Posts by: The Affirmative Couch

4 Things to Know about Polyamory Before Talking to Your Clients

Posted: 7-3-24 | The Affirmative Couch

Polyamory and Ethical non-monogamy (ENM) are both terms to describe relationships that form outside of traditional monogamous relationship patterns. Many poly individuals experience psychological distress due to any number of factors. Examples can  include marginalization, pressures to keep relationships secret, and pathologization in medical contexts. There are many myths about polyamory that it’s important to [...]

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Affirmative Therapy & Celebrating Stonewall

Posted: 6-27-24 | The Affirmative Couch

Stonewall as a Symbol

The Stonewall Riot was not the result of a single night of activism. June 28, 1969 was the culmination of years of oppression and resistance across the nation. This event was the culmination of years of targeted raids on businesses openly welcoming trans and queer clientele, and queer and trans business [...]

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New Year, New You? Affirmative Therapy and New Year’s Resolutions

Posted: 1-23-24 | The Affirmative Couch

New Year’s Resolutions are one of the hallmarks of January—gyms are crowded, journals purchased, fresh fruits and veggies prepared, dating apps installed, and long-delayed medical appointments finally scheduled. What does this mean for therapy? 

Therapists can be inundated with new appointment requests and lapsed clients re-starting therapy, but they may also be wary of the [...]

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Conflicts with Colleagues in Clinics and Group Practice Settings

Posted: 9-6-23 | The Affirmative Couch

We’ve written previously about how to handle conflict in therapy—but what about when you are experiencing conflict within your clinic, from a peer or supervisor? Conflicts with colleagues, particularly surrounding identity, can impact an entire community if left unresolved for too long. It can also affect the reputation of your practice, or leave you [...]

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Affirmation, Exploration, and Informed Consent

Posted: 7-18-23 | The Affirmative Couch

Gender Dysphoria disproportionately affects transgender and nonbinary (TGNB)  communities, and can impact mental health in many ways. For many TGNB individuals, affirmative therapists offer a space—perhaps the first space—to pursue therapy that accepts them for who they are. One of the key elements of affirmative therapy is combining affirmation with exploration, but always in the [...]

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6 Things For (Cis) Therapists to Know About Gender Euphoria

Posted: 6-8-23 | The Affirmative Couch

You’ve probably heard or read about gender dysphoria, but how much do you know about gender euphoria? Chances are good that you’ve talked about it with some of your clients. But if you’re relying on a few anecdotes or basic information, you may be missing out on the big picture. We want to share some [...]

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5 Tips for Affirmative Therapists During Autism Acceptance Month

Posted: 4-12-23 | The Affirmative Couch

As you may know, April is Autism Acceptance Month. As knowledge of autism continues to grow and change with every year—and there are a greater number of adults who know that they are autistic—we wanted to highlight a few things that can help affirmative therapists work with their autistic clients.


Avoid Using Functioning Labels


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3 Trauma-Informed Alternatives to Positive Affirmations

Posted: 3-28-23 | The Affirmative Couch

Whether in therapy, in self-help books, or in broader discourse about mental wellness on social media, there is a lot of discussion about positive affirmations. In general, the idea behind positive affirmations is to “train” the brain to look for opportunity and growth rather than perseverating on failure and stagnation. But are positive affirmations for [...]

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Managing Conflict in Affirmative Therapy

Posted: 12-7-22 | The Affirmative Couch

Relationships between therapists and clients can involve vulnerability. Exploring topics related to identity is delicate work.  Both client and therapist may be impacted by their education, knowledge, and preconceptions. Moreover, therapy often requires discomfort. None of this is news but: but managing conflict while centering your client’s experiences takes skill and experience.

Affirmative therapy requires [...]

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Supporting Your ADHD Clients (and Colleagues)

Posted: 10-19-22 | The Affirmative Couch

October is ADHD Awareness Month—in contemporary media, ADHD is often presented as affecting mostly children, and more specifically  mostly young white boys (and we could do a whole separate blog about how cissexism, misogyny, and racism impact the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD).

ADHD continues into adulthood, and studies show that it [...]

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LGBTQ Myths vs. Reality: What Organizations Need To Know

Posted: 2-7-22 | The Affirmative Couch

Myths and stereotypes are prevalent in our society, but just because they’re prevalent, doesn’t mean they’re right. Though they may seem harmless, myths can be damaging to the people and communities they target. As an organization, it’s crucial to teach your members how to avoid falling prey to common myths because making assumptions can harm [...]

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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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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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Misgendering a Client in Therapy

Posted: 3-4-21 | The Affirmative Couch

Ask Us Anything: How to navigate moments of rupture and repair in the therapeutic relationship when a therapist missteps re: a client’s gender identity or expression? Important to acknowledge and apologize to the client and strive to do better – other things to keep in mind if/when this happens?

Wonderful question! You are definitely on [...]

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Psychotherapy with Unsupportive Parents of Transgender and Gender Nonbinary Clients

Posted: 12-9-20 | The Affirmative Couch

Ask Us Anything: How should I handle the pronouns of and name for adolescent trans clients when their parents refuse to use the correct ones? Obviously I want to support my client by using their pronouns and name, but I also feel like it is a fine line between that and making parents angry so [...]

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Why LGBTQIA+ Affirmative Therapy is Critical During the Pandemic

Posted: 11-25-20 | The Affirmative Couch

LGBTQIA+ Affirmative Mental Health During the Pandemic

The stress and anxiety wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic may be universal–so many of us face fears of the virus itself, not to mention job loss, illness striking our loved ones, and myriad missed social, professional, and financial opportunities–but all of us experience these differently. Just as everyone’s [...]

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Telepsychotherapy Protects Queer Communities From COVID-19

Posted: 3-15-20 | The Affirmative Couch

Telehealth offers psychotherapists a way to provide quality mental health services while still practicing and promoting extreme social distancing. This practice, instituted early, can help save lives during the COVID-19 pandemic (Pueyo, 2020; Stevens, 2020). Psychotherapists who work with queer communities should be switching to telehealth in order to decrease the risk faced [...]

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