AB/DL and Age Play

Over the past decade, I have become known as an expert in the mental health community, regarding the needs of those in the AB/DL and Age Play community. In the field of mental health knowledge and training regarding the best practices to work with this community is sorely lacking.

What is AB/DL?

AB/DL is an acronym for adult baby and diaper lover. There is a wide range of how people experience this, and it is often thought of as a continuum. Typically, those who identify as an adult baby (or little) have both an adult and a younger age identity. Those who identify as a diaper lover usually do not have the younger age identity yet have a strong interest (sexual and/or for stress reduction) in wearing diapers. There are many in the middle of the continuum who feel a mix of both.

Studies have shown that being an AB/DL does not make one a pedophile. While they may enjoy wearing diapers, this is not in any way an indication that they want to have sex with children. This can initially be confusing for partners of AB/DL’s or for parents who have discovered their child’s interest in diapers.

What is Age Play?

Age play can be used as an umbrella term to describe the many areas of this community. It is also used to describe those who enjoy more of the role play aspect of an adult who likes to ‘play’ a younger role. This is often done either with other people role playing younger roles or with adults who are in the role of a caretaker (mommy, daddy, babysitter, etc.).

Are AB/DL’s mentally ill?

The short answer is no. There is nothing psychologically wrong with those who enjoy wearing diapers no matter the reason. There is no diagnosis in the DSM 5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, version 5) for either adult babies or diaper lovers. Those who are sexually aroused by wearing diapers can be classified as having a sexual fetish, however that does not necessarily mean they meet the criterion for Fetishistic Disorder.

AB/DL’s struggle with many of the usual mental health issues that the general population deal with such as depression, anxiety, stress, relationship issues, etc. Where AB/DL’s are unique is their higher rates of shame, embarrassment, guilt, anxiety, and self-esteem due to society’s misunderstanding of who they are and their fear of being harshly judged by others.

Why do AB/DL’s seek counseling/coaching services?

AB/DL’s seek mental health services for a wide range of issues. While some seek help for the same issues as everyone else in the general population, many seek help for the issues that are unique to this community. Often, they need someone who is knowledgeable and non-judgmental about the unique aspects of their lives. Some of the areas which are important are:

  • Letting go of shame, embarrassment, fear, and guilt
  • Improving self-acceptance and self-esteem
  • Help educating romantic partners who struggle with their interests
  • Help educating parents who have learned of their children’s interests

Why work with me?

Many in the AB/DL community fear contacting a counselor or therapist since they are uncertain how they will be treated. Currently there is no training regarding AB/DL or age play. While I have heard great stories from people who have found understanding therapists in their part of the country, I have also heard many, many stories of bad therapists who do more harm than good. This makes me sad.

I have talked to many therapists about their experience with AB/DL clients. Most admit that if they have seen any, it has been a small number (1 to 4) in their entire career.

My experience over the past decade:

  • I have worked with between 40 to 50 individuals and couples in my professional practice.
  • I have been a guest expert on many podcasts on the subject
  • I have spoken at many of the major AB/DL conventions.
  • At these events I have talked with hundreds of people who have shared their experiences with me. This has given me a great deal of information and insight about the best ways to work with those in the AB/DL community.
  • Written my doctoral dissertation on the mental health experiences of AB/DL’s
  • A founding member and the current president of the Age play Research Institute. It is an organization dedicated to creating peer-reviewed research; education and training for therapists; and providing accurate information about and for the AB/DL community

Thanks to the ability to conduct coaching sessions online, I have worked with AB/DL’s from around the United States as well as other countries around the world.

If you think you could benefit from working with me, I would be happy to talk with you about how I can help. Please feel free to contact me.

  • If you would like to get a better idea of my style, listen to some of my podcast guest appearances. Go to the Podcast page under Resources for the full list.
  • If you are looking for other resources related to the AB/DL community, check out the AB/DL Resources, under the Resources tab.


5650 Greenwood Plaza Blvd
Greenwood Village, CO 80111

rhoda@drrhoda.com
(720) 530-6545

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