MN LGBT Therapists Network is a network of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, pansexual, two-spirit, and asexual affirming mental health and social service workers and their allies in Minnesota (MN).
The goals of the network are:
The MN LGBTQ Therapists Network was established in 1988 as a grass-roots group of about twenty lesbian, bi-sexual and gay mental health professionals who wanted an intentional and “safe” way to network, support and educate each other about issues related to lesbian, gay and bi-sexual (LGB) mental health.
In the mid to late ‘80s, Minneapolis and Minnesota were leaders in the nation in developing and promoting lesbian and gay-specific services and organizations. To our knowledge, we are the first professional organization for LGBTQIP2SA mental health providers in the country.
Currently, we are 100+ LGBTQIP2SA paid members strong, with an additional 350+ supportive and affirming people and organizations on our mailing list. We remain an all-volunteer organization. Most of our paid members are mental health professionals in private practice. Many work in mental health agencies, some are graduate students in psychology or a related field, and the rest are community and advocacy organizations. The majority of our members are located in the five county metro areas. Our other members hail from Greater MN, Wisconsin and Eastern North Dakota.
Being primarily a white, cisgender middle-class, metro-based LGBT and Q organization, we work to acknowledge our bias and privileges. We are committed to steps that expand our awareness towards diversity and that build inclusive bridges between our communities. Over the years, we have become more gender and sexual identity inclusive in our mission and masthead, slowly adding T for transgender, Q for queer, I for intersex, and A for asexual. This past spring 2016, we also added P for pansexual and 2S for two-spirit. Additionally, since 2015, we have been intentionally working to engage and enlist membership from sexual and gender minority mental health providers in the Greater MN area.
We are committed to offering programming and online resources that recognize and promote connection, awareness and education that acknowledges the intersections of gender and sexual minority (GSM) mental health with the larger social and political issues of health, safety, access, equality and justice surrounding sexuality, gender, race, ethnicity, class, ability, age, spiritual belief, and geographical location.
Steering Committee Meeting February 2015
Bobby Reis, Mindy Benowitz, White Ash, Irene Greene
Workshops: Throughout our 28+ years, using all volunteer time and effort, we have organized almost 200 professional CEU workshops on topics related solely to LGBTQ mental health. For the first 10 years there was little or no affirming LGBT mental health education offered anywhere, so we taught each other. Over the years, the titles have included: Mental Health Issues in Coming Out Over the Decades, A Continuum of Sexuality, Addressing LGBT Chemical Dependency Issues in Psychotherapy, Same-Sex Domestic Violence, The Intersections of Race and Queer Sexuality, Sex Addiction in the LGBT Community, Making Your Practice More Transgender Friendly, LGBT Therapists as Secondary Victims of Our Clients' Oppression Experiences, Intersex: Therapy and Political Issues, Somatic Reactions to Oppression, and Bisexuality Erasure within our LGT Communities.
Sold Out Conference in 2010: We are the proud co-organizers of the (365+ sold out) conference called Beyond the Boxes: Emerging Trends in LGBTQ Mental Health. This was the first ever Midwest LGBTQ Mental Health Conference. We organized it in co-sponsorship with the UM-Twin Cities GLBT Programs Office and the UM Queer Student Cultural Center. The conference featured over 30 workshops comprising three educational tracks: research, clinical, community.
25th Anniversary Party: In 2013, we celebrated our 25th anniversary at Patrick’s Cabaret in Minneapolis. We reminisced about the early days of The Network, the safety that it provided practitioners, and our cutting edge educational programming. We reviewed the development of LGBTQ mental health and the increased “safety” of being out as LGBTQ mental health providers. We enjoyed a PowerPoint presentation: MN LGBT Therapists Network: 1988 – 2013: A look at Culture, Music, Slang, Politics, Psychology & MN LGBT History. The evening was topped off with the hilarious and poignant improv comedy show “Psych 101” from Table Salt Productions.
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