In the nearly fifty years that have passed since homosexuality was de-classified as a mental illness, an entire field of ‘gay affirmative therapy’ has developed. At the same time, the ‘queer’ tribe has evolved from a community of gay men and lesbians to one which includes bi, pan and asexuals, transgender and gender diverse people, those whose sexual orientation is kinky, and people who practice various forms of consensual nonmonogamy. Queer affirmative therapy has correspondingly expanded to encompass the prevalent issues of all these communities.
In this comprehensive webinar, participants will be given the historical and cultural context with which to understand these changes and they will learn principles of affirmative care. Research on these various minority communities will be presented, with the implications for treatment. Finally, the special clinical issues of each subgroup will be described and explained. Didactic/PowerPoint presentation will be supplemented with case examples and video. The presenter has worked as a therapist and sex therapist in queer communities for over forty years.
1) Discuss the historical and cultural context of the evolution of the queer community and concomitant development of affirmative therapy principles
2) Describe issues common to all subgroups of the LGBTQ+ community such as principles of minority stress, family and community support, self-disclosure vs. ‘the closet,’ and stresses on couples and children.
3) Explain current research on these communities, especially research related to mental health, relationships, and sexuality.
4) Discuss the strengths and challenges of same sex couples and sex therapy issues common to these couples; become familiar with problems common to bi/pan/asexuals
5) Describe basic issues of transgender/nonbinary clients, kinky clients, and those engaging in consensual nonmonogamy
Activity Schedule (15 minute segments)
- Introductions of speaker and the topic
- Evidence of diverse sex and gender in animal kingdom and early humans
- Contemporary evolution of same sex identities
- Recent expansion of ‘queer’ community
- Implications of paradigm change: from ‘sick’ to ‘normal’
- Minority stress and its connection to mental health
- Research on same sex oriented people and sexuality
- Research on gender identity, BDSM, and CNM
- Issues of gay men
- Working with male couples
- Issues of lesbians
- Working with female couples
- Research on sexual fluidity
- Statistics on prevalence of bi/pan, gay, lesbian, heterosexuals in U.S.
- Issues of bi/pan people
- Asexuality- what we do and don’t know
- Transgender clients
- Nonbinary people
- BDSM clients
- CNM clients
Margie is a queer-identified psychotherapist, writer, activist, and educator with forty years of experience working in the LGBT+ community. She is a licensed psychologist, AASECT certified sex therapy supervisor, and WPATH GEI (Global Education Initiative) Mentor. In 1983 Dr. Nichols founded the Institute for Personal Growth, a multi-site psychotherapy center in New Jersey that centers the LGBTQ+ community both as clients and therapists, and directed IPG until 2018. In 1985 she was a primary founder and the first Director of the Hyacinth AIDS Foundation, which continues to be New Jersey’s primary provider of social services and advocacy to people affected by HIV.
Dr. Nichols has authored more than two dozen papers or book chapters that are focused on LGBTQ+ issues. In 2020 her book, “The Modern Clinician’s Guide to Working with LGBTQ+ Clients” was published by Routledge Press.
Dr. Nichols also conducts trainings, workshops, and seminars virtually and in person. She supervises both therapists wishing to become AASECT-certified and those seeking WPATH certification, in addition to doing consults with therapists on specific cases.
She currently maintains a small private practice of therapy and consulting in Jersey City, New Jersey. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.