I know for myself how helpful support can be from a gay-affirmative counsellor with some understanding of the issues.
Sexual diversity counselling provides a confidential, non-judgemental and friendly space in which in which you can feel safe and secure when discussing gender and sexual diversity.
I have worked extensively with lgbt clients, including five years as HIV/Gay Men's Sexual Health Counsellor at PACE and I am a Member of the Directory of Pink Therapy
I have a particular interest in helping lgbt people to explore the role spirituality plays in their identity, especially if they have experienced a lack of understanding, whether from from organised religions or from other lgbt people, in their quest for personal or spiritual growth.
I have made use of recent trainings to explore the vexed question of so-called "sexual addiction."
In 2013 the ATSAC Conference (Association for the treatment of sexual addiction and compulsivity) presented the disease model of sexual addiction, requiring diagnosis by a mental health professional and recovery from a pathological state.
In 2017, at the Pink Therapy Conference, Doug Braun-Harvey presented the contrasting OCSB model, using the language, not of addiction, but of Out of Control Sexual Behaviour, where treatment is founded on the principle of clients taking responsibility for defining and integrating a personal vision of sexual health, in collaboration with their therapists.
Braun-Harvey defines OCSB as “a sexual health problem in which an individual’s consensual sexual urges, thoughts, or behaviours feel out of control.”
The greatest obstacles I faced in my work with people wanting to change problem sexual behaviours were the pathologising labels that cause people already worried about their sexuality to feel more shame and guilt - “sex addict” being a case in point. This labelling serves only to reinforce a cycle of acting out self-destructive behaviours rooted in low self-esteem, poor sexual education or the legacy of sexual abuse.
Men in OCSB recovery can improve their ability to manage and regulate sexual behaviour while moving away from retreating into sexual fantasy, activity and orgasm as their primary source for experiencing their emotions. The OCSB model clicked for me because it shifts the therapeutic emphasis from pathology as defined by some socio-cultural norm to a process of nurturing personal responsibility, grounded in the client’s personal experience, building a close therapeutic alliance with the therapist and often supported by group work.