Meet Fuzzyfin, a licensed therapist and furry with insider understanding.
by Dogpatch Press Staff
Yesterday’s story looked at finding therapists in the furry community, who might get things like LGBT issues or the benefit of role-play. Meet one.
I am a licensed independent marriage and family therapist in Ohio. My furry name is “Fuzzyfin“.
I have been in the fandom since before I was a therapist. Being in furry actually helped me quiet a bit, as a queer women, to help find myself authentically. I was able to explore and witness things like the leather and BDSM/Kink community (as there is a lot of overlap). In experiencing these things personally, it has greatly helped me as a clinician. Clients want to see someone who “gets it” and won’t pathologize them.
One of the big issues that clients face, is a lot of scrutiny for being involved in “non traditional” interests. I am open on my website that I am involved in the furry fandom, and have been told by clients that it helps them feel more comfortable and not judged. It has also helped me in being comfortable talking about things like gender expression, sexuality, and intersectionality of power and privilege.
I love talking and teaching about furry. I gave a Sexology on Tap talk in January 2020 locally in Columbus. I gave a presentation to MFT students at Akron University late last year. 2019 was my first year as track lead for the Mental Health, Nature, and Spirituality track at Midwest Furfest. It has been great to give presentations on how to find a therapist and how to manage anxiety at a convention.
I am constantly learning, I am a member of AASECT (American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists) as well as the National Coalition of Sexual Freedom. I am currently taking additional courses in sexuality and sex therapy.
The pandemic has definitely created a unique situation. I work with A LOT of couples/polyam folx, which I have noticed the issues within their relationships being amplified by feelings of helplessness and being stuck. It has amplified stress on folks. Honestly, the hardest time during COVID for me as a clinician was during the Jan 6th insurrection. Clients were terrified and I was terrified, things were changing so quickly. I might be a therapist, but I am still a human.
As a mental health professional, I am also exhausted, holding space for folks right now while also going through our own stuff.
Furry is unique in that a majority of the community is online, but the lack of cons has created a massive hole in connection. I know we are all tired and that need of connection is so great right now, while at the same time having that connection leads to a lot of risk. I have a lot of conversations with clients comparing safe sex conversations to COVID risk – and how to talk about risk with folks “in your bubble”. I am thankful things like Zoom and Discord exist, as it enables face to face connection. I know COVID will forever change my profession, it has allowed me to meet people “in their house” by being virtual. I have been able to get an emergency license for KY. I also now am licensed in FL and not just Ohio. It has removed some of the barriers to seeing folks. I am seeing folks I never would have seen before being online.
Fuzzyfin is like many furries — multiskilled and generous about sharing. Here’s hoping to catch one of her talks in the future.
UPDATE: talk shared by Hund the Hound.
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