support participants in navigating the nuances and power dynamics (such as gender, race, and age) that can affect how we ask for and give consent. We’ll explore the vulnerabilities inherent in asking for and giving consent, and practice asking for and giving consent in ways that are comfortable and clear. And finally, we’ll learn about how practicing good consent means practicing better communication – and how better communication means better sex!

Boundary Setting
“Set boundaries” can sound like a tired directive - cold, clinical, a closing off of possibilities. Boundaries aren’t sexy. If I love someone, I should give them my all, right? Despite what Disney might tell you, boundaries are not actually about locking someone out. Instead, they’re about creating sexual and/or romantic relationships where we can show up fully as ourselves – and retain our selves. In this workshop, we will explore the ways that social norms around boundary-less sexual and/or romantic relationships create expectations that often do not serve our needs, but rather cause disappointment, distrust, resentment and even fear. We will reclaim boundary setting as an act of caring for ourselves and, ultimately, others. Participants will have an opportunity to reflect on and explore their own sexual and/or romantic boundaries and practice how to communicate them effectively to build relationships that take care of you.

Polyamory & Open Relationships
Non-monogamous relationships are for commitment-phobes. You can’t be polyamorous and hold a serious relationship. Open relationships are all about sex. You’ve probably heard it all. But in actuality, polyamorous and open relationships require a lot of commitment (to partners and process), and a lot of communication. And, unlike monogamous relationships, non-monogamy doesn’t exactly come with pre-determined rules or roles. So we get to create our own! This workshop provides an entry point to navigating the (sometimes rocky) terrain of non-monogamy - tackling common challenges such as managing jealousy, communicating needs and wants, and creating relationship agreements that work for all partners. Participants will be introduced to some of the many different forms of non-monogamy, and will have the opportunity to dream up and practice the process of designing sustainable, fun(!), and loving non-monogamous relationships.

Curious about Kink? An Introduction to Kink & BDSM
Diving into the world of kink can feel intimidating, but understanding the basics can help navigating the expansive world of kink feel not just possible, but exciting! This introductory workshop will explore the foundations of fun, sexy, risk-aware, consensual kink and BDSM. We’ll discuss the many motivations for engaging with kink and BDSM and challenge the stigma associated with these practices. Participants will be introduced to basic kink terminology, identities, and practices and explore some handy toys and equipment.  We’ll go over how to set up safer, sexy, kinky scenes, with particular emphasis on safer kink practices including consent, scene negotiation, technique and aftercare. Participants will leave feeling more confident in their foundational knowledge of kink and with the tools and resources necessary to continue to explore kink and BDSM in a risk-aware, consensual, and fun way!

 

 

 
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RATES & PAYMENTS

Because our connection is key to this being a positive endeavor for you, I offer free one-hour consultations to make sure this is the best fit for you.

I do not currently accept insurance. However, I offer therapy on a sliding scale basis based on income, ranging from $40-$100/session for individual therapy and 60$-$120/session for relationship therapy.

Additionally, if you identify as a person of color, trans or gender nonconforming, undocumented, formerly incarcerated, working class, or as a sex worker for whom money is a barrier to therapy, please contact me and we can explore options to make it work for you. I have the capacity to support a small number of individuals on a pro bono basis, and prioritize working with you.


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