This year's conference is going to be an exciting double offering. We are thrilled to be able to bring Doug Braun-Harvey to London to present a one day pre-conference workshop on Treating Out of Control Sexual Behaviour (OCSB). Doug is a pioneer of a new way of thinking about and working with people whose sexual behaviour has become out of control. You're welcome to just attend his workshop via this link - or book for both the conference and Doug's workshop at a special discount via the Register Now! buttons on this page.
Early Bird registration is £150 single day/£250 both days until 20 Dec 2016.
Full fee from 21 Dec 2016 is £160 single day/£310 both days.
Please go here if you want to register only for the Friday Workshop.
Therapy students and therapists-in-training are welcome to register; however, there are currently no student bursaries available. We may release some discounted places nearer the time if space permits.
Approval for six hours CPD per day.
Saturday 25th of March 2017
9.30 Welcome & Notices
10.00 Intimacy in the C21st
10.30 Identity and sexual health among BME MSM in the UK
11.30 Sex without fear? The psychological and social impact of biomedical HIV prevention
12.00 ChemSex: Can we find safe passage in a perfect storm?
12.30 Reflections on Morning Sessions
14.15 The lust Which Dare Not Speak Its Name & Gay Male Elders: life over 50
14.45 Gay Men, Leather and the search for spirituality/meaning & Babes in the Wood:
The Wonders of Gay Fatherhood
15.15 Afternoon Tea
15.45 Trans Men & the Queering of Gay Desire & Challenges in Sexuality for Young Gay Men
16.15 Reflections on Afternoon Sessions
(three commenters offering reflections to lead into a brief closing discussion)
Abstracts for Morning Plenaries
Intimacy in the C21st - Tim Foskett
Socialised to suppress, conceal, deny and be ashamed of our inner worlds, for many gay men opening up to one another in human and non-defensive ways is a challenge to say the least. Add to this a shrinking gay scene, the exponential growth of virtual ‘connections’, and the availability of chems often only a few taps away, it’s easy to see why many gay men despair of developing intimate relationships in C21st. And yet we do – brave souls that we are – reaching to each other through the psychological undergrowth and across the divides. This presentation shares some ideas about how gay men are being intimate in the C21st.
Identity and sexual health among BME MSM in the UK - Dr Rusi Jaspal
In this keynote lecture, issues relevant to sexual identity, sexual behaviour and sexual health are considered in relation to black and minority ethnic (BME) men who have sex with men (MSM). BME MSM can face challenges in constructing an identity that can accommodate their sexual, ethnic and religious identities, which can in turn have a negative impact on sexual behaviour and sexual health. BME MSM are also at disproportionately high risk of HIV infection. Experiences of racism, homophobia and general stigma contribute to poor wellbeing and sexual risk-taking. Perceptions of homosexuality within BME communities can often be negative and stigmatising, which may in turn result in decreased willingness to ‘come out’, as well as psychological ‘conflict’. Conversely, racism on the gay scene can inhibit a sense of connection with other gay men. In this keynote lecture, qualitative and quantitative data from a series of empirical studies of BME MSM are presented, as well as some practical recommendations for addressing sexual identity and sexual health concerns in this population.
Sex without fear? The psychological and social impact of biomedical HIV prevention - Fergus (Gus) Cairns
Since 2010, scientific studies have established that antiretroviral (ARV) drugs can be used to prevent HIV infection as well as treat it. Some studies have shown that people with HIV on fully-effective ART are essentially non-infectious. Others have shown that giving HIV-negative people smaller doses of ARVs, as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), offers them substantial protection from HIV. These developments have been welcomed by some who see in them a potential to reduce the stigma of HIV; others, however, are concerned about their effect on eroding safer-sex norms. The trial results will be outlined and some of the community reactions explored.
ChemSex: Can we find safe passage in a perfect storm? - Dr Christopher Whiteley
Chem sex has been described as one of the most significant public health issues in current times and as a ‘prefect storm’ for the transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. In this presentation Christopher will take a critical look at the clinical commentary on Chem Sex. What are the harms associated with the various behaviours involved in Chem Sex? Is the public and professional concern warranted? What do we know (and not know) from the current evidence and how do we use this to work with the concerns of the men who are involved?
Abstracts - Afternoon Plenaries
The Lust Which Dare Not Speak Its Name - negotiating boundaries, sex and relationships for gay male therapists - Dominic Davies
How do gay and bisexual male therapists manage their online dating profiles and experiences when they also work with the population they serve? What happens when we meet clients or former clients in a ‘cruising’ context (online on in real life)? Having lived in the West End for over a decade, working with hundreds of gay/bi men and being someone who uses online dating to meet partners, I think this is a challenge for many therapists. Professional guidance is absent, as is published research in this area. This presentation will present some findings from a survey I conducted and and seek to offer practical guidance to gay/bi male therapists who use online dating apps.
Gay Male Elders: life over 50 - Keith Silvester
Any man over 50 in Britain was born into a pre-1967-decriminalisation world, which carried deep assumptions of a lonely, dangerous and miserable old age if you were homosexual. We know this need not be so, although cultural stereotypes die hard (what a way to go!). This session will examine the quality of later-life from the standpoint of health & fitness, sex & attractiveness, companionship & isolation and emotional & spiritual maturity. In particular we will look at what GMEs can offer younger generations from life experience. This session will involve sharing of ideas and some dedicated interview material. If you would like to be interviewed, ither as a 50+, or as a younger person with perceptions of 50+, do contact me!
Gay Men, Leather and the search for spirituality/meaning - A Transpersonal Journey through Gay Leathersex - Nick Field
Adapted from a half-day workshop based on original research for an MA and two chapters for a recently published book on Gender & Sexual Diversity, this shorter, introductory workshop will attempt to provide a summary of the findings and open up a psychological space between BDSM, male homosexuality and psychotherapy. Splicing reflections on my own life experiences and therapeutic modelling during training with those of three interviewees, I offer up a non-pathological guide to Gay Leathersex and diverse lifestyle communities, and an opportunity for a transformed sexual, spiritual and self-actualisation process that could be considered in therapy and therapeutic training.
Babes in the Wood: The Wonders of Gay Fatherhood - Dr Damian McCann
This presentation will explore the meaning of parenthood for gay men. It will examine the transition to parenthood and the challenges as well as the joys this holds for gay men. The findings from research and the experiences of gay men themselves will be used to highlight the contributions they make to their children’s lives. Clinical implications – where these apply – will be outlined and discussed.
Trans Men and the Queering of Gay Desire - Ellis Morgan
In this presentation I reflect on interview data that explores trans men’s sexual relationships with other men to expand our thinking about contemporary renderings of gay male sexuality. In particular I look at how the cultural regulation of gender can come to impact on how desires and relationships are experienced, labelled and made culturally meaningful. I will reflect on the therapeutic implications of this and in particular how we can avoid bringing our own presumptions of gender and sexual orientation categories, so that we can support rather than undermine the identities, orientations and desires of our clients.
Challenges in Sexuality for Young Gay Men - Phoebus Ebbini
Despite big leaps in the social normalisation and acceptance of gay sex and relationships, a lot of young gay men still struggle with how to experience their sexuality in a meaningful and integrated way.
Online hook-up apps often contribute to a streamlining of sexual identities, roles and preferences, by reducing potential sexual encounters to questions such as "top, vers, bottom?" and "what are you into?"
And our current social media culture is rife with selfies of torsos, pecs and abs, which result in a lot of young gay men feeling increasingly alienated from their bodies, as they ceaselessly work on improving them. Unsurprisingly for many, sex is not an intimate encounter of exploration between two beings, but a pre-planned and choreographed interaction between two objects.
Gus is a UKCP-accredited integrative psychotherapist, who trained at the Chiron Association for Body Psychotherapy. He still maintains a small private practice. Having lived with HIV himself since 1985, however, he finds himself largely working in the field of international HIV activism and policy, with an emphasis on prevention.
Web: www.ferguscairns.co.uk or www.aidsmap.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dominic is the founder and CEO of Pink Therapy. He is a Fellow BACP and the National Counselling Society and a Senior Registered Counsellor/Psychotherapist with BACP and Senior Accredited Psychotherapist with the National Council of Psychotherapists. Dominic is passionate about improving the quality of mental health provision for gender, sexuality and relationship diverse people and so spends much of his time creating innovative training events for those who work with these populations. He also works online as a practice consultant and clinical supervisor as well as carrying a small private practice. email@example.com @DominicDavies1
Phoebus is a coach and a psychotherapist with a background in law and economics. Phoebus facilitates fortnightly group discussion workshops for men in East London focusing around themes of sex, sexuality and intimacy. Web: www.openconnection.org Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nick is a registered member of BACP and qualified as a Psychosynthesis counsellor in 2015. He now runs a private practice in London and provides training and education workshops around Leathersex and gender, sexual and relational diversity issues. He is also an honorary counsellor at the Albany Trust, in South London. Web: www.nickfield.com or leathersextherapy.org Email: email@example.com
Tim has been working intimately with gay men for over two decades. He led the PACE groupwork programme in London for 13 years and worked with thousands of bi and gay men on themes of self-esteem, communication, sex, HIV and relationships. Tim is a Clinical Associate of Pink Therapy. He founded www.lovingmen.org in 2003 and runs on-going therapy groups for bi/gay men in London.
Dr Rusi Jaspal
Dr Rusi Jaspal is Professor of Psychology and Sexual Health at De Montfort University Leicester, and Visiting Professor of HIV at Åbo Akademi University, Finland, where he leads several research projects on the behavioural aspects of HIV infection. His current work focuses on HIV prevention strategies among BME MSM. A chartered psychologist and chartered scientist, Dr Jaspal is also a member of the medical board of NAZ: Sexual Health for Everyone (a sexual health agency in London), a member of the British HIV Association, and a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health.
Dr Damian McCann
Damian is a qualified systemic practitioner, supervisor and trainer and a qualified couple psychoanalytic psychotherapist. He is currently employed as a consultant family psychotherapist in the NHS and is Head of Service Development & Learning at Tavistock Relationships. He is an associate of Pink Therapy where he co-delivered the post-graduate diploma in Relationship Therapy for Gender & Sexual Diversities. He has published on the topic of same-sex parenting and his doctoral thesis was concerned with understanding the meaning and impact of violence in the couple relationships of gay men. Damian is a Clinical Associate of Pink Therapy. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ellis is a person-centred therapist with a specialism in gender and sexual identities. He is also an academic researcher based at Strathclyde University researching the intersectional aspects of trans marginalisation. He established the first specialist LGBT mental health service in Scotland at LGBT Health in Edinburgh and is the former co-chair of the UK trans organisation TransBareAll.
Web: www.ellismorgan.org.uk Email: email@example.com
Keith is an integrative psychosynthesis therapist, supervisor and trainer. A former convenor of London Friend, he has been an organisational consultant, run a student counselling service, been an HIV ‘buddy’, directed a psychotherapy training organisation, and trained as an Alexander Technique practitioner. He has been a Pink Therapy Associate since it started, contributing to one of its volumes. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Christopher Whiteley
Christopher is Consultant Clinical Psychologist who has worked in the substance misuse treatment field in London for over 10 years. Previously a member of the clinical team with the Alcohol and Drugs section of Public Health England which provides national strategic support to the alcohol and drug treatment system in England, Christopher contributed to early treatment and prevention responses to the emergence of Chem Sex. He was a co-author of Club drug use among lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people (2016). Email: email@example.com @ClinPsychol