I see clients across the spectrum of sexuality and gender. I have clients who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, and/or queer. I fully support the memorandum of understanding opposing conversion therapy. Written by Dr. Meg-John Barker, I also support the BACP guidelines on Gender, Sexuality and Relationship Diversity (GSRD). Along with Christina Richards, Rebecca Jones, Helen Bowes-Catton & Tracey Plowman, Meg-John also wrote The Bisexuality Report, a well worth read.
Several years back, Dominic Davies, founder and director of Pink Therapy, suggested the use of the acronym GSD (Gender and Sexual Diversity). He later added R, to complete Gender, Sexual and Relationship Diversity (GSRD). It was felt this was more inclusive, to the many who felt they did not fit the more generally used Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans*, Queer plus (LGBTQ+) language. Hence the title for this page being GSRD and LGBTQ+.
As stated, on my welcome page, my aim is to support you wherever you are regarding your gender, sexuality and relationships. There is no one way to be. We can work together to discover where you’ve been, where you are and where you may want to go.
Meg-John Barker has a wonderful Zine discussing gender. They point out that gender is not binary as many have thought. Our chromosomes, hormones, bodies, brains, identities, expressions and experiences all work together. In Meg-John’s words: “At the psychological and social levels, gender is diverse. Our experience of gender involves a complex, ongoing inter-relationship between our body & brain, our personal characteristics and experiences, and the wider culture we live in.”
For further information I’d recommend reading their Zine linked above and/or their book “How to Understand Your Gender: A Practical Guide for Exploring Who You are“, written with Alex Iantaffi.
Another Zine from Meg-John. Again, sexuality is not so simple as often assumed. To quote part of the Zine:
“A major problem is that most models of sexuality focus narrowly on one aspect of sexuality: the gender of the people we’re attracted to. That’s like saying our landscape is only made up of forest, and completely ignoring all other terrains.
“Other features of our sexuality that we could equally pay attention to include the following, and many more. You might want to think which are relevant to you, and in what ways:
- Our levels of sexual attraction (from none to high)
- Physical aspects of attraction that aren’t related to gender (e.g. smile, eye colour, or body shape & size)
- The number of partners we like to have (from none to many)
- The age or experience of people we’re attracted to in relation to our own
- Whether our sexuality is linked to power, and where we like to be in relation to that (e.g. dominant, submissive, both or neither)
- Roles we like to play sexually (e.g. active or passive, initiating or receiving)
- The kinds of sensations, fantasies, & experiences we enjoy sexually
“These can all be just as important as the gender of people we’re attracted to in defining our sexuality.”
So it can be complicated.
Relationships can be varied. We firstly have a relationship with ourselves. Often not acknowledged. We may have a relationship with a partner. We may also have poly relationships where we are involved in ways with multiple partners. It would be hoped that whatever type of relationships we have they are consensual in all aspects. Regarding consent, the wheel of consent is a valuable resource. To explore this further it’s well worth spending time with Betty Martin’s material, who originated the Wheel of Consent.
Working with diversity means I’m happy and able to work with individuals, couples, plus those in other relationships, whether they are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, queer or what may be called “straight”. No one is excluded.