Categories
News

Young LGBT people in England suffer mental health issues

A recent study shows that over half of young LGBT people in England have suffered mental health issues, and more than 40 percent have considered suicide through anxiety or depression.

The study’s report suggests a growing concern that schools and health services are failing gay teenagers.

These findings came from the Youth Chances Project; their report was published on Monday 13th January 2014.

This was the largest social research study of England’s young LGBT people, with over 7,000 16-25 year olds participating.  Led by the charity Metro young LGBT-identifying people were asked about their experiences of education, employment, relationships and of health services.

Only a quarter of participants in the survey also said they had been taught anything at school about safer sex with a same-sex partner.

Metro’s acting chief executive Dr Greg Ussher said: “We are failing LGBTQ young people. The clear message is that they are badly served. What they want most is emotional support and they are not getting it. He added that if schools failed to act it could lead to a “hugely increased risk of bullying and abuse; isolation and rejection – all leading to significantly increased levels of depression, self-harm and suicide”.

LGBT campaigner Peter Tatchell said that the study “should be a wake-up call for the Education Secretary, Michael Gove”. “Every school should be required to teach sex and relationship education that addresses LGBT issues.”

If you are a person of 18 years or over, and would like to meet with an experienced & friendly gay-affirming counsellor at a weekly cost that you could responsibly afford, make contact with Dean Richardson today – it won’t cost you anything to ask.

If you are under the age of 18, and in the Havant Area, you might like to make contact with Off the Record (http://www.off-the-record.org.uk/havant-service.html) who specialise in working with young people aged 11 to 25.

News source: http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2014/01/12/study-40-per-cent-of-young-lgbt-people-in-england-have-contemplated-suicide/

 

Categories
FAQ LGBT LGBT

Counselling for Closet Gay People

Whilst my whole website discusses confidentiality, sexuality, gender and my therapeutic practice, it would not go amiss for me to produce at least a brief post that combines all of these counselling features into providing a safe containment for one particular area of society in which I specialise as a therapist: closet gay & lesbian individuals & couples.

Website Search – close, but no cigar.

Someone arrived on this website having searched for ‘counselling for closet gay’.  In response to the query, Google sent the visitor to my search page.  My search software dutifully produced a list of pages that were mostly about counselling, some about LGBT couple therapy, some about me, but none that expressly spoke about counselling for the closet individual.

Notwithstanding I’m taking a look at my search producing software, it was very clear that the visitor had not been presented with anything about what they were looking for from my website, and they went away.

Quite rightly.

But mistakenly so.

Counselling for LGBT People.

As male counsellor who specialises in offering counselling for the specific needs of lesbian and gay individuals & LGBT couples, it would seem to me that the whole of my therapy service would cater well for those people who are not ‘out’:

Yet, perhaps, my counselling information is (unintentionally) aimed at those LGBT people who are already out and leading happy and successful lives, regardless of their sexuality, but who sometimes wishes to meet with an LGBT counselling to work through some issues.

Being in, and coming out of, ‘the closet’.

The term being in the ‘closet’ means that a person’s sexuality or gender-identification is something other than what appears to the public, but that the person has not yet made a public declaration.  The term goes hand in hand with the phrase ‘out’ or ‘outing’ meaning that when a person becomes known for their homo or bi sexuality, or desire for a change in gender, they have come out of the closet, or they have been “outed” by a third party.

It’s perhaps interesting that it is sexual minorities that have to go through this process, as it is perhaps assumed that a person is heterosexual, gender-phoric (as opposed to dysphoric) or cis-gender until other facts are known.

It’s perhaps also interesting that as more people – particularly role (or pseudo-role) models – announce their sexuality or gender-reassignment (or gender ambivalence as not transgender people feel the need to make a full transition from one gender to another) – the process of coming out of the closet (outing ones self) is becoming easier and more socially acceptable (Seidman, Meeks, and Traschen (1999) argue that “the closet” may be becoming an antiquated metaphor in the lives of modern day Americans).

Nevertheless, society still assumes one is a heterosexual cis-gendered person until one corrects the notion.

Not everyone wants to be ‘out’.

It would not be surprising that some people would benefit from discussing their sexuality with a helpful & friendly professional, someone with whom they might feel safe, in order to find support before they go through a (sometimes) traumatic process as outing themselves.

It is not the counsellor’s position to encourage self-outing (or maintaining self-closeting) as the decision for action is down the client, with the counselling processing being available to assist the client on reflection: pros, cons, effects, affects.  LGBT counselling is not a solution of itself but a helpful tool.

In closing, I hope this brief post goes some way to correct, clarify and reconcile my services into a clearer statement of some of the kinds of counselling services that I offer.

Categories
Couple Relationships LGBT

Mixed-Orientation/Sexuality Relationship Counselling

Relationship Counselling for Mixed Sexual-Orientation Couples.

Couples who are in an intimate, mixed-sexuality relationship or an intimate mixed gender-orientation marriage can experience relationship problems in just the same way as any other couple relationship.

Whist any trained & qualified couples counsellor could be able to work with your relationship,  sometimes mixed-orientation couples choose to work with a systemic couples relationship therapist who specialises in working with mixed-orientation couples.

In Hampshire, and on Skype, that therapist is Dean Richardson.

What is a mixed-sexuality / mixed-orientation relationship?

Not all intimate couple relationships have be composed of people of the same sexuality.  Mixed-sexuality relationships are when both partners identify with a different sexuality to their partner; for example a gay man and a straight woman.

Whilst such relationships work perfectly fine without therapeutic intervention, they can also develop conflicts that are particular to this type of relationships.  As an example, whilst sex does not have to be the centre of an intimate relationship, when sexual intimacy becomes a problem, mixed-sexuality couples may require a special kind of support in helping the couple to find  their own solutions to such difficult problems.

Dean Richardson – Mixed-Orientation Couple Counsellor.

Dean Richardson is a fully qualified and experienced couple relationship therapist.  He specialises in working with LGBT couples and couple relationships of mixed-sexualities and mixed-orientations.  He doesn’t impose traditional values on relationships that are incomparable with heteronormative standards.

Working with Dean means the mixed-sexuality/mixed-gender-identified couple can continue to feel proud of their relationship. They can regard their relationship problems as an interesting obstacle to be worked with curiosity & inspiration – a healthy approach through systemic couples counselling.

You, your partner and Dean will work with the relationship style that you bring to counselling, and we’ll work with resolving the problems that you bring too.

How to begin Couple Counselling.

Long Distance Counselling.

Couples who are separated by distance – or away from Dean’s Portsmouth practice – but who still want couple counselling – may find Dean Richardson’s Skype Couple Counselling Service useful (read more…)

1) Pick a date/time from Dean’s availability.  You and your partner will be attending together – and if you and Dean agree that couple counselling is a suitable form of treatment for you, you will both be attending with your partner for each week’s session.

2) Contact Dean to arrange an assessment for couple counselling – or to discuss with Dean your questions or concerns for couple counselling.

Couples counselling for mixed-orientation couples can be a helpful resource to a couple who are struggling with problems that seem unique and insurmountable.  Choose Dean Richardson to help you attend to your unique relationship … together.

Categories
Therapies

Being ‘Bullied’ in the Therapy Room

Whilst naturally getting caught up in Jonah’s distress & pain (link) I had forgotten that the bully(ies) is(are) also in need of support – albeit from an angle that’s perhaps not immediately appreciated.  

The thoughts in this article come from a psychodynamic understanding of individuals’ psychology and from a systemic understanding of relationships through my practice as a counsellor/psychotherapist.

Why might a bully bully?

I’d suggest that bullying occurs due to the bully’s projected hatred/disgust of themselves.

As we are all people who need to be loved, cared for, taken care of etc, we don’t like to think of ourselves as being someone who is incapable of being loved.  Whilst some of us do have these thoughts, others avoid such torturous ideas through a process known as a psychological defence.  I’d suggest such a defence’s purpose might be:

make sure that I don’t know about something that would cause me great pain if I were to become aware of it.

Being an unconscious defensive process, the bully psyche would be using projection to help the bully avoid recognising himself as being the person “in need” of being bullied.  I mean ‘in need’ as being the bully’s psyche’s conclusion of what to do with the psychological pain the bully is carrying: destroy.

The bullying process continues whilst the bully’s defence continues to successfully keep the bully from recognising that it is himself he’s attacking through bullying.

I’d suggest this is why, anecdotally at least, it’s said that bullying parents create bullying children – the pain is passed down from parent to child … as is the way to deal with it.

So, bullying is taking place and now we have two people participating in the bullying:  the bully (the initiating participant) and the bullied (the unwilling participant). The two have entered into a psychologically torturous relationship.

This relationship is why I suggest that both participants in the bullying are in need of help: the bullied because he (probably) didn’t see it coming, and the bully to help him understand (and then deal with) his own pain.

Like a hook-and-eye closure, both participants have something that makes the bullying relationship succeed; both are contributed (at some level) something to the bullying relationship. The bully contributes something so that he gets to avoid his own pain, and the bullied contributes something for the distress to take root.  The bullied acts out the distress that the bully causes (and which may also be the distress that the bully himself is hoping to dispose of – psychologically he’s done it successfully by physical means).

Psychological “Bullying” of the Therapist.

Therapists in the therapy room can also find themselves bullied – but it’s those who work with unconscious processes (psychoanalysts, psychotherapists & psychodynamic counsellors for example) that will struggle use understand their experience of the bullying process (sometimes a very subtle process, not clearly an attack or bullying) to empathically help the bully come to understand what they’re not aware of doing.

Whilst there won’t be physical torture (discharged by the boundaries & contracting at the start of the therapy), through unconscious processes called projective-identification and counter-transference, the therapist can find himself under various forms of mental and emotional attack.

Attack through unconscious processes.

Over my decade+ of work I have found myself:-

  • Feeling as if I were going to be physically harmed by a client.
  • Have vomited after a client’s session.
  • Being continually contradicted, put right, getting the impression I rarely get things right, but the client still comes to sessions.
  • Felt attracted to a client that I would not normally have been attracted to, then shortly afterwards feeling rejected (though I have not acted out the attraction).
  • Felt inadequate to a client, no matter how I tried to be helpful.
  • Whilst listening to a client tell me how wonderful things are in his life, I have felt utter rage and and a sparkling, tingling, need-to-do-something feeling in my arms and wrists.

Just a tiny set of examples – and you may notice how often the word ‘feel’ crops up in these examples where I’ve ‘felt’ that I’m coming off worse as part of the therapy work.

Plus – I’d like to reiterate that these responses, whilst very much in my conscious experience, are hypothetically in response to unconscious material being received from the client.  The client isn’t sitting there consciously sending me “be sick” thoughts.

Part of my responsibility as a psychodynamic therapist is to struggle to understand what sort of responses I’m privately having with a client.  It is not my usual practice to reveal my responses (my counter-transference) directly – although this can be appropriate too (an article for another time).  Instead, I will work privately on understanding my responses, my feelings, so that I might gain an understanding of them in the context of the patient.

If I am feeling as if I were going to be physically harmed by a client, perhaps I am receiving an unconscious communication from the patient – something being communicated about the very real alert about harm. 

Sometimes de-attributing ownership of my feelings/thoughts can be helpful:  re-framing my fear that instead of thinking…

‘I’m afraid that my client is going to harm me’ 

…I re-frame this into something like:

‘someone is afraid that someone is going to harm someone’.

This can lead me into wondering if my client is in fear of being harmed by someone – someone else, themselves, me?

Preparing to share an interpretation.

When I’m ready to offer an interpretation of my counter-transference, I find Winnicott‘s ‘spatula’ concept helpful.  Donald Winnicott, worked as a paediatrician (and later a psychotherapist) the 1920s to 1970s.  He found that when he offered a tongue-depressor (‘spatula’) to a child and allowed the child to discover the spatula for itself, the child would invest more play into the spatula than if Winnicott had indicated the spatula to the child. 

When discovered for itself, the child might invest in the spatula becoming an aeroplane, a giraffe, a car … or just something that could be held in the hand and waggled a lot! 

When I offer an interpretation of my counter-transference to a client, I allow the client to try and discover the interpretation-meaning for himself (and if he takes no interest I wont force the issue).  I might say something like this:

Y’know, I’m a bit puzzled by something;  you see whilst I experience a man who seems perfectly capable to take part in the world, you’re effective, you take charge, you get things sorted out, I’m still left with this puzzling sense sometimes of someone who’s… I’m not sure … maybe concerned of being harmed himself?  …of being vigilant for attack sort-of-thing?

(I’m aware that my style can sometimes come across a little like stage spiritualists perform: ‘I have the name John – does anyone here have someone called John in their lives…?’ – and perhaps we are using a similar psychological technique of laying out something for someone to discover for themselves).

As I offer my interpretation, as I’m offering my ‘spatula’ to this client, I’m trying to allow him enough space so that he might pick it up and play with it himself.  If my counter-transference is accurate (my sense of feeling afraid of being harmed) then the client may invest in what I have just said and flesh it out.  If my counter-transference is not accurate (or I have just hit an area that the client is not ready to go into just yet) then the client may tell me he doesn’t know what I mean, making no investment in the interpretation at all.

In offering to understand the sometimes-terrible experiences that I will get from some clients, I’m working to get to a place where I can invite the client into be curious about what they might be responsible for.  Usually this will be in the context of the problems that they are talking about in therapy – and sometimes what I have to say challenges the client’s beliefs.  I try and do this with empathy … and without necessarily telling them how I am being impacted upon (we’re here to understand the process, more than we are to watch the content).  At the same time, because I’m challenging the client’s defence when I do this, the client may wish to strengthen the defence and not wish to take responsibility for their unconscious part in this interaction.  This will be OK. 

But often I find I have allowed a client’s door to be opened a little further and more details about the client’s reasons-for-being-in-therapy come out.  All this from working to understand the impact a client sometimes may have upon me.

In Closing.

Bullying has purpose. 

When we’re faced with bullying we quickly recognise the pain that the bullied are suffering and our attention is pulled towards those who are suffering (incidentally, also neatly turning our attention away from the pain that the bully may be projecting outwards too – neatly falling in line with the bully’s unconscious intention).

I’d offer you the thought that the bully is in great need help and understanding too.

Categories
LGBT LGBT Video

LGBT Teenage Bullying…

“I’m not going to kill myself.  I just need to get this out here.”

LGBT Bullying – What’s goin’ on?

This video was made in August 2011  and I’ve only just see it due to a friend on Facebook sharing it with me.

I would encourage you to spend just a couple of minutes reading what this guy, Jonah, has to say (that’ll make sense once you click ‘play’).

External link: “What’s going on…”

Finding Support due to LGBT Bullying.

If this video has effected you – it brought tears to my eyes – then maybe it’s time to start taking some action.

If you are a teenager

 who is experiencing this kind of torture – and my opinion is that it *is* a form of torture – please …. please realise that you’re not alone and there are people and places that will help you:-

 

 

If you are an adult

 who has buried away this experience from somewhere in your distant history (or even currently), and you think now might be a good time to talk it through and finally put it to rest – you can make contact with me: Dean Richardson in complete confidence and we’ll see about arranging a time and place (or Skype or email correspondence) to talk it out (read more…) … and don’t worry about the fees if private counselling would be a struggle for you to afford; we’ll talk about how we can manage this too.

 

If you are an adult bully

 … or someone who suspects that they might be judging by some odd responses you’ve seen from people … and you would like to understand this behaviour so that you might be able to change, you can also make contact with me: Dean Richardson in complete confidence and we’ll talk about arranging a time and place (or Skype or email correspondence) to talk it out.

 

Update from Jonah.

Update 4-Dec-11 – Jonah says thank you 🙂 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7HkOaLFzGw

 

Categories
Gay Male Couples

Developmental Stages of Gay Male Couples

Summarised from David P. McWhirter, MD and Andrew M. Mattison, MSW, PhD. Chapter: “Psychotherapy for Gay Male Couples”. Book: “A Guide to Psychotherapy with Gay and Lesbian Clients”, Ed. Gonziorek (1982). Original publication McWhirter & Mattison (1984, Prentice Hall 0-13-547661-5)

Introduction.

Over a 5-year period (1974 to 1979), the authors interviewed in depth 156 gay male couples [in the California, San Diego County area] who were not in therapy and had lived together anywhere from 1 to more than 37 years. The mean time in a relationship was 8.7 years, with median being slightly over 5 years.

Six stages of relationship were identified.  The first four stages occurred within the first 10 years of the gay couple’s relationship.

The stages were presented as tentative formulations needing further clinical trial and research validation.

The conceptualisation of developmental stages has been very helpful in the clinical approach to therapy with gay male couples.

Stage One: Blending (First Year)

Characteristics:

  • Blending
  • Limerence (falling in love, being romantically in love, intrusive thinking about the desired person, acute longing for reciprocation, sexual attraction).
  • Equality of partnership
  • High sexual activity

Blending is experienced as the intensity of togetherness gay men feel early in their relationships. Their similarities bind them, their differences are mutually overlooked.

Stage Two: Nesting (1 to 3 years)

Characteristics:

  • Homemaking
  • Finding compatibility
  • Decline in limerance
  • Ambivalence

By the second year, more attention is paid to their surroundings taking the form of homemaking activities. Couples in this stage also tend to see each other’s shortcomings and discover or create complementarities that enhance compatibility setting the stage for the mixture of positive and negative feelings about the value of the relationship: ambivalence.

Stage Three: Maintaining (3 to 5 years)

Characteristics:

  • Individualisation begins
  • Risk-taking
  • Dealing with Conflict
  • Relying on the relationship

Maintaining the relationship depends upon establishing balances between individualisation and togetherness, conflict and its resolution, autonomy and dependence, confusion and understanding. The intense blending of Stage Two clears the path for the re-emergence of the individual differences, indentified here as individualisation. Individualisation requires some necessary risk-taking.

Stage Four: Collaborating (5 to 10 years)

Characteristics:

  • Collaborating
  • Productivity
  • Establishing independence
  • Dependability of partners

After 5 years together, couples experience a new sense of security and a decreasing need to process their interactions. The individualisation of Stage Three can progress to the establishment of independence, sustained by the steady, dependable availability of a partner for support, guidance and affirmation.

Stage Five: Trusting (10 to 20 years)

Characteristics:

  • Trust
  • Merger of money and possessions
  • Constriction
  • Taking the relationship for granted

Trust develops gradually for most people. The trust of Stage Five includes a mutual lack of possessiveness and a strong positive regard for each other.

Stage Six: Repartnering (20 years and beyond)

Characteristics:

  • Attainment of goals
  • Expectation of permanence of the relationship
  • Emergence of personal concerns
  • Awareness of the passage of time

The twentieth anniversary appears to be a special milestone for gay male couples. A surprising number of couples reported a renewal of their relationship after being together for 20 years or more.

Comparing Studies.

When comparing the “Marital Stages” by E. Street (heterosexual relationships) with “Gay Male Partnership Stages” by McWhirter & Mattison, and interesting parallel emerges:-

Marital Stages
Gay Male Partnership Stages
1st RomanceStage One: Blending
2nd RealityStage Two: Nesting
3rd Power StrugglesStage Three: Maintaining
4th Finding OneselfStage Four: Collaborating
5th Working throughStage Five: Trusting
6th MutualityStage Six: Repartnering

See also Counselling for LGBT Couples.

Categories
FAQ

LGBTQI Language Phrases, Abbreviations & Acronyms

This is a list of (mostly) LGBT-orientated language abbreviations & acronyms. They are intended for therapists thinking about expanding into working with LGBTQI clients and who might like a crash course in lifestyle-language.  They will also be useful for anyone interested.

This list is small but I hope to expand it.

PLEASE HELP: if you’d like to help by added something please use the comments section below to suggest or correct an entry.

Index:  A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  XYZ

A

B

BDSM: “Bondage/discipline, dominance/submission, sadism/masochism”
A type of role-play – and sometimes a lifetstyle – between two or more who use the practice to experience a mix of pain and power as an erotic or sexual experience.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BDSM

BEARD:
Sometimes ‘lesbian beard’ – a woman who becomes the girlfriend/wife of a gay man in order to deflect suspicions of homosexuality primarily away from the man (although may also be a mutually satisfactory arrangement for a lesbian and gay-man).
http://lesbianlife.about.com/od/herstory/g/Beard.htm

BUTCH:
A lesbian woman who appears to be demonstrate more masculine-than-feminine behaviour (eg aggression, dominance).
http://lesbianlife.about.com/cs/transdykes/g/butch.htm

C

CBT: “Cock & Ball Torture”
Sexual play involving the delivery of pain to the penis and testicles – the sexual pleasure is mostly gained from the masochistic receipt, but somewhat too from the sadistic delivery. Torture may involve waxing, kicking, squeezing, hitting, flogging, urethral play etc.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cock_and_ball_torture_(8sexual_practice)

Closet: “In the closet”
Term (usually applying to males but equally appropriate to females) to imply a person’s sexual orientation or gender identification is different from the majority and is not publicly known. Goes hand in hand with out.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Closeted

D

E

F

FEMME / FEM:
A lesbian woman who appears to demonstrate proportionally more femanine-than-mascline behaviour and/or appearance.
http://lesbianlife.about.com/cs/comingout/g/Femme.htm

G

H

I

J

K

L

Lesbian Bed Death:
Term coin by Pepper Schwartz in her 1983 book American Couples – the study suggesting that lesbians in committed relationships suffer the most decline in sexual intimacy the longer the relationship lasts.  The study has been critisised and the conclusions given as myth, however the phrase is used by some to express concern about their relationship’s decline.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lesbian_bed_death

LGBTQI: “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans(gender/vestite), Questioning(Queer), Intersexed(Inquisitive)”
Self-classification from the LGBT community. Different variations include: GLBT (primarily American), LGBT, LGB etc…

M

N

O

Out: “Out of the closet
Term used to describe someone who has announced their sexuality as being different from the majority (eg gay / lesbian).  Can also refer to gender identification.  Being used more commonly nowadays as an esoteric term to refer to someone who makes something public known about themselves that was previously secret.

P

PEP: Post Exposure Prophylaxis
A treatment to attempt to stop infection by the HIV virus shortly after exposure.
http://www.pep.chapsonline.org.uk/pep_basics.htm

Q

R

S

SORTED:
Personal description implying the person has no psychological or emotional problems.

SOUNDING:
The use of medical-orientated equipment to stretch the urethra (primarily in males / the penis) as a form of sexual play.
http://www.chaseunion.com/documents/urethra/sounds.htm

T

U

V

W

XYZ

 

Please help me expand this list by adding further suggestions and amendments using the comments section below…

Categories
FAQ

How do I begin Counselling?

Beginning counselling in Portsmouth, Hampshire with Dean Richardson is straightforward.

It might help you to be aware that once you have arranged to meet for a first session with Dean (the ‘assessment’) you’re pretty much assured to begin counselling with him – should you choose to.  The assessment session is to ensure that the problems you present for counselling are matters which Dean and you can work with.  It is not to evaluate you to past a test that would allow you into therapy.

Dean takes on a limited number of simultaneous cases.  This is to ensure that you (or you and your partner, or the support group you may join) gets the best out of Dean as therapist.  Dean makes sure that he is not overworked by having a maximum number of cases at any one time during the week.  So, when you look on the front page for list of times Dean is available, you know that Dean is already available to take you on as a new case.

Individual or Couple Counselling.

  1. Take a look at Dean’s available appointments range.
  2. Contact with Dean – letting him know when you’d like to meet.
  3. Dean will return your contact to confirm – or offer another appointment time that’s near to your choice.
  4. You and Dean will meet for a counselling assessment to discuss your needs from counselling and to see if you and Dean both believe it will be beneficial for you to work together in therapy, or if maybe a referral to a colleague or another service might be a better choice.
  5. If there is nothing contraindicative to proceeding into counselling, you and Dean will arrange a weekly appointment (usually the same day, same time and same location as the assessment appointment).
  6. For individual counselling Dean and you meet together weekly for either a fixed number of sessions (see Brief Counselling), or until the issues you came into counselling for are worked through sufficiently for you and Dean to both recognise that the counselling is done.
  7. For couples counselling, you and your partner will meet with Dean until the issues you and your partner came to address have been sufficiently worked through for you all  to agree that the work is done.

Support Groups.

  1. Take a look at Dean’s available groups.
  2. Contact with Dean – letting him know which group you’re interested in joining.  Choose an appointment time from here to come for a meeting to discuss your needs from group therapy.
  3. Dean will return your contact to confirm your appointment time, or to offer one as near as possible to your choice.
  4. You and Dean will meet for a 50 minute talk to discuss your needs from a support group and to discuss if both you and Dean believe it will be beneficial for you, or if a referral to a colleague or another service might be appropriate.
  5. If you and Dean both agree about you joining a group, you both will arrange for you to be added either onto a waiting list to join a not-yet-meeting, or to be given a starting date to join an existing group. 
  6. Because some groups only accept new members when the membership quota has dropped below the maximum membership number, you may be waiting for your place in the group to become available.  You and Dean will look after your needs in the meantime either by arranging holding sessions with Dean, or by discussing other means to look after you whilst you wait.
  7. When your place in the group becomes available, you will be given your start date.
Categories
Sexuality

Do Counsellors ‘Cure’ Homosexuality?

An interesting article in Therapy Today (the magazine for counselling & psychotherapy professionals, published by the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy) – October 2009, Volume 20, Issue 8.

If you are troubled by your sexuality and you think that counselling might help you, make an appointment with Dean Richardson – a Specialist LGBT Therapist – to discuss counselling and what you might need from therapy.

The Gay Cure?

by
John Daniel

http://www.therapytoday.net/article/show/1168/

Excerpt:

The counselling and psychotherapy profession was subject to unflattering media scrutiny earlier this year [2009] following the publication of research which found that a significant minority of mental health professionals in Britain are attempting to help lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) clients become heterosexual.

Under the headline ‘British therapists still offer treatments to “cure” homosexuality’, the Guardian reported that a survey (of 1,328 counsellors, psychotherapists, psychoanalysts and psychiatrists throughout the country) found that 222 practitioners had attempted to change at least one patient/client’s sexual orientation, while 55 said they were still offering the therapy. The fact that some of those practitioners are members of BACP prompted the following response from Phillip Hodson, BACP Fellow and Media Consultant, in the letters page of the Guardian the next day: ‘[BACP] is dedicated to social diversity, equality and inclusivity of treatment without sexual discrimination or judgmentalism of any kind, and it would be absurd to attempt to alter such fundamental aspects of personal identity as sexual orientation by counselling.’

And yet this is what a significant minority of counsellors working in Britain today are still attempting to do. ‘I think it’s probably the tip of the iceberg,’ says Michael King, Professor of Primary Care Psychiatry at University College London Medical School, and one of the three scientists responsible for the aforementioned research published in the BMC Psychiatry journal. ‘It was only a small minority, about four per cent, who said that they would treat someone who came and asked for help, but another 10 per cent said they would refer on to someone who would, so it looked like about 14 per cent thought it was an appropriate thing to do.’

Click http://www.therapytoday.net/article/show/1168/ to read the article in full.