Nikita Fernandes, MHC-LP

Psychotherapist and Sex Therapist 

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Providing culturally sensitive, trauma-informed, poly & kink-friendly, and queer-affirming therapy

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About Me

I am a Mental Health Therapist-LP and Sex Therapist based in New York City. I graduated with my Master’s in Counseling in Mental Health and Wellness and a dual degree in LGBT Health, Education, and Social Services from New York University. I also hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a background in Women and Gender Studies from George Mason University. I identify as a queer South Asian immigrant woman. I’m also neurodivergent and non-monogamous.  Aside from being a therapist, I have volunteered as a crisis counselor for the Trevor Project, worked as a graduate assistant for the New York University LGBTQ+ Center, and helped in the planning of social justice conferences. 

I have worked towards being a therapist for many years now and it is my greatest honor to arrive where I am. I grew up in Bangalore, a city in India where access to mental healthcare was limited and heavily stigmatized.  We didn’t really talk about sex at all and the patriarchal culture often made it unsafe to embody our sexual selves. During my young adult years in Bangalore, I struggled to find a counselor who had a background in LGBTQ issues. The counselor that I talked to put me in a one size fits all box, bound by a traditional conception of heteronormative binary identities. The services I received seemed ingenuine and I felt alone. The counselor failed to understand the challenges that are faced by a queer woman in a conservative country. At that moment, a strong desire to uplift people who feel confused and alone was born.

My Approach

I approach therapy with the intention to understand and connect with my clients as fellow humans. My own journey as a queer South Asian neurodivergent woman, along with the experiences of those close to me, deeply shape my approach. Building a genuine relationship with my clients is my top priority, as I believe it is the biggest predictor of therapeutic success. As a person of color, I actively challenge oppressive structures that have long been dominated by Western white culture. Jiddu Krishnamurti said that it is no measure of health to be adjusted to a society that is profoundly sick and I do not see therapy as a way to numb the pain that is caused by systemic oppression but rather a way to empower clients to have compassion for themselves.

I view each individual within the context of their environment, recognizing the complex intersections of their various identities. I rely on evidenced-based methods that consider the impact of trauma and are attuned to diverse cultural perspectives. In my sessions, I strive to create a safe space for clients to rehearse for life outside of therapy. Through trust and a strong therapeutic bond, my clients are empowered to make meaningful progress. I also help my clients practice slowing down in the therapy space as their lives are often fast-paced with little time to reflect. While slowing down might be initially challenging, it helps clients move with more intention through the world.

In my practice, I warmly welcome sex workers, and I am well-versed in providing gender-affirming care. I am committed to promoting fat liberation and advocating for the abolition of harmful practices. 

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Therapy supervision spaces

Humility is one of my values and so I am constantly learning and growing as a therapist. I immerse myself in group supervision spaces which consist of working with other therapists in the field who hold identities similar to and different from mine. I get feedback on my work as a clinician while also increasing treatment satisfaction for my clients. Here are some esteemed therapists that I consult with:

I am directly supervised by sex therapist Tex Gibson on a weekly basis. Tex has extensive experience engaging with people across the spectrum of sexual orientation, gender expression, and power role identification. Her background includes +15 years as a member, mentor and educator in New York City’s sex positive and BDSM communities.
I am a part of Nyx’s ‘Kinky and Queer lived experiences supervision group’ for therapists. Nyx is a therapist, educator, anti-oppressive consultant and clinical supervisor committed to working with Queer, TGNC, BIPOC, Poly, Kinky, Disabled and additionally marginalized folks. I meet bi-weekly with a number of queer and kinky therapists in Nyx’s group to share my cases and gain their insights. 
I am supervised by Renee who is a skilled psychotherapist and educator with a specialization in sex therapy and trauma. Her practice, Pandora’s Awakening, offers services and educational outreach that help destigmatize mental and sexual health services.

For oppressed people to intentionally cultivate pleasure is an act of resistance – Ingrid LaFleur