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Who do we think we are? - with Neil Young

Event organized by Aashna.uk

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Who do we think we are? Lessons from emergent gender and sexual identities - Neil Young

Gender and sexual identity are lenses through which all of us are constantly negotiating our place and meaning in the world, against a background of powerful binaries and stereotypes, most notably male/female and gay/straight. Yet, in recent years we have been seeing a sea change amongst teenagers and young adults, who are increasingly resisting traditional, binary gender identities and not defining themselves as heterosexual.

In this full day workshop – and with the support of the creative arts – we will examine the impact of this generational shift for us as therapists and the clients we work with of all ages. How have our own experiences of gender and sexual identity – good, bad and indifferent – shaped who we are and how we react in our professional lives? How might our experience of and being witness to institutional and individual sexism, misogyny, anti-LGBT prejudice and/or rigid gender roles play out in our lives and in the therapy room?

This training will create a safe space to explore our beliefs and experiences through structured exercises, case studies and exploration of contemporary culture and research about lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans (LGBT) children and young people. The day will involve a mix of individual, pair working, small and large group discussions, films clips and triad work with plenty of time and space to digest and reflect along the way.

I have over 20 year’s experience as a trainer and queer community advocate – from setting up youth projects in inner city and rural contexts (including Mosaic Youth LGBT Youth Centre to advocating for LGBT Londoners as an Advisor to the first two Mayors of London. I have for many years, designed and delivered training, workshops and conferences on gender and sexual identity and the impact of prejudice to professionals, including therapists.

Last year I published ‘Young People: Not Straight, Not Narrow’, in the BACP University & College Counselling Journal, exploring changes in gender and sexual identities amongst young people in the UK and beyond. Partly based on interviews with therapists, academics and youth workers, the article includes analysis, top tips and resources for therapists. Currently I am about to complete my MA Integrative Arts Psychotherapy at the Institute for Art and Therapy in Education and am working in placement at ELOP, an LGBT community project.

I look forward to meeting you on the training, which is open to all trainee and qualified counsellors and psychotherapists.

- Neil Young

Photo © Neil Young Photography

Cost £65 / £60 (for Aashna residents & students)

All Aashna events include a vegan/vegetarian lunch.

Suggested reading

- Barker M-J (2017) Good Practice Across the Counselling Professions 01: Gender, Sexual and Relationship Diversity (GSRD). London, BACP

- Young, N. (2017) ‘Young People: Not Straight, Not Narrow’, University & College Counselling, September 2017, pp. 4-8.

- www.bacp.co.uk/bacp-journals/university-and-college-counselling/september-2017/young-people-not-straight-not-narrow