The following skills are listed as a general guide and you may from time to time find one useful:

Many Adlerian Counseling skills can be adapted to slave training.  These skills include active listening, goal alignment, (“Is this the person you want to be?”),  reflection of feelings and empathic understanding, confrontation, interpretation and encouragement.

Adlerian Counseling used in BDSM lifestyle slave training:

Some of the methods used are as follows:

Paradoxical Intention:

There is a technique that was called “prescribing the symptom” by Adler.   It is a technique in which slaves are encouraged to emphasize their symptoms or develop them even more.  For example, a slave that is afraid to do a particular act  may be asked to try harder to avoid the act.  Bringing humor into the situation helps.  This can serve the purpose to “take the wind out of the sails” of the fear.

Acting “As If”:

When a slave says, “If only I could…,” the counselor suggests that the slave pretended or act “as if” it were possible to be that way. In a greater sense, acting “as if” she is a trained slave aids in the training.

Catching One’s Self;

As a slave becomes aware of her training goals that require behavioral modification, she is encouraged to “catch herself” doing the old behavior, writing it down and reporting it to her Master.  Particular keys and or times can be established for her to stop her actions and observe her behavior.

Creating Movement:

Introducing the element of surprise by doing the unexpected can help encourage the slave to consider a change in behavior or attitude.  The Master momentarily assumes the slave’s faulty logic.

Goal Setting and Commitment:

Whatever the theoretical approach, an essential task of slave training relates to behavior and attitude change.  Goals should be clearly defined by the Master for the slave.  Training techniques should then be developed to instill correct behavior and examine beliefs.   Desired behaviors should be discussed and practiced.   Goals should be achievable and, if possible set in short term;  breaking down large goals into smaller goals is advisable.

One technique for success is that before a training session ends, the Master should make homework assignments concerned with observable behaviors.  McKay ( 1976) suggested that a “change card” be written on an index card with instructions on one side.

The reverse side of the card is used by the slave to chart daily progress.  The slave is advised by the Master to focus this evaluation on what is accomplished and not to dwell on mistakes. If things did not go as well as she would like, analyze possible reasons: Did she expect too much of herself? Did she sabotage her commitment? How? Make a new commitment based on the discovery.

Journal entries can be used for the above purpose.

Interpretation:       Back to theory section.

The interpretation phase is similar to Adlerian counseling.  When the Master and the slave are in the interpretation phase of training they share their basic attitudes about life, self and others.  The slave is presented with her Master’s attitudes and goals and then goals are set to enable her to align her attitudes and goals to match his needs.  The consistent emphasis in their dialog is on goals and purposes, rather than on causes or why people act the way they do.

During interpretation the Master is concerned with increasing the slave’s awareness of her:

I) Lifestyle; read section on lifestyle and private logic.

2) Current psychological and behavioral movement and it’s direction.

3) Goals, purposes and intentions;

4) Private logic and how it works;

The discussion of the slave’s private logic includes its implications for her present and future activities.  They also confront the discrepancies between the words that are expressed and the actions that are taken and between the ideal goals that are stated and the real goals that are sought.  The slave begins to experience insight into her true intentions-what is really desired-by examining the specific means she employs and the ends or goals they produce.  This examination of the slave’s lifestyle allows her Master to specifically refer to self-defeating ideas that block her re-education and re-socialization.

Any systematic review of the training process should include identification of the following:

I)  The slave’s deficiencies in training and her problems and feelings about it.

2) The directions to be taken to overcome the deficiencies (goals).

3) The relationship between such direction and cooperative social interest.

4) Specific areas of difficulty the slave experiences with life tasks.

5) How the slave is avoiding the resolution of problems.

6) How the slave manages to feel superior while avoiding confrontation of problems.

7) Contributing influences from the slave’s past history.

8) What her actual behavior is and what behavior is expected.


Such an interpretive review of training should also be used as support and encouragement to identify the slave’s strengths and assets.  Adler disapproved of the “red-pencil mentality” that constantly analyzes deficits and liabilities.  “We build on strengths, not on weaknesses,” was the reminder that Adler continually gave.  The same is true of slave training. Adlerian counseling is a great tool in slave training.   Back to theory section.