NEW – Working with Gay Male Clients in Therapy
This workshop will focus specifically on the experience of the male client who identifies as gay. We will explore the developmental process of the gay male client, and the impact of growing up in a heteronormative culture.
Members of the LGBTQ community grow up in a world that generally promotes a heteronormative and gender binary perspective of what is considered ‘normal’. This creates difficulty for those who do not fit into the neat boxes of being heterosexual, and male or female. As a consequence, those who will later identify themselves as outside of these cultural norms, will go through a continuous process of conforming and adapting in an attempt to fit it with those around them. As a consequence, there is a sustained experience of oppression from the world around as the self battles against thoughts, feelings and behaviours that do not have the permission to exist with any sense of freedom.
This workshop will focus specifically on the experience of the male client who identifies as gay. We will explore the developmental process of the gay male client, from childhood through to adulthood, looking at key events and relationships, and the impact of growing up in a heteronormative culture.
We will look at how early experiences can lead to difficulty with intimacy in relationships, and how this may present in the adult gay male client that enters into a therapeutic process. We will consider how gay men relate within the LGBTQ community, how they relate in the wider community, and how they relate in their interpersonal relationships with partners, family and friends. Gay male clients can present into therapy at any age, from 18 years old to 80, so we will also carefully consider any historical and cultural events (linked to the LGBTQ community) that the client may have been exposed to in their lifetime, with consideration of the resulting issues that may arise.
At its most basic level, what brings gay men together as a community is their sexuality, thus it is inevitable that sex is a major factor in the relationships between gay men. We will explore the role of sex, looking at how sex is used to shape identity in modern gay culture, and the role of social media in promoting contact within the community. Furthermore, we will review different homosexual subcultures and explore high-risk behaviours that are often coupled with sexual activity.
The workshop will aim to promote insight and understanding into the intrapsychic processes of gay men, based upon commonly reported oppressive influences that impact their sense of ‘okness’ and well-being. Peer-reviewed literature will be used to provide a theoretical underpinning to the material presented. The workshop will invite discussion and experiential learning, so do be prepared for open and confidential discussion of your experiences of working with this client group. Case studies and visual media will be used to give insight into what presents in the therapy room, along with specific advice and guidance on how to work with given issues in therapeutic relationship.
Please note, our training room is on the first floor and is accessed by stairs. If you have any special requirements, or if you need to advise us of anything before booking or attending the training, then please contact us.