Iwow counselling services - are we doing enough


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Iwow counselling services - are we doing enough

  1. 1. Working with sexual minority students in counselling: are we doing enough? Dr David Mair Head of Counselling University of Birmingham
  2. 2. Free download athttp://www.bacp.co.uk/research/Systematic_Reviews_and_Publications/
  3. 3. • LGBT people consult psychotherapists and mental health services more often than do non-LGBT people. (p.32)• When clients report experiences of so-called ‘gay- affirmative’ therapy, they usually describe therapy in which homosexuality and bisexuality are regarded positively, prejudice is avoided, the stress of externalised and internalised anti-homosexual bias is recognised, and there is sensitivity to LGBT development, culture and lifestyles. It was a therapy that ‘knows what it is to be LGBT. (p.32)
  4. 4. • „…our findings do suggest that so-called gay- affirmative psychotherapy is welcomed by LGBT clients and that it leads to an increased perception of safety in therapy and to higher satisfaction. It is also clear that if therapists are to be effective, they need to learn more about the personal development of LGBT people, the nature of their relationships and what sort of problems they may encounter in a relatively hostile society.‟ (p.32)
  5. 5. • Mental health and psychotherapy services should routinely audit outcomes for LGBT people, including satisfaction, access, engagement, perceived homophobia, and mental health outcomes, including psychological and emotional wellbeing and functioning. – p.34
  6. 6. LGBTQ-affirmative therapy• „Weak‟ & „strong‟ versions• Weak -> implicit• Strong -> explicit
  7. 7. A Survey of Heads of British University Counselling Services - 2010
  8. 8. • Awareness of particular needs of sexual minority clients• Training to meet those needs• Policies/thinking about monitoring numbers of sexual minority clients• Specific services for LGBTQ students• Also questions about CPD, awareness of research and political involvement with sexual minority students
  9. 9. What I found…• Some good awareness• Some irritation• Lack of consistent training• Heteronormativity remains unmarked – unchallenged• No support/therapeutic groups• “Benign passivity”
  10. 10. Developing LGBTQ- affirmative practice What might a „strong‟ lgbtq-affirmative service look like?• training and CPD• pre-service publicity/access• registration procedures/forms• service delivery• evaluation and auditing• politically - within your institution
  11. 11. See also „How to be LGBTQFriendly‟ – booklet published byLeicester LGBT forum, PRISM:http://www.llgbc.com/page.php?id=56
  12. 12. Counselling andPsychotherapy : a queer space?
  13. 13. There‟s an old Buddhist tale….
  14. 14. Some reading• MAIR, D. (2009) Queering the Pitch? Life-story narratives of gay, bisexual and queer male students. AUCC, May, 2-6.• MAIR, D. (2010) Fractured narratives, fractured identities: cross-cultural challenges to essentialist concepts of gender and sexuality, Psychology & Sexuality, Vol.1, No.2, May 2010, 156-169• RUDES, J. & GUTERMAN, J. (2007) The Value of Social Constructionism for the Counseling Profession: A Reply to Hansen. Journal of Counseling and Development, 85, Fall 2007, 387-392.• STEVENSON, C. (2008) Psychotherapy: A Queer Space. Smith College Studies in Social Work, 78, 2-3, 243-262.