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Melisext Sex Positive Therapy

St. Louis, MO 63111
United States

Melisext Sex Positive Therapy


Contact Name: Elise Taggart

Insurance Accepted: N/A



Kink-Awareness: Kink-Knowledgeable


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(Mary) Elise Taggart, LPC, BCPC, NBCC

Elise is focused on providing sex positive, queer (LGBTQ), poly & kink aware therapy. She has been a strong activist and continues to advocate in the transgender and queer community amongst other social justice arenas. Elise has an extensive background as a group facilitator (with transgender & queer issues, as well as in relational issues). She maintained a small private practice in Columbia, MO before resigning her clinical director position at a non-profit agency in 2010. Previously she focused on relational and sexual violence, including PTSD, depression, anxiety and eating disorders). She has a  experience, as well, in training other therapists for licensure. Currently, she is offering therapeutic services in St. Louis, MO, as well as in Columbia, MO. Virtual therapy, for those who seek therapeutic support living in other regions, will become available soon. 

First and foremost, please understand that therapy has potential emotional and relational risks. Approaching feelings or thoughts that you have tried to avoid for a long time may be painful. Many of us find that changes in beliefs, behaviors, or life circumstances can be frightening and sometimes disruptive to the relationship(s) that are currently maintained. It is possible that you may find your relationship with me to be a source of strong feelings that may be of comfort, angst or a combination of both. It is important that you consider carefully whether these risks are worth the benefits to you of changing your perspective, approach and behavior with respect, first, to your own personhood and, ultimately, in addressing life issues and the culture or world around you. Most people who take such risks find therapy is helpful and a positive experience.

After several years of specializing in relational and sexual violence, my focus has returned to my foundational goal as a sex-positive therapist. While I focused on individuals experiencing violence, in its varied forms involving emotional, psychological and physical trauma, I was also able to further develop my therapeutic skills in reclaiming sexuality, addressing questions and concerns about different approaches to gender, relationships styles and alternative explorations of self and intimate relationships. Each of us possesses a unique and complex view of the world. The goal of therapy is to be able to claim our personal, sexual, relational, spiritual and political selves without shame, remorse or fear.

My personal experience and specialties in providing therapy are inclusive of polyamorous relationships, including non-monogamy, polyfidelity and open agreements between consenting individuals about the relationship(s). If you are currently involved or are simply curious about how to embrace intimate relationships that do not fall neatly into the category of monogamy, this is an opportunity for growth. It becomes important, if not vital, to be able to receive support for relationships that do not adhere to the monogamy model and challenge the status quo of morality. Interpersonal communication and self-awareness are foundational concepts that often require introspection, healing environments, exploration and safety. The varied and multiple ways that we may form relationships beyond the parameters of monogamy (for example, relationships that do not believe in ‘cheating’ and are inclusive of a variety of significant love and/or sexual relationships) presents challenges, complexities and opportunities to practice self-care and nurturance for partner(s) or lover(s). Such diverse and loving relationships have often been viewed as attachment disorders, sexual addictions, issues with intimacy or commitment – thus being without mutual respect and love in marital relationships, intimate relationships and sexual relationships. I am here to assure you that many individuals have found deep contentment and sustainability in relationships that recognize the capacity to love more than one person, to provide a framework for understanding your personal goals in relationship(s), to assist with issues of jealousy, discomfort and boundaries, as well to challenge inconsistencies, preconceived attitudes with respect to love and desire.

Additionally, many individuals or relationships embrace aspects of BDSM or kink that challenge the normalcy of sexuality, as many fetishes, erotic preferences and desires continue to be pathologized (viewed as being dysfunctional from a psychiatric standpoint). While the therapeutic community is working to address some of these issues in making distinctions between abuse and consent, sexual variance and sexual addiction, it is easy for individuals to feel confused, shamed or fearful of personal desire, fantasy and role-playing. It is also important to recognize and identify where the boundaries of BDSM may blur the lived reality of an abusive situation.

For many years I have been working with the LGBTQ population as a friend, family, professional and ‘out’ queer woman. During my training and in my professional experience I have assisted many individual questioning sexual preference, sexual orientation and, foremost, challenging gender roles as they move through the steps of transition from family or culturally signified gender to the gender which best reflects one’s personal experience of body, mind and soul. I have offered support groups, individual sessions focused exclusively on making a transition via medical and hormonal therapy(s), as well as assisted the understanding of self – sexually and beyond gender constraints.

Many clients have found that, as their unique perspective and personhood complicated therapeutic issues, it had become their responsibility to educate and, even, to challenge therapists. While psychology has grown tremendously over the last decade or so, clients often find contention, even disregard, of individual truths about oneself, personal beliefs and desires involving sexuality, gender, culture, religion, class status and many other intersections of identity. In recognizing human variance, many of us do not inherently fit within the mainstream belief system regarding relationships, sexuality and gender.

I work from a philosophy of psychotherapy that explores and unpacks the power dynamics involved in relationships and embedded in our culture. Gender, class, race, sexuality, and other areas of our selves often hold contradictions and are impacted by dynamics of power and oppression in culture and everyday living. These experiences frequently result in determining how we perceive our experiences and, hence, the problems we may face that often bring us to therapy.

I use a variety of techniques in therapy and try to match interventions with what will be beneficial to you. These techniques are likely to include dialogue, interpretation, cognitive reframing, cognitive restructuring (‘parts’ work), awareness exercises, interpersonal awareness, meditative exercises, self monitoring, visualization, journal keeping, bibliotherapy, and empowerment experiences.

I have a M.A. and an Ed.S. in Counseling Psychology which was completed in 2006 at the University of Missouri-Columbia with an emphasis in Women’s & Gender Studies. This emphasis serves as a complement to my interests and therapeutic work in the areas of trauma, sexual violence, partner abuse, gender identity issues, and areas involving sexuality. I am currently licensed as a Professional Counselor (#2005006657) in the State of Missouri. I am also a Board Certified Professional Counselor through the American Psychotherapy Association and a Nationally Certified Counselor. Further I have completed advanced training in EMDR (Eye Movement, Desensitization & Reprocessing) which is a technique used to treat trauma and reduce its symptoms. I utilize a variety of techniques in therapy with what will be beneficial to you. These techniques are likely to include dialogue, interpretation, cognitive reframing, cognitive restructuring (‘parts’ work), awareness exercises, interpersonal awareness, meditative exercises, non-violent communication, self-monitoring, visualization, journal keeping, biblio-therapy, and empowerment experiences.

Add to favorites Listed in: Health and Wellness Practitioners (non-M.D.), Counselors and Therapists
Date Added: 12-21-2011  Last Updated: 11-16-2012   
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