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Out On The Couch

Key Things Therapists Should Know About Gender Pronouns

Posted: 4-27-22 | The Affirmative Couch

Gender pronouns are essential parts of understanding how individuals identify and addressing them appropriately. Using the correct gender pronouns in therapy will elevate your practice and help clients feel seen and heard. Here are the key things therapists should know about gender pronouns.

Allow Your Client To Set the Tone

Allowing your client to set [...]

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4 Ways to Increase LGBTQ Inclusivity in Your Organization

Posted: 4-26-22 | The Affirmative Couch

For generations, members of the LGBTQ community have faced prejudice, judgment, and oppression everywhere, from the home to the workplace. It’s necessary to increase LGBTQ inclusivity within organizations to move forward as a society and create spaces that support all people. Here are four ways to increase LGBTQ inclusivity in your organization.

Educate the Organization

[...]

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Mental Health Outcomes of Gender-Affirming Care

In recent years, both the ethics and efficacy of affirmative mental healthcare have been debated on a national stage. In 2022 alone, Florida state legislators have proposed a “Don’t Say Gay” bill, Alabama passed a law outlawing gender-affirming medical or mental healthcare for teens, and more than a dozen states like Ohio have followed in [...]

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Choosing a Diversity Consultant for Your Clinic

Posted: 3-31-22 | The Affirmative Couch

Diversity consultants are trained individuals who come into your workplace to help ensure equal employment opportunities are in place for people of all backgrounds and walks of life. This process helps to build organizations that are more inclusive and diverse. In therapeutic practices, it is essential to employ a diverse group of professionals who can [...]

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The Trauma Impact of Cancel Culture

Posted: 3-30-22 | Amelia Ortega

 

 Over the last two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, community relationships have shifted  to a location primarily online. The centrality and importance of technology-mediated relationships is now an established interest within the fields of social work and psychology (Trepte et al., 2017, Okdie et al., 2018) along with social and relational conflicts like cancel [...]

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Understanding Queer Affirmative Therapy Practices

Posted: 3-30-22 | The Affirmative Couch

The LGBTQ+ community deal with an array of unique struggles and challenges because of heteronormative societal standards that disallow them from living a life free of prejudice and oppression. Because of these challenges, queer people and members of the LGBTQ+ community must have therapy available to them that fits their specific needs. This article will [...]

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Deconstructing Compulsory Heterosexuality in Psychotherapy

A key aspect for therapists practicing affirmative psychotherapy is deconstructing heteronormativity. Defined by the American Psychological Association as “the assumption that heterosexuality is the standard for defining normal sexual behavior,” heteronormativity stems from a long-standing, embedded cultural belief that traditional gender roles are unchanging and omnipotent. (2022) Taken a step further, heteronormativity becomes compulsory heterosexuality [...]

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How online self-disclosure benefits LGBTQIA+ therapists with lived experience

Posted: 2-18-22 | Teresa Theophano

Self-Disclosure and Community Building

We know that LGBTQIA+ community members are resourceful and resilient. We also know about startling disparities in the mental health of queer and trans individuals v. that of cisgender and heterosexual ones. As a queer femme clinical social worker who has spoken openly and published about my own lived experience of [...]

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Top 5 Challenges of the LGBTQ+ Community

Posted: 2-8-22 | The Affirmative Couch

The fight for LGBTQIA+ rights and acceptance has come a long way, but the battle isn’t over yet. Here are the top five challenges of the LGBTQ+ community.

Employment and Housing Discrimination

Not all states prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender. And even in the ones that do, discrimination often occurs regardless.

It’s [...]

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5 Ways To Create a Welcoming Space for LGBTQIA+ Clients

Posted: 1-18-22 | The Affirmative Couch

Are you a mental health professional wondering how to make your office an LGBTQIA+ friendly space? Providing an inclusive space where LGBTQIA+ clients feel welcome can help them open up and feel comfortable seeking care. To help you craft an open environment where your clients can freely be themselves, here are five ways to create a welcoming space for LGBTQIA+ clients.

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Self Disclosure of the Polyamorous Therapist

Posted: 1-12-22 | Mandy Simmons

Attending to the Needs of Polyamorous Therapists

As the mental health field makes inroads toward inclusive and equitable practice, efforts to understand the needs of polyamorous people are expanding beyond the basics (Johnson, 2013). Moreover, it is important to ensure polyamorous therapists are included in that discussion. As practitioners, we are examining ourselves for [...]

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5 Essential Self-Care Tips for Psychotherapists

Posted: 12-17-21 | The Affirmative Couch

Being an affirmative psychotherapist is an important and selfless job, but when you’re so caught up in caring for others, it’s easy to overlook your own well-being.

For your sake and the sake of your clients, it’s crucial to take the occasional step back to focus on your own needs. Here are five essential self-care [...]

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Non-binary Microaggressions in Psychotherapy

Posted: 9-24-21 | Nicholas Moran

COVID-19 & (Re)claiming Gender

As a non-binary, genderqueer, and trans femme therapist myself, I have encountered my own fair share of microaggressions related to gender identity. During the pandemic, I have witnessed many people for the first time in their lives take a break from performing gender in a way society deems acceptable. As [...]

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Making the most of your clinic’s power

Posted: 9-1-21 | Melissa Dellens

Organizational empowerment is an active and participatory process through which individuals, organizations, and communities gain greater control, efficacy, and social justice (Peterson & Zimmerman, 2004). Firstly, we explored Brofenbrenner’s ecological model (Hess & Schultz, 2008), and Prillelensky’s (2008) understanding of power dynamics.  Secondly, we will introduce organizational empowerment theory (Peterson & Zimmerman, 2004) and [...]

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Therapy with Black Gay Men addicted to meth

Posted: 8-18-21 | Jerry St. Louis, LGSW

To be a Black Gay Man with an addiction to crystal meth, is to be stuck between to worlds. This article will explore ways that psychotherapists can provide affirmative therapy with Black Gay men addicted to methamphetamines. The first two articles of this series, Affirmative Therapy: Crystal Meth in the Black Gay Community and [...]

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Defining Power for Affirmative Therapists

Posted: 8-4-21 | Melissa Dellens

Clinics, treatment centers, and group practices play an important role in the communities they serve. Power flows through every relationship from the individual dyad in treatment to a community clinic’s relationship with federal policy (Hess & Schultz, 2008).  Moreover, these dynamics can be seen as both a commodity and resource (Peterson & Zimmerman, 2004) in [...]

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Bisexual Polyamorous Clients in Therapy

Posted: 7-21-21 | Stephanie Sullivan

Before getting into this article, I would like to locate myself. I am a white, bisexual, able-bodied, ambiamorous, cisgender woman with anxiety and a chronic illness who has been in both monogamous and polyamorous relationships. As someone who identifies as bisexual, has navigated both polyamorous and monogamous relationships, and specializes in working with these [...]

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Kink-Aware Therapist: Challenging Your Awareness

Posted: 7-7-21 | Rachel Gombos

Please note that this article contains content related to sexual trauma.

Together, we have journeyed through the previous articles in this series towards becoming a kink-aware therapist, Depathologizing Kink in Therapy and Kink-Aware Therapy: Consent and Negotiation to discuss kink practices and understand the consent and negotiation tactics that govern them. Buehler (2017) [...]

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4 Barriers to Affirmative Clinic Change

Posted: 6-9-21 | Melissa Dellens

Gerald Caplan is seminal in developing some of the early theories of consulting work (Caplan, 1960). Caplan worked in Israel after World War II providing mental health support to 16,000 displaced and orphaned teens in overwhelmed residential and refugee facilities (Mendoza, 1993). Caplan’s resources were limited, and his team had no way of serving the [...]

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Black Gay Men and Crystal Meth: My Story

Posted: 5-25-21 | Jerry St. Louis, LGSW

I am Black, gay, and a social worker. I work in a recovery center where I help individuals attain and maintain their sobriety.  I have had experience on both sides of the “social service” table, and my personal and professional experience has given me access to the elusive community of crystal meth users.

A friend [...]

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Clinician Resources for Internalized Transphobia

Posted: 5-11-21 | Mikey Anderson

(Re)imagining gender through stories 

In my first article in this two-part series, I explored and reviewed works created by queer and trans clinicians who approached internalized transphobia from a clinical perspective, and offered actionable steps to dismantle it in the therapeutic space with clients. In this second and final installment, I explore memoirs from [...]

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