Dr Dwight Turner is Course Leader on the Humanistic Counselling and Psychotherapy Course at the University of Brighton, a PhD Supervisor at their Doctoral College, a psychotherapist and supervisor in private practice. His latest book Intersections of Privilege and Otherness in Counselling and Psychotherapy was released in February 2021 and is published by Routledge. An activist, writer and public speaker on issues of race, difference and intersectionality in counselling and psychotherapy, Dr Turner can be contacted via his website www.dwightturnercounselling.co.uk and can be followed on Twitter at @dturner300
Decolonisation is a fairly common term in the present era, often used to denote those institutions and organisations where structures of knowledge or ways of being have been very much rooted within a white patriarchal or colonial context, with a need for these to be challenged and for the voices of the disadvantaged other to be included in any sort of meaning making. The issue with this concept is that we are all subjects of colonisation and we all have within us the internalisations that denote just how adapted we are from our natural sense of selves.
This talk looks at decolonisation through a lens of black male sexuality and takes its cue from research and blog posts conducted by Dr Dwight Turner in exploring just how adapted that black men have become, and therefore many other minority groups, to the adaptations placed upon us within a colonised environment. Using the language of intersectionality, this keynote talk will look to explore said adaptations, consider the cost of this form of enforced othering whilst presenting clinical material which shows how challenging and yet also worthwhile it is to strip away these colonised aspects of oneself.
Laura Scarrone Bonhomme (pronouns: she/her) is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist who developed her career internationally, working in Spain, Chile and the U.K. Laura specialises in Gender, Sexual, and Relationship Diversity, currently she works on her private practice providing assessment, psychotherapy, and supervision. Additionally, she provides training to other professionals through www.affirm.lgbt - Reflecting on her experiences as a therapist, she has written articles about the relationship that gender-diverse folk form with the mirror, and a book chapter about what is like to transition during midlife. In May 2023 she will be publishing her first book (with co-authors) titled ‘Gender Affirming Therapy: A Guide to what Transgender and Non-binary Clients Can Teach Us’.
What do you see when you glance at your reflection? What wrinkle or curve do you focus on? What is like to be alone with all your skin? In an image-focused society like the one we live in, looks can get easily confused with a person’s overall value. Cisgender, trans, and non-binary people might struggle with body image and by extension, with looking in the mirror. Gender-diverse folk often report covering mirrors, avoiding looking down at their bodies, disassociation from certain parts or conversely, overtly-presence. In this talk we will explore the role of the mirror as a mediator of gender incongruence, and the role of people as ‘walking mirror’.
Meg-John (MJ) Barker is a writer, zine-maker, collaborator, contemplative practitioner, and friend. They are the author of a number of popular books on sex, gender, and relationships, including graphic guides to Queer, Gender, and Sexuality, How To Understand Your Gender and Sexuality, Life Isn’t Binary, Enjoy Sex (How, When, and IF You Want To), Rewriting the Rules, and Hell Yeah Self Care. They also publish zines, comics, and free books on themes including plurality, trauma, consent, and creativity, drawing on their lived experience and on their past work across the academic, activist, and therapy worlds. Website: https://rewriting-the-rules.com Twitter: @megjohnbarker, YouTube: MegJohnBarkerPsych
Therapy trainings and continuing professional development are increasingly recognising the need to cover gender and sexual diversity, but equally important - and interconnected with gender and sexual diversity - is relationship diversity. Generally this is taken to mean how people conduct their intimate relationships, for example whether they are monogamous or non-monogamous, but we could expand the concept out to include all of the diverse ways in which people relate with themselves, with other humans, and with the non-human world.
This Q&A with Meg-John Barker - author of the BACP resource on Gender, Sex, and Relationship Diversity - covers the range of diverse relationship styles which therapists need to be aware of. We’ll explore why an affirmative approach is vital, which recognises that different relationship styles work for different people (and at different points in their lives), which treats all relationship structures as equally valid, and which brings these themes into the room with those in normative relationships just as much as those in non-normative ones. We’ll consider the distinction in Sexual Configurations Theory between ‘erotic’ and ‘nurturing’ connections, and how these can be separate or connected, and more or less important or unimportant in people’s lives, in addition to being conducted in diverse ways with the same, or different, others.
From there, the conversation will move to the sense that too much focus on the ‘what’ of relationships (e.g. single/partnered, monogamous/non-monogamous, romantic/friendship), can take us away from possibilities between or beyond these binaries, as well as from the more important question of ‘how’ we relate. There is significant cultural and (intergenerational) developmental trauma around relating which plays out in relationship struggles, conflicts, and abuse. How can we support our clients to recognise and address their relational trauma patterns and survival strategies, and to move towards more mutually nourishing relationships? One - increasingly popular - answer is to work with inner relationship diversity, exploring their plural systems, internal families, inner teams, or constellations. The conversation will end with some ideas for working/playing with clients to improve their inner relationships, in order to address their outer ones, whatever their relationship configurations. We’ll explore how learnings and practices from queer - and other marginalised - communities can be helpful in opening up these possibilities.
Talking with a Map - a new book by Steve Potter Now available to pre-order...
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