Originally Posted by opalescent
I have problems with the idea of BDSM as therapy. It can have that effect for many people. But generally, if you [generic you] need therapy, then go to a therapist. (I know this is not easy or readily available.) I think the risks for BDSM as therapy can be high. For example, I can see the scenario CattivaGattina of having Seven using knife play and cutting to address her urges to cut as possibly going really badly and causing more damage. It could also go just fine or have little effect. There is no way to know. And that is a problem. Yes, therapy can be hit or miss too. But it is unlikely to re-traumatize someone the way an intense BDSM scene gone badly wrong can.
I adore knife play. It is one of my favorite things. BDSM for me is not about therapy or self-improvement or similar goals. It's fun and sexy. People do use it for therapy. But, IMHO, they are playing with fire.
I have also used BDSM as a type of therapy on occasion. While I agree, having a cutting issue you are trying to get past and then being into knife play does seem like playing with fire, not all people that use bdsm for therapy are taking quite those levels of risk. I occasionally get very stressed and feel like it is all just pent up inside, and that I need some sort of a release. When I feel this way I go to one of my two trusted partners, and will ask for a stress relief spanking. This is different than other scenes in that typically there is no warm up, they will spank as hard as possible, and the end goal will be to get to to cry. Once I cry, something comes over me and it is as if all the stress that has been building just falls away.
I will say that if I was a top I would never play for my own therapy purposes or would I play in such a stressed emotional state. It would be too easy to accidentally get caught up in the scene and take it too levels that neither I or the bottom meant to go to.