Two years of study comes to an end. Just completed the Pink Therapy PG Gender, Sex and Relationship Diversity Therapy diploma. It’s been an inspiring, learning, developing time, both personally and professionally. Being surrounded by other queer counsellors/therapists has significantly added to the experience. It’s not my place to speak for others, but I’d like to think we’ve all had a wonderful time together. I certainly have.
I’m grateful to Dominic Davies and all the other tutors involved in the course. Plus, also a great big thanks to all the other students who took part in the course. Over the two years, I’ve met people living in many parts of the world – Belgium, Bolivia, Columbia, England, Germany, New Zealand, Scotland, Spain, and Sweden.
It’s hard to summarise in a short blog post the benefit and value, both personally and professionally, I have felt, in taking the diploma. Weaving through all aspects of the course, for me, is the idea that you don’t know what you don’t know, until you do know. This course has shown me what I didn’t know or realise, expanding my understanding and ability of being with GSRD clients. Brian Thorne, a person-centred therapist, once said: “I have discovered since that love devoid of understanding, although it can bring comfort and solace, can never heal.“
Whilst I can say, from what clients have shared, I have brought comfort and solace and healing to my queer GSRD clients, the diploma has expanded and deepened my understanding of the GSRD community, with all we experience, thus enabling me not only to continue to bring comfort and solace, but has enabled me, I feel, to offer further deeper healing to those clients who seek it.
The course outline, modules and objectives were fulfilled for myself. Knowledge was expanded and deepened through the eight modules:
- Dimensions of Sexuality
- Understanding Kink / BDSM
- Substance Use & Misuse
- Intimate Partner Violence & Minority Stress
- Parenting outside heteronormativity
- Working with Younger People
- Working with Older People: Ageing & GSRD – The Specific Needs Of People Growing Older
- Faith, Religion & Spirituality
Difficult to choose one module over another in adding the most value for myself. If pushed I would say the faith, religion and spirituality module. It brought a greater understanding that for some GSRD people, faith, religion and spirituality is deeply important and valuable in their lives, in a way unique for each individual. There being no one way for everybody. Whilst for some, with equal value, faith, religion and spirituality has no part in their lives.
The first year foundation course began with a week residential at Roehampton university. One experience still stands out to me, that I related here. Maybe it’s because Sue Sutherland is not with us any more that makes that shared time more poignant? Sue greatly expanded my understanding of Betty Martin’s Wheel of Consent.
Has it been easy? Nope. Would I have wanted it to be? Perhaps part of me would, but then learning and developing would likely be limited.
Would I recommend this diploma? Absolutely. If any counsellor/therapist has an interest in queer studies, in wanting to learn more about counselling GSRD/LGBTQ+ individuals and families of any make up, apply here.