Summer School Day 5

Well, the course is finished. What a week! The diversity within the group of life experience and of background and personality added to rather than strained the dynamic. We were all able to listen to each other and so no-one felt constrained to shout over any group consensus to make their individual voice heard.

The morning was given to an experiential exercise of listening to our internal ‘wisdoms’; that of our mind, our heart and our gut. All three give us different but important information and we ignore them to our detriment. None should be excluded.

We then followed a practical presentation on responding to requests from clients to change their sexual orientation. We considered this from the perspective of the client’s discomfort at their dilemmas, but also the ethical requirements to ‘first do no harm’. We looked at ‘reparative’ and ‘conversion’ therapies that have been rejected as unethical in their treatment methods, and explored alternatives, trying to stay within the client’s agenda while taking account of all aspects of their inner conflict.

The final afternoon was mostly about self-care as therapists working in with GSD clients, and our needs for continued professional development and supervision with those also working in this field. We completed the inevitable course feedback forms. and thanked each other and the tutors.

We ended well, with a fabulous meal together in a gay restaurant in the middle of Soho. The food was great, and the atmosphere fun. To all of you who made it possible for me to be here, please know that not only am I grateful to you for your generosity, but I hope my future clients will also be grateful without knowing it. You are investing in them as well as me. Thank you for believing in me and valuing them!

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Summer School Day 5

  1. Patty

    Hey Jo-

    Read your daily blogs and it sounds like it was an inspiring and rewarding time, both personally and professionally. I am glad that you took the time to prepare yourself to deal with these complex issues with your future clients. Such insight and understanding isn’t easily gained, but oftentimes needs to be ‘experienced’ in order to augment your listening skills with deeper visceral instinct and acumen. By placing yourself in this situation, surrounded by people from various identities, you have not only challenged yourself, but also walked in the shoes of other identities in a new way. Thanks!

    Patty

  2. katharine

    Super to hear about the Summer School and what you have learned. Sounds like it has been a really important week for you. Looking forward to hearing more soon.

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