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Please … Make Me Not Gay Working with the Client who is Conflicted about their Minority Sexuality or Gender Identity.

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Presentation on theme: "Please … Make Me Not Gay Working with the Client who is Conflicted about their Minority Sexuality or Gender Identity."— Presentation transcript:

1 Please … Make Me Not Gay Working with the Client who is Conflicted about their Minority Sexuality or Gender Identity

2 Overview  Different Clients, Different Conflicts  Working through Cognitive-Somatic of Conflict  The First Session – What is our Alliance?  Ethics and Developing Better Legislation  Role Models, Mentors and Self Sponsorship

3 Different Clients Different Conflicts

4 Who is Your Whole Client? What are the parts of them that are in conflict?

5 Externalised and Internalised Oppressions

6 Abuse survivors and distrust of own sexual feelings or identity

7 Cultural Conflicts

8 Religiously Committed Individuals and Spiritual Reconciliation

9 Pathologising of Different Sexual Pleasure and Practice

10 Impact on and from spouses, children, family and community

11 Bisexuality and Sexual Fluidity

12 The little understood but real occurrence of dissociative identities These occur on a spectrum ranging across compulsivity of some sexual behaviours to the very rare extreme of Dissociative Identity Disorder. This spectrum would normally be treated by a therapist with specialist experience and knowledge

13 What Additional Features might be Necessary to the Initial Alliance? Willing to discuss your experience and training with GSDs, sexuality, human development et cetera Resources for psycho-education, such as reading and links to websites A clear verbal (or written) statement of how the gender or sexual diversity they are conflicted about is regarded by appropriate authorities. For example, is it legal? Is it a natural variant of human sexuality and identity? Is it pan cultural? Informed consent regarding the harm and ineffectiveness of therapy which tries to change sexual orientation or gender identity towards some pre-conceived ideal or norm A clear statement that you are willing to work with them and help them through their process but that you will only practice in a way which complies with good therapy practice and ethics

14 Practice Identify the linguistic structure of the conflict. Equivalence X is the same as Y, X =Y “If I sleep with men I am a bad father/muslim/man” Or Cause and Effect X causes Y, X  Y “If I sleep with men it will make my family/god/people reject me”

15 I sleep with men I am a bad father Centered Self Establish a position of “Centered Self” Create positions to either side that hold the two pieces of the “equivalence” or “effect” Explore the two positions somatically by standing in them separately. Return to centre in whatever way is helpful. Notice any new information or possibility.

16 The Tetralemma – 4 Point Reality Check Gregory Bateson 1.The Belief is True Because I sleep with men / I am a bad father 2.The Contrary to the Belief is True Because I don’t sleep with men / I am a good father Because I sleep with men / I am a good father Because I don’t sleep with men / I am a bad father 3.Neither is True 4.Both are True

17 Walking the Tetralemma Developed by Stephen Gilligan from work by Gregory Bateson Neither is True The Contrary is True Both are True The Belief is True Centered Open Attending with Awareness Connecting Holding

18 Clip 1 Channel 4 News

19 Is it as simple as “banning” therapists who have religious, or secular, beliefs that being gay is a sickness or a sin? Why not? Why can’t an ethical body simply ban people who they believe are bigots? Ethically Stopping “Conversion” or “Reparative” Therapy Why not just ban the bigots!



22 Strategies for Change – Must Maintain Ethical and Legal Consistency Overarching International Convention (UN, ECHR) National or State Law Local Codes of Ethics

23 Deontology Universally Applicable Rules Following the Rules Keeps Us Moral Breaking the Rules Results in Moral Peril Acts are Good or Bad Regardless of Result The Means are The Ends

24 Immanuel Kant 1724 – 1804 Categorical Imperative We’ve already met Kant’s influence in his taxonomy of empirical and intuitive knowing, which underlies any study of subjective experience, including filtering concepts into generalisations.

25 Kantian Ethics Acts are categorically right or wrong in themselves Universality If something is ever wrong it is always wrong. An act is only right if it is right for everyone to act thus. The Means are the End We must act based on the act itself being good, rather than in order to manipulate a good consequence of the action. Rational, Moral Authority We are each supremely responsible for our actions and judgments Absolutes with No Context Sensitivities or Mitigation

26 What are your categorical imperatives? Are there any rules that you hold as absolutes? How did you develop this maxim? Experience ? Culture ? Family ? Intuition ? Are there any exceptions ?

27 Jeremy Bentham 1748 – 1832 Utilitarianism “ Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure. It is for them alone to point out what we ought to do, as well as to determine what we shall do. On the one hand the standard of right and wrong, on the other the chain of causes and effects, are fastened to their throne. They govern us in all we do, in all we say, in all we think.” The Greatest Happiness for The Greatest Number

28 Abolition of Slavery, Abolition of Death Penalty, Abolition of Physical Punishment including that of Children Equality of Women, Right to Divorce, Separation of Church and State, Freedom of Expression, Individual and Economic Freedom, Decriminalisation of Homosexuality All of these inequalities were rationalised as being the natural order, and in his time Bentham was a considered eccentric beyond understanding. The development from deontology to consequentialism revealed how much disparity of pain and pleasure was between a privileged few and those excluded from power.

29 Consequentialism Guidelines and Principles Moral Good is Promotion of Happiness Moral Bad is Causing of Pain Acts are judged by Consequences The Ends Justify The Means

30 Ethical Hedonism Judge an act by its Consequences The Ends of Increase of Pleasure and Reduction of Pain measure the goodness of actions

31 John Stuart Mill 1806 – 1873 Utilitarianism II “The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilised community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. ” Greatest Happiness Principle includes qualitative higher value of Moral pleasures

32 Strategies for Change – Must Maintain Ethical and Legal Consistency Overarching International Convention (UN, ECHR) National or State Law Local Codes of Ethics

33 Reparative Therapists claim that they are a minority being persecuted for their religious or moral beliefs against “homosexuality”. They say clients have a right to treatment for this dangerous ailment Making a special exception – unequal treatment due to the “gay agenda” Honouring Parents’ and Client’s Autonomy Reducing Harm from the “Lifestyle” Does its practice incur generic ethical violations? Is it autonomous? Is it informed? Does it work? Is it harmful? Valid therapeutic methods? Is it a religious right? Better alternatives?

34 It violates our democratic freedoms to ban something simply because a sincerely held “ethical system” or belief is a minority view. We must prove that actions based on that view violate irrefutable maxims.

35 Clip 2 The Sissy Boy Experiments

36 The National Association for Research and Treatment of Homosexuality have been shown to repeatedly misuse research to make claims of both the pathology of sexual and gender minority and in claims of successful treatment Evidenced Based or Fraudulent?

37 Reparative therapy exists within an energetic movement to recruit clients by using current clients to testify to change. Exploitative? In reality, publicly testifying that you are cured is part of the “treatment”, so many “success stories” are of people who later renounce any claim to change and feel emotionally and financially exploited.

38 Installing religious doctrine over natural human diversity sets up intolerable inner conflict Suggesting that being gay is a sickness, from an authoritative position, colludes with discrimination that already causes mental distress. Do No Harm?

39 With shaming and rejection from family, bullying and exclusion from society and discrimination in work and education, is a person seeking to change their orientation really acting autonomously? Are they not being threatened and coerced by people who see bullying as “natural ethical instinct” in children and a healthy normative pressure? Autonomous?

40 Repeated failure to change orientation has lead to more and more extreme “treatments”, that would not be attempted for any other “condition”. Comparable with Other Rational Experimentation in Pursuit of Knowledge and Better Practice?

41 Claims that to practice Reparative Therapy is a religious and cultural right, and that to not allow it is racism and persecution, do not follow consistent argument and are not accepted across any race, culture or religion. Providing for Racial, Cultural or Religious Rights?

42 International human rights law protects the freedom of religious expression provided that doing so does not violate the rights of, or do harm to, others. Freedom of Speech and Religious Expression as protected within Human Rights Law?

43 Claims to change orientation have been revealed to be false and all that is truly being offered are ways to repress sexual urges and to create a heteronormative appearance in dress, behaviour and to hide in unhappy marriages. Competent and Effective? Those few who report a lasting “cure” say the difference that made the difference was Jesus. If true, this disqualifies the change process from that of therapeutic practice.

44 Overall Reparative Therapy has opened people’s eyes to the realities of discrimination faced by sexual minorities. It has also thrown up deep questions about moral systems that are based on interpretation of divine laws

45 And it raises questions about irrational fears and hatred of minority groups and whether in fact conditions like “homophobia” are open to treatment… And what moral violations would that cause?

46 Clip 3 Leaders of Exodus Apologise

47 This presentation is offered to trainees of BeeLeaf Institute and Pink Therapy as revision material. The music and pictures are included in good faith that they will not be copied or distributed. Anyone who wishes to use these slides for training purposes or to share with colleagues should in the first instance contact Pam Gawler-Wright on

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