Board of Examiners in Sex Therapy & Counselling in Ontario

BESTCO Spring 2022 Meeting

  • 5 May 2022
  • 8:00 AM
  • 6 May 2022
  • 5:00 PM
  • Online

Registration is closed

Welcome to the registration for the Spring 2022 meeting.

For details and agenda, please click 'Show details'.  To register, click the 'Register' button to the left.

Please follow the directions given to register, and give us any feedback!  If you have any trouble, please contact Tetyana Klassen.


  • Zoom link will be provided on May 4, 2022
  • Online registration ends April 29, 2022
  • Guests are welcome to attend all day Thursday, Thursday evening, and on Friday starting at 10:40 am
  • A link will be sent out with the meeting details the day before the meeting
  • Please have headphones on hand as you will need them for the meeting
  • Download the meeting flyer in PDF format (includes presenter bios)

Thursday May 5 Education Module Agenda

8:00 - 8:30 Welcome - ZOOM will be open for informal ‘Meet and Mingle’ conversations (You’ll have to provide your own Coffee/Tea and Muffins!)
8:30 - 10:00
Case Consultations – brief presentations of interesting and/or challenging cases with questions for group discussion.

Recommended: a brief 3-5 minute outline of the issue(s), and 10-12 minute discussion (12-15 minutes total). All are invited to participate. Associate Members are especially welcomed to present a quandary for the group to mull over. The aim is to use the collective wisdom of our membership to help solve problems and to help connect everyone within BESTCO. Please send your outline and questions to:

10:00 - 10:15 Break
10:15 - 11:45 Illuminating Anti-Oppression: Creating Lightbulb Moments for our Clients and Ourselves Ruth Neustifter (they/them)

Self-awareness, consent, communication skills, and recognition of power imbalances are some of the cornerstones of our work. And yet, few Sex Therapists have been given the tools and space to consider the ways in which our own training has undermined us from modeling these same concepts in our own clinical work. It doesn't take learning whole new models to elevate our practice; but it does require shifting our awareness of some core assumptions. These powerful shifts in how we apply our most effective techniques can yield big changes for our clients, while reducing our own sense of burnout during these overwhelming times. Join Ruth Neustifter (they/ them), PhD, RP-S, RMFT-S to learn how to celebrate the importance of our work while freeing ourselves from some of the biggest contributors to clinician exhaustion and burnout.

11:45 - 12:45 Lunch
12:45 - 3:00 Putting Anti-Oppression in Therapy Practice Rahim Thawer (he/him)

This workshop will explore common sexual problems, such as low desire and desire discrepancy, erectile and ejaculation difficulties, orgasmic and pain disorders that are specifically located in complex social and political contexts. We will examine issues of race, sexual orientation, gender identity, and class as they express themselves in the relational and sexual dynamics of couples and individuals. Participants will consider ways to draw on their existing intervention toolbox, along with necessary adaptations, while attending to the dynamics of systemic oppression, power differentials, and transference/countertransference in the consulting room. Questions about when and how to apply systemic knowledge will be discussed. This interactive workshop will be designed specifically for BESTCO's sex therapists and incorporate case-based discussions. Therefore, participants are welcome to send questions or scenarios to the presenter in advance if they wish to see something specific addressed:

3:00 - 3:15 Break
3:15 - 4:15 Centering our Work in Disrupting Ableism - Beginning Conversations and Addressing Sexual Inclusion in Our Practice Fran Oddette (she/they)

Doing anti-oppression work where diversity and inclusion are key themes, it is important to center communities that experience exclusion and segregation beyond the appearance of ‘performance’ but with intentionality. Ableism speaks to experiences of disability oppression at the individual, community, and societal levels. This workshop will create spaces to think about the ways we as providers can dismantle the structures that contribute to the barriers that are experienced as ‘disabling’ for persons with disabilities. In this workshop we will talk about where the ‘problem’ of disability lies – to move away from the individual and instead focus on and dismantle the environment, systems and attitudes that create the barriers so as to ensure meaningful and sustainable change.

4:15 - 4:30 Debriefing and Farewell

Thursday May 5 Evening Presentation (6:30-8:30)

(online meet & mingle 6:30; presentation begins at 7:00)

The Art of Drag: Gender and Sexuality in Performance Cyril Cinder (he/him)

Drag as an art form has exploded in popularity in recent years and tearful confessionals on televisions across the globe have brought light to how it can be a deeply personal and transformational form of self-expression. Join Cyril Cinder to discuss the therapeutic power and potential of drag and how it breaks through binaries, boundaries, and barriers.

Friday May 6 Agenda

8:00 - 8:30 Meet and Mingle
:30 - 8:45 Welcome
8:45 - 10:15 BESTCO Business Meeting (BESTCO members only)

Reminder: Associates and Affiliates can’t vote. We do welcome your input in any discussions.
10:15 - 10:25 Break
10:25 - 10:30 Welcome guests
10:30 - 12:30  Embracing and Stepping in to EDI - Exploring Unconscious Bias 
A Facilitated Discussion with AnneMarie Shrouder
12:30 - 1:30 Lunch and networking
1:30 - 3:00 The Wheel of Consent: The Foundation of Relating, Sexual and Otherwise Dr. Betty Martin (she/her)

Consent is something of a buzzword these days but how does it fit into the rich potential of receiving and giving? Touch, time, attention, gifts, access? This session introduces you, through somatic inquiry, into the quadrants of the Wheel of Consent: Serving, Accepting, Taking, Allowing. We'll see how clarifying these dynamics enlivens and liberates all forms of relating to other humans and how it can be of use to your clients.

3:00 - 3:15 Break

3:15 - 4:15 Case Presentation: Aversion to Bodily Fluids: A Multimodal Approach Reba Fleury (she/her)
4:15 - 4:30 Closing remarks

Presenter Bios

Ruth Neustifter, PhD, RMFT-S, RP (said: NEW-stiff-trr, but Ruthie is fine) Pronouns: They/Them

Ruthie is an openly sex and gender queer, polyamorous, kink affirming, chronically ill and chronically awesome advocate for pleasure and intimacy. They strive to base their work in anti-oppressive and trauma-informed approaches, and are dedicated to continuing to grow as an anti-racist white person. They are a practicing therapist and a core faculty member of the University of Guelph's Couple & Family Therapy program, faculty co-lead of the Sexual and Gender Diversity Lab cluster and the Anti-Oppression Rainbow Lab, former co-chair of the Guelph Sexuality Conference, an anti-oppression trainer for the Rainbow Diversity Institute, and the author of The Nice Girl's Guide to Talking Dirty among other mainstream and academic publications. They are also a proud co-founder and co-editor of Participator, a new open-access journal dedicated to anti-oppressive relational and community work. We would love to receive your submissions and your applications to join our all-volunteer team!

Creative, applied, and accessible dissemination of non-statistical data-driven knowledges is a major component of Ruthie's efforts. Ruthie strives to meet potential knowledge holders and receivers where they are, including at: sex parties & orgies, BDSM spaces such as dungeons, sex toy stores and kink events, as well as churches, homeless shelters, health care centres, universities and more. They are actively engaged with on-going learning and workaround anti-oppressive practices and continue to strive to decolonize their work in all areas.

Along with that long list of professional passions, Ruthie remains highly dedicated to shameless and abundant relaxation and leisure including: snuggling their pets, going on adventures with their polycule and other queer fam, devouring zines and audiobooks, and making very queer art. Ruthie would like to remind you that they love you very much, and don't need to have met you yet to know that. They are grateful that you exist, and hope that you continue to keep doing that.

Rahim Thawer

Rahim Thawer is a registered social worker and psychotherapist who is based in Toronto/Tkaronto and currently in Johannesburg as a Visiting Scholar with the South African College for Applied Psychology (SACAP). Through this clinical practice, Rahim provides individual therapy, supervision, and works as a sessional lecturer at the University of Toronto and the University of Waterloo. He is also a community organizer with Salaam Canada--a volunteer-run organization that supports LGBTQ Muslims nationally. His approaches to psychotherapy, teaching, and community development continually consider and examine the intersections of systemic oppression and mental health. Rahim is currently working on multiple books related to LGBTQ mental health; the first of these will be published by Thorntree Press. You can follow his work, including his vodcast called The CBT Dive, in just one click by visiting

Fran Odette

Fran Odette is a queer-identified, feminist and disability rights activist. Her advocacy efforts have spanned over 25 years, with a focus on the intersections between gender, disability and sexualities. Fran brings a wealth of knowledge on the issues for survivors of gender-based violence through her research, writing and programming in agencies working to end violence against women.

Fran’s work with services has focused on gender-based violence with a particular emphasis on violence against women and children with disabilities. In addition, Fran has been involved in working on issues related to disability and sex-positivity, providing training to sexual health providers and people with disabilities. Much of Fran’s activist work has been in collaboration with agencies that work with marginalized communities, including engagement and collaborative work within women’s shelters, homeless shelters, legal and counseling services in the GTA and across the province.

As a trainer/educator, Fran's work has been supporting service providers in building capacity to make the linkages needed to ensure that persons with disabilities, inclusive of gender identity and sexualities to have access to services. Fran co-authored with Cory Silverberg and Dr. Miriam Kaufman, a book entitled The Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability - For All of Us Who Live with Disabilities, Chronic Pain and Illness” (*Cleis Press). Fran has been part of the faculty teams at George Brown College since 2008. She teaches in the Assaulted Women and Children Counselor Advocate Program, Social Service Worker Program and Liberal Arts and Sciences. She co-developed and teaches three critical disability issues courses entitled Disability Justice: The Experienced Life and Discourses in Disability: Implications for SSW Practice.

Cyril Cinder

Cyril Cinder is a dynamic and dramatic drag king known for his unique concepts and high energy performances. A fierce advocate for queerdos and oddballs everywhere, he wins over hearts and minds when he takes the stage and/or microphone as a performer and MC. Hailing from Ottawa, ON, Cyril Cinder made his drag debut in 2014. When he's not doing drag, Cyril Cinder is a licensed psychotherapist and works closely with the LGBT2SQIA+ community. He calls from his life experience to advocate for queer rights, mental health, disabled rights, and other social justice causes.

Annemarie Shrouder

Annemarie Shrouder has spent more than 20 years in the field of Diversity and Inclusion as a facilitator, consultant, and international speaker. A Diversity & Inclusion expert with a Masters in Bias Awareness, Annemarie inspires awareness and connection. Whether she is presenting to an audience, leading a workshop, consulting with a client, or writing, she creates opportunities for people to see more – more of each other, themselves, and the world around them. In so doing, she facilitates an opening to create spaces where people feel a sense of belonging and connection, where they can learn together, and be all of who they are. These are the spaces where real change can happen – for people, organizations and communities.

She has been a keynote speaker at AGMs for the Girl Guides of Canada and Caledon Community Services, and has spoken at the Women’s Economic Forum (India), the Ontario Building Trades Conference, Ontario Travel Information Centre conference, the Ontario Association of Student Midwives conference, and at HauteCon2015. Annemarie assists in the creation of healthy workplace communities through her Signature Methodology and Inclusive Leadership Program.

Organizations turn to Annemarie when they are looking to build environments where people can learn and are supported, and where they are seen, heard and valued. Clients include: Scotiabank, Freshbooks, Toronto Catholic Children’s Aid, Dufferin County, Loblaw, and various law firms in Ontario.

Annemarie works with diversity broadly and is passionate about healing the racial divide. She also delivers presentations, and can be booked for speaking engagements that inspire people to see more, and raise awareness about the importance of inclusion. For more information, please visit:

Dr. Betty Martin

Dr. Betty Martin has had her hands on people professionally for over 40 years, first as a Chiropractor and upon retiring from that practice, as a certified Surrogate Partner, Sacred Intimate, and Somatic Sex Educator. Her explorations in somatic-based therapy and practices informed her creation of the framework, The Wheel of Consent.

Reba Fleury

Reba Fleury is a Registered Psychotherapist who has been practicing since 2011. She earned an Honours BA in Psychology with a minor in Family and Children's studies, and a Master of Science degree from the Couple and Family Therapy Program at the University of Guelph. Through this diverse training Reba began to formulate her postmodern client-centered approach to therapy which is at the core of her practice. Upon graduating, Reba gained a position as a program developer with Prep to Step Up, a continuing education program for Neurodiverse adults. Following this, Reba took on the position of Family Liaison Officer at the Toronto Military Family Resource Centre for five years supporting ill and injured Canadian Armed Forces members, medically released veterans, and their families, as well as the families of the fallen. She is pleased to be continuing her work part-time at the Trauma Centre in Sharon Ontario as well as in Private Practice. Reba regularly draws on Narrative, EFT, Solution Focused, Mindfulness, Theraplay, DBT, and EMDR approaches. Utilizing a strength-based systemic approach, Reba supports clients as they re-write their stories in ways that hold meaning for them.

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