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Embracing Diversity
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December 2011
In This Issue
Working with Sexual Feelings
Development of the Self
Introduction to Psychosexual Therapy
Sexual Orientation and Religious Affiliation
Relate Institute Consultation
ELOP Rainbow Families End of Year Party
No Longer a Minority: Gender and Sexual Diversities
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Dominic Davies

This is our last newsletter of the year and what a busy year it has been. 

Pink Therapy is now clearly being recognised as the lead body on advising the several key professional bodies and our training courses on working with gender and sexual diversities, both here and abroad are without compare.  

Our successful International Summer School this year which, as a result of your generosity was able to offer several bursaries to therapists from around the world and which has lead to my being invited to deliver some training for psychologists in Colombia early next year, is helping us to spread the word about how to better support gender and sexual diversities across the world.  

We've relaunched the website and the Directory and extended our Accreditation scheme to recognise those practitioners who have taken significant steps to specialise in serving our communities.  Early next year we will be extending the Directory to include complementary health practitioners who can offer culturally sensitive health care to our communities.

In a couple of weeks time we will be celebrating the successful graduation of the students who have completed our one year specialist training in working with gender and sexual diversities.  

There is so much we've achieved and can feel proud about and I want to thank you for your interest, support and encouragement over the past year and I hope you have a restful, healthy and happy holiday period, however you choose to celebrate it.


Dominic Davies

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Working with Sexual Feelings in the Consulting Room
14th January 2012

DaybedMost therapists will be aware of sexual feelings in their therapeutic work with clients. Some therapists will frame this as erotic transference or counter transference and perhaps not be willing to see any here and now erotic feelings as belonging to them and the client.


Sexual feelings may emanate only from the client, but most of us will recognise our own feelings of attraction to some clients from time to time. 


Rarely are therapists taught to work with these issues, and often therapists find it difficult taking such complex feelings to supervision.


It may be particularly difficult to seek consultation on such feelings if one is a gay male therapist due to societal projections on to gay men as "hypersexual" and "predatorily seductive."    


This workshop will explore sexual attraction and erotic feelings, whether 'real' or transference based and how one can work with them ethically and professionally. There is tremendous therapeutic potential in being able to work creatively with such feelings.

More information and sign up for this course here

Development of the Self & the Function of the Therapeutic Alliance
21 Jan 2012 - 21 Jan 2012

GovernmentHow do we get a self? What do we mean by 'having a sense of self'? How secure or insecure do we feel about who we are and our connections to others? How is our sense of self shaped in a homophobic, gendered culture?

This workshop will explore the idea that, from the beginning of life, we construct our 'senses of self', including our sexual and gendered selves, from our experiences of being in interaction with others. We will look at some ideas about the relational nature of the 'self', drawn from contemporary approaches to psychoanalytic psychotherapy. Using concepts from attachment theory, we will think about how our sense of ourselves develops initially within the context of our early relationships with others, and continues to emerge and change through our interactions with significant others throughout life.


More information and sign up for this course here


Introduction to Psychosexual Therapy with Gender and Sexual Diversity Clients
04 Feb 2012 - 05 Feb 2012

GovernmentUnless one does a specialist sex therapy training, one is probably ill prepared for understanding much about sexuality issues. Even if one did do a psychosexual training, probably very little was mentioned about diverse sexualities.

This two day workshop provides an introduction to some of the key issues in working therapeutically with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender clients with psychosexual concerns, as well as clients involved in Kink/BDSM practices.


The workshop will cover current models of sexual response, the classification of sexual difficulties and a brief review of the literature and then explore some of the implicit assumptions in these hetero-normative models. 


More information and sign up for this course here

Sexual Orientation and Religious Affiliation: in conflict or communion?
11 Feb 2012 - 11 Feb 2012

GovernmentThis Workshop will endeavour to explore the difficulties and conflicts that arise in the therapeutic framework when the client's presentation is coming from a place where their sexuality is in direct conflict with their cultural or religious background.

The workshop will seek to offer a space for practitioners to explore their own experiences in working with clients from different ethnic backgrounds to their own.

Providing a brief overview of both liberal and conservative approaches to sexual orientation by the major world religions we will aim to explore ways in which therapists can be more empathic to the cultural and religious conflicts that clients face. 


More information and sign up for this course here

Relate Institute Consultation

 Logo Relate

Earlier last month Tim Foskett and I had a very stimulating and constructive day's consultancy with the Relate Institute which explored whether and how to position Relate as THE relationship therapy organisation of choice for ALL people in relationships, whatever their configurations.  We were delighted with the open minded and enthusiastic support for this idea from the senior managers and practitioners present and we hope this will be the beginning of a long and fruitful partnership to enable people of all sexual and gender identities and whatever their model of relationship to seek support from the organisation.  


This is going to challenge the heteronormative hegemony of one of the countries major institutions and will likely be a slow process, but we were left hopeful that their was a genuine interest and responsiveness from the people attending in making some significant changes to policy, training and practice.



ELOP Rainbow Families End of Year Party 
8th of December from 2-4pm


The ELOP (the East London Out Project) end of year celebration will be running for LGBT (Lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans) families on the 18th of December from 2-4pm.

This is an event for LGBT parents and their children along with LGBT young people and their families to come and join, with creative activities, games, and a chance for some spirit-raising, community bonding celebration! Activities for tots to teens and beyond, in the wonderful Limes play centre, with adventure playground and soft play for all!

At the Limes Centre, 6 Somers Road, E17

Just �3 adult & �2 child including party picnic 


To book contact ELOP 

020 8509 3898

No Longer a Minority: Gender and Sexual Diversities


 Over the past few years I've been challenged on my use of the term Gender and Sexual Minorities (GSM), which I have been preferring to use to describe the broad range of people who seek our support and services.  As many of you are aware LGBT became LGBTIQQA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, questioning and their allies) and not only was that a ridiculous mouthful but it didn't encompass other subjugated identities, practices and orientations (BDSM/Kink, Asexuality, Celibate) or relationship styles (Swingers, Polyamory and other forms of non-monogamies.  So we started embracing the term GSM, albeit somewhat arcane to those who were unfamiliar with it.


However, I've had many conversations with people who objected to the 'Minorities' being used to describe what are actually, when all put together more frequent/common practices, identities and behaviours than the marginalised 'minorities' implies.  There have been many sound objections and reasons put forward for this change and I've finally been persuaded that the enormous work in learning and using a new linguistic form to describe our focus is worth doing.


I think it would be much more relevant and more neutral and inclusive to start talking about Gender and Sexual Diversities (GSD) and so this going to become our new preferred term when discussing the wide range of groups and practices which deviate from the heteronomative hegemony.  It's not a perfect term, but I think it's a lot better than 'minorities' and you will slowly see it's impact on our communications and website and in our teaching materials.

That's all for this month, thanks for your attention, and please do send us things that have a specific relevance to people working with gender and sexual diversity clients.
Dominic Davies
Pink Therapy