Sex Work Therapist Training: Call for Participants

Sex Work Therapist Training: Call for Participants


The European Sex Workers’ Rights Alliance (ESWA) is proud to announce the launch of our Sex Work Therapist Training.

This project aims to develop and deliver a training on sex work for counsellors and psychotherapists. The training will be developed by sex workers as we believe they are best placed to provide knowledge on their own lived experiences, in collaboration with mental health practitioners (see below for more information about the team).

This project is based on the findings of the briefing paper exploring the issues related to access to mental health care for sex workers developed within the 2021 pilot programme on sex work and mental health. ESWA identified therapists’ lack of knowledge and stigma around sex work as critical obstacles faced bysex workers in their access to mental health care.

The main objective of the training is to provide therapists the tools to help sex workers feel positive embodiment within their personal and work lives even when presented with mental health challenges.

The different goals of the Sex Work Therapist Training are to:

● Reduce barriers to accessible mental health support for sex workers.
● Challenge therapists’ biases and stigmas to help bring inclusion and equity for sex workers within the therapy room.
● Provide resources and information which therapists can use to support sex
● Be aware of stereotypes and the nuances of sex work.


The training will take place online and will gather up to 25 therapists (or therapists in training). The training will be delivered in English and is open to therapists based in Europe and Central Asia (WHO Europe definition of Europe).

Participants will receive a Certificate after completion of the training.

The pilot project will start with a 1-day training divided into two sessions:

Session 1: Thursday 22nd of September 2-6PM (CET)

Session 2: Friday 23rd of September 2-6PM (CET)

To make this training accessible to as many participants as possible, ESWA is working with fees on a sliding scale and trusting participants in choosing the fee that fits most their level of income.
● Solidarity fee (low income): 100e
● Regular fee: 150e
● Support fee (high income): 200e

Please register here!

For further questions please contact: [email protected]


Bios of the team

The training has been developed by a team of sex workers and mental health practitioners. Because of the stigma around sex work and the risks associated with outing oneself, we are not disclosing who is a sex worker in the team and who is not.


Ness Cooper

Ness Cooper is a Clinical Sexologist trained in sex and relationship Therapy, Education, and Coaching, who has trained all over the world, including at Kinsey. As well as working within the field of human sexuality as a therapist, Ness hosts training for other therapists and wellbeing professionals. She believes that an integrated approach is needed when it comes to wellbeing, combining both the clinical and holistic to help the individual. As an expert in her field, she writes regularly on sex and relationships, including acting as a sex tech expert for Marie Claire magazine.
A published author, in print and online, she has written a paper on sex work, disability and BDSM, as well as contacted intensive research into sexual aftercare.

Saskia Hagelberg

Saskia Hagelberg is a qualified advocate, currently working at Women’s Aid supporting people experiencing domestic abuse and sexual violence. She holds an MSc in Human Rights from the London School of Economics, where her dissertation entitled ‘A blow to human rights: Anti-sex work campaigning and its impact on the human rights of sex workers’ received a distinction. She also holds a first-class honours BA in International Relations. In 2020, she was part of a working group, comprised of academics, sex workers, researchers and third sector workers, aimed at raising awareness of student sex workers and improving their access to safety and support on higher education campuses. As part of this project, she co-authored a toolkit, originally published on the Sex Work Research Hub. It was later disseminated to higher education institutions in the UK. She has previously volunteered with sex worker organisations including the English Collective of Prostitutes and SWARM.


Advisory Committee


Carrie is a psychotherapist based In the U.K. She holds a diploma in psychodynamic counselling and is a registered member of the BACP (British association of counselling and psychotherapy.) She has experience working at a centre with women who have experienced complex trauma and also experience working with sex workers. Carrie is currently in the middle of studying for her Masters in psychodynamic counselling.

Antonis Poulios

Antonios Poulios is a clinical psychologist, M.Sc., Ph.D., and psychoanalyst. He is working in private and is also scientific
coordinator of the community projects of the Association of People Living with HIV in Greece “Positive Voice” (Red
Umbrella Athens and Thessaloniki, Chemsex Support, Streetwork Project and myCheckpoint). Additionally, he is
member of the scientific and training committees of Orlando LGBT+ “Mental Health without Stigma” and adjunct professor in the Department of Psychology of the University of Crete, Greece. He is member of the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy and is an Advanced Accredited Gender, Sex, & Relationship Diversities Therapist, by Pink Therapy. He is co-winner of the Symonds Prize of the Studies in Gender and Sexuality journal for 2022.



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