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Sofia 3 Hall - Marinela

Contextual Behavioral Strategies for Work with Gender and Sexual Minority Clients

Aisling Leonard-Curtin Speaker

Target Audience: Cognitive Behavioral therapists or trainees, all levels of experience, interested in work with LGBTQ+/GSM clients Abstract: Despite incredible advances in the science of psychological distress or well-being among gender and sexual minority (GSM) clients, changes in treatment have lagged. Most resources are dedicated to the need for an affirming and non-rejecting stance, though these do not meet the needs of therapist's who wish to align their practice with the most current of data. This workshop will teach process-based behavioral techniques that take advantage of research on minority stress and emotion regulation. The workshop will incorporate both theoretical and experiential work. Moving through life as a gender or sexual minority often entails some period of secrecy, guardedness, shame, and familial ruptures. We will explore the therapeutic techniques that tackle these concerns in the therapy hour and within the therapeutic relationship. This workshop will also aid clinicians in cultivating their own compassion and values toward meeting the challenges of moving through life as a GSM person, particularly through targeting the therapist’s own history of cultural messages about gender and sexuality. Through the use of awareness, courage, therapeutic love, compassion, perspective-taking, and acceptance, participants will grown in their ability to relate as gendered and sexual beings. From this place, powerful and therapeutic relationships can blossom. Clinician's will leave with a greater understanding of how concepts such as minority stress, rejection sensitivity, and shame can be better responded to in session. Particularly attention will be made toward the cultural and global concerns that arise as both acceptance and animus are on the rise globally toward GSM communities. Learning objectives Describe and learn how to conceptualize GSM issues from the perspective of Acceptance & Commitment Therapy and Functional Analytic Psychotherapy. Explain and experience functional contextually-based experiential exercises in the area of learning histories related to gender & sexuality. Teaching Methods (Powerpoint presentation, video demonstration, role play, etc.) Powerpoint, role play, experiential exercises, partner exercises A brief description of the workshop leader(s) Matthew Skinta, PhD, ABPP, is a board-certified health psychologist, researcher, and juggles clinical work, supervision, and research at Palo Alto University in the San Francisco Bay Area where he directs the Sexual & Gender Identities Clinic. He has a special interest in sexual and gender minority health and well-being, compassion training, and the ways HIV continues to shape sexual communities. Matthew is a peer-reviewed Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) trainer, as well as a certified Functional Analytic Psychotherapy (FAP) trainer whose workshops alternate between core ACT skills and the emotional challenges of working with gender and sexuality. Aisling, Curtin, MSc, is a chartered counseling psychologist at the Psychological Society of Ireland who lives with her partner in Dublin, Ireland. She is co-director of ACT Now Purposeful Living, has a small private practice, and consults with a number of organizations to deliver acceptance and mindfulness workshops. Aisling teaches in many university training programs, and regularly gives workshops internationally on sexuality from a mindfulness and acceptance vantage point. She is a peer-reviewed acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and functional analytic psychotherapy (FAP) trainer. Implications for everyday clinical practice of CBT Gender and sexual minority clients are more likely to seek help from therapists, yet therapists are unlikely to have received specific training in affirmative models that consider the affect of societal bias toward GSM individuals. Deepening ones knowledge and skills in this area will enhance a clinicians ability to meet the needs of her clients. Relevant background readings about the topic (chapters, research papers, guidelines etc. covering the topic)  Bränström, R. (2017). Hidden from happiness: Structural stigma, sexual orientation concealment, and life satisfaction among sexual minorities across 28 European countries. European Journal of Public Health, 27(suppl_3). Curtin, A. & Ryu, D. (2016). Coming out with compassion. In M.D. Skinta & A. Curtin (Eds.), Mindfulness and Acceptance for Gender and Sexual Minorities: A Clinician’s Guide to Fostering Compassion, Connection, and Equality Using Contextual Strategies. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications. Plummer, M. D. (2010). FAP with Sexual Minorities Sexual Minorities. In J. Kanter, M. Tsai, & R. J. Kohlenberg (Eds.). The practice of functional analytic psychotherapy (pp. 149-172). New York: Springer. Skinta, M.D. & D’Alton, P. (2016). Leaving shame behind: Mindfulness and acceptance for malignant shame. In M.D. Skinta & A. Curtin (Eds.), Mindfulness and Acceptance for Gender and Sexual Minorities: A Clinician’s Guide to Fostering Compassion, Connection, and Equality Using Contextual Strategies. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications. Skinta, M.D., Hoeflein, B.T.R., Muñoz-Martínez, A.M., & Rincón, C.L. (2018). Responding to Gender and Sexual Minority Stress with Functional Analytic Psychotherapy. Psychotherapy, in press

Workshop Leader(s) and institutional affiliations:  Matthew D. Skinta, PhD, ABPP, Department of Psychology at Palo Alto University, Palo Alto, CA, USA Aisling Leonard-Curtin, M.Sc., ACT Now Purposeful Living, Dublin, Ireland