Today – my sex positive interview continues and I’d like to introduce you to Allisa Scott.
Would you like to share your name? Allisa Scott
What prompted you to become involved in a love, relationship or sex related field?
From a young age I was fascinated with sexuality and the more I learned about how taboo it was in my family and then in society, the more I wanted to learn about it. It was a mysterious, fascinating and mystical world to me. I grew up in a conservative family and it was not something that was openly discussed (I was only told about sexuality when I was 11 and started to menstruate, and it was explained to me more in terms of my biological functioning than anything else).
When I went to university and found out there was a minor in studies in sexuality, I just had to obtain it. I then completed my first master’s degree with a focus on family, gender and sexuality, studying young women’s fluid sexuality. I then completed my masters of social work and have an interest in one day obtaining my sex therapy certification, but for now I am starting a private practice where I will be offering counselling in areas of gender and sexuality, and I am interested in couples counselling as well.
I have also been involved in the polyamorous communities and kink communities across southwestern and central Ontario in Canada. I have been involved with a number of conferences and continue to have an interest in academic and research components of sexuality as well. In addition I wrote a sex column for 6 years, briefly wrote for an online International Kink magazine, and am now writing for a local Rainbow Community (lgbtq) magazine.
In my personal life I realized that I was interested in more than just men romantically, so after becoming involved in numerous groups and committees and discovering where I fit into the sexuality spectrum, I have a great respect, and continued interest in areas of identity, sexuality, as well as gender orientation and the gender spectrum. I am an educator and trainer in these areas as well, and am very excited to make a career doing what I love.
What is your title? My official credentials/titles are as listed in this order: H.B.A, M.A., M.S.W., R.S.W., however, I also use the following titles: Counselor, Diversity, Gender and Sexuality Specialist, Counselor, Consultant & Trainer.
In a few sentences, how do you describe what you do?
I work with individual clients, groups or families to help them with issues related to gender and sexuality. I train agencies, businesses, and organizations to be more inclusive of diversity (including gender and sexual diversity), and I offer customized consulting in areas related to diversity.
What sort of education, background, experience etc do you have for this work?
Honours Bachelor of Arts, Minor in Studies in Sexuality, Masters in Sociology with a focus on Family, Sex and Gender, and a Master of Social Work. I am a registered Social Worker in Ontario. In addition I have many years of life experience working in/with numerous LGBTQ, kink, and polyamorous communities.
What sort of additional training did you feel you needed to do more for your clients?
Continue training in couple therapy techniques, as well as obtain my sex therapy training in the future (I plan to attend an intensive sex therapy training this upcoming summer).
How long have you worked in this industry?
I am just starting my business in February 2011, however, I have been an educator and trainer in areas of diversity, gender and sexuality for over 15 years now.
If you have a main focus or niche – what is it?
Gender and Sexual Diversity
What lead you to that specialty?
The search to understand my own fluid identity as well as a fascination in these areas, lead to my focus. I also find that few people are experienced in this area of work, and many people still mix up and misunderstand the difference between gender and sexuality. It impacts our lives in ways that people do not realize unless they are faced with it themselves, so I am interested to continue to offer education and bring awareness to these issues.
What has been the hardest thing about your work?
Acquiring the credentials to do this work in Canada. There are very limited options, and very little awareness about the field of sexuality as a career at schools. So this lead me to take an untraditional route to getting certified (I did not take a BSW as many people would, or go to the Sexuality program at the University of Guelph as it was not an option for me at the time). Now it will continuing to legitimize the field of gender and sexuality in the fields of counselling, consulting and training.
I have also found funding to be an issue. Unless you are directly related to a research grant or have your own funding for this type of work, it is not always supported or understood. Therefore, I took a lot of unrelated jobs or was underpaid for my work as a result. It has been hard, but I am finally going to do the work I have been wanting to all these years!
What has been the most rewarding thing about your work?
In counselling, it has been: working with people, and empowering them to get comfortable in their own skin, reconnecting families with one another after someone comes out, being able to support and recognize people when they are misunderstood by others, taking part in positive change and healing in people’s lives. Connecting to people or giving them space to be heard or recognized when they have been forgotten, left behind, hurt or lost in some way.
In consulting and training, it has been given the opportunity to expand people’s understanding of gender and sexuality to show them how it relates to their lives and the work they do, to actively be involved with reducing discrimination because of educating people, to support and network with local organizations and communities to create partnerships and stronger, more inclusive cities.
Tell us about your business.
My business is called Inclusive Counselling, Consulting & Training. I will be offering individual, couple, group or family counselling in areas of gender and sexuality as well as other areas of therapy. I am also training to offer online therapy. I am available to assist organizations with becoming more inclusive by offering training, or by working with their Human Resources teams to optimize their worker satisfaction and inclusion.= as well as meet the needs of Canadian legislation (i.e. Human Rights Code, Canadian Equity Act, as well as the new Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.
How long have you been in business?
I will be starting in February 2011. Before this, I have worked in numerous related jobs.
Did you expand an existing business?
When I originally decided to start my own business, I was only going to offer counselling and training, but have been requested to offer consulting because of my areas of expertise in diversity, so I am now offering consulting as well. So I did not expand an existing business, I just expanded my current business idea before I started business.
Do you have a website and/or blog?
My website is http://www.inclusive-cct.ca/ and I am considering a blog and newsletter as well.
How could someone get in touch with you?
Who are your favorite types of client?
Clients that are willing to be open to the change process, explore themselves, expand their minds and welcome more diversity, difference and inclusion into their lives and/or business. This goes for working with individual clients and with organizations. I think too many businesses are more concerned with their legal “due diligence” that they do not realize how non-inclusive they are, or who may be getting left out in their current training.
How do you promote your business?
I will be promoting locally online and in print. However, I will be expanding to promote my business elsewhere once I am certified incyber counselling because I can then work with clients internationally.
Have you written any books or developed any products for your clients?
Not yet, but I plan to.