Essential Clinical Care for Sex Workers: A Sex-Positive Handbook for Mental Health Practitioners


An affirming and sex-positive guide to working with sex workers: uncovering clinical biases, creating safe spaces, and dismantling the whorearchy.

Despite the wide range of sex work--from street-based to OnlyFans--clinicians too often focus on what they think sex workers need, instead of building trust, developing rapport, and really doing the work to understand the unique stressors that make quality mental health care essential for sex worker communities.
Sex-positive therapists Theodore Burnes and Jamila Dawson break down everything that mental health providers need to know to work effectively with sex workers, while dispeling the tired, pervasive myths that continue to impact treatment today. Readers will learn about:

  • Who sex workers are; different types of sex work; and sex workers’ specific therapy needs
  • How outdated research methodology results in bad data and poor care
  • The whorearchy--the sex-work hierarchy--and why we need to dismantle it
  • How to recognize and move beyond personal biases
  • How to provide effective, affirming, and better clinical care
  • What words not to use--and what they reveal about the sexism, racism, misogyny, and transphobia embedded in our society (and our practices)

As sex work changes and evolves, encompassing everything from brothels to cam work, clinical care needs to catch up. This book shows you how.