Minnesota's lesbian gay
bisexual transgender & allied
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  • Thursday, September 29, 2016 6:49 AM | Robert Reis II (Administrator)

    Resources Made Available by Bharati Acharya, Mental Health Professional, MA, LPCC, Diplomat in Narrative Therapy, Minneapolis.

    Beyond the Boxes II: Three Cutting Edge Topics in LGBTQ Mental Health
    Friday, September 30, 2016 
    Walker Community Church, Minneapolis, MN



  • Monday, July 25, 2016 1:04 PM | White Ash (Administrator)

    Here are Beyond the Boxes II flyers ~ please share and post

    .jpg format

    .pdf format

    Thank you for spreading the word about Beyond the Boxes II!

  • Monday, July 11, 2016 1:49 PM | White Ash (Administrator)

    From Irene Greene, Steering Committee Chair:

    The Ripple Effects of Orlando on LGBTQ+ mental health providers: 

    7 Self-Care Suggestions for LGBTQ+ Mental Health Workers: Some thoughts from the Chair of the MN LGBTQ Therapist Network

    For many of us who are LGBTQ+ mental health providers, these weeks since "Orlando" have been intensely emotionally and psychologically draining - on both a personal and professional level.

    We have been raw with our own pain, PTSD, shock and grief from the tragic events of Sunday, June 12, 2016; only exacerbated by the ongoing subsequent political, religious, familial, and social macro- and micro-aggressions that unsurprisingly followed. "Orlando" epitomizes the day-in and day-out personal and collective violence, rejection, discrimination, invisibility, and injustices caused by homo-hatred, heterosexism, racism, xenophobia, bi-erasure, and transphobia that we in the queer and queer POC communities face each day. We, as LGBTQ+ people, consistently confront these root causes of our collective and personal "Oppression Fatigue." "Orlando" maximized them to our core.

    And yet, as therapists, we still showed up each day since (as best as we could) and have done our work of listening empathetically to the PTSD, grief, fear and anger of our LGBTQ+ clients; and equally attended to the therapeutic needs of our non-queer clients - who may or may not have even mentioned "Orlando."

    This parallel process, clinical hour after clinical hour, can naturally take a toll on us. This toll often results in vicarious trauma. Unattended vicarious trauma of caregivers can develop into "Compassion Fatigue." Compassion fatigue, (emotional exhaustion and an isolative emptiness of empathy), is already a common "hazard" of our job as mental health providers. It is exponentially more likely and more harmful when it is exacerbated by a trauma that strikes deeply in our own lives and in the communities of our chosen family.

    Given these times, perhaps more than ever, taking our own advice and making our self-care a priority is nothing less than imperative. In the name of responsible personal and professional care, I offer these suggestions:

    1. We must not be in denial about how Orlando may be impacting us personally and professionally.
    2. We need to consciously assess our emotional, spiritual and physical well-being.
    3. We must accept our own limitations, take more breaks, and make healthy choices that honor our needs and feelings.
    4. We need to connect with our trusted colleagues, our own therapists or guides, so that we can stay ahead of our own vicarious trauma and compassion fatigue.
    5. We must seek professional consultation about any client counter-transference issues or feelings of burn-out.
    6. We need to request and accept support and care from our friends and loved ones.
    7. I will go a step further and insist that we come out of the clinical boxes we call our offices and take a stand. Despite the fact that many of us therapists are introverts, I suggest that, in whatever way we can, we extend our time, money, vote, voice or effort towards any action that puts a dent in our own oppression and the oppression of our clients.

    Compassion fatigue born of oppression fatigue succinctly illustrates the undeniable intersections of "the professional, is the personal, is the political.”

    - Irene Greene, Chair MN LGBTQ Therapist Network Steering Committee
    www.LGBTtherapists.org / www.irenegreene.com

  • Friday, December 04, 2015 8:34 AM | White Ash (Administrator)


    From Irene Greene, Steering Committee Chair:

    MN LGBT Therapists Network joins dozens of MN LGBTQ groups to support Black Lives Matter


    From The Column:
    full article

    Noting the legacy of protest and agitation in the ongoing struggle for LGBTQ equity, 21 organizations serving LGBTQ Minnesotans announced on Thursday that they stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter

    “We recognize that Black people in America, some of whom are LGBTQ, are systematically oppressed and we stand together affirming that Black Lives Matter,” the joint statement read. “As LGBTQ organizations, we acknowledge that while our work is bound up with movements for racial healing and justice, and many members of our organizations and communities have shown up in support of this movement, we historically haven’t done enough to align our missions with work for racial justice. With this letter, we want to publicly state our support in a unified way, and ask our friends and supporters to step forward with us.”

    The statement notes the protests and disruptions that drew attention to LGBTQ inequity in the past including the Compton Cafeteria Riots, the Stonewall Riots, and the White Night Riots.

    “As LGBTQ people from many races, many religions, and many colors, we know what it is to stand up for our inherent worth, our identities, our bodies, and to speak out against discrimination, harassment and violence,” the joint statement read. “Countless times LGBTQ people and organizations have organized, agitated and taken action to demand institutional equity and respect for our lives.”

    The letter continued: “We are called to stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and all struggles to fight racism, to ensure that the killing of Black people gets proper investigation, and to call attention to the pervasive culture of white supremacy in the United States. What happened to Jamar Clark — and has been happening across this country to Black and Brown people for much too long — is not justice. This must change.”

    Organizations signing on to the statement are: OutFront Minnesota, PFund Foundation, RECLAIM, Faded Productions, Twin Cities People of Color Pride, Family Tree Clinic, Minnesota Transgender Health Coalition, Rare Productions, 20% Theatre Company Twin Cities, Shades of Yellow, Rainbow Health Initiative, Gender Justice, GLBT Host Home Program – Avenues for Homeless Youth, Twin Cities Pride, Transforming Families, Minnesota Two Spirit Society, Minnesota AIDS Project, Bisexual Organizing Project, KFAI Radio, Transgender Health Services at U of M Program in Human Sexuality, and Café Southside.

    Updated: More organizations have added their names. They include:
    MN LGBTQ Therapists Network
    The Column
    Gadfly Theatre Productions
    Embodied Arts
    National LGBTQ Taskforce
    Pangea World Theatre
    One Voice Mixed Chorus
    Madame of the Arts
    All God’s Children Metropolitan Community Church
    Wedge

    The Column will continue to update the list as more are added.

    full article from The Column

  • Wednesday, August 26, 2015 2:19 PM | White Ash (Administrator)


    LGBT Therapists hopes you can help increase awareness and participation for the 2015 U.S. Trans Survey produced by the National Center for Transgender Equality. The 2015 U.S. Trans Survey (USTS) is the follow up to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, the largest survey ever devoted to the lives and experiences of trans people. The study was developed and conducted by the National LGBTQ Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality in 2008- 2009, and the results were released in the 2011 report: Injustice At Every Turn. As the single-most cited study about trans people—cited by media over 15,000 times—it has dramatically changed how the public and policymakers understand the challenges facing trans people.

    Here are ways you can help:

    • Take survey online
      Become a supporter of the 2015 U.S. Trans Survey
      Hosting a survey-taking event

    Relevant links:

    Thanks for helping out with this important matter!

    - MN LGBT Therapists Network

  • Monday, December 29, 2014 12:19 PM | White Ash (Administrator)

    — An action alert from LGBT Therapists 

    EHRs: Can we change the mandate?

    We wanted to share an important, time-sensitive, comprehensive article by Stephen Huey, PhD, LP, entitled EHRs: Choice vs. Mandate which includes a recommended course of action on the the last page.

    Topics covered:

    • EHR Basics
    • To Whom Does the Mandate Apply?
    • Privacy and Security: General Concerns
    • How EHRs protect privacy
    • Problems with EHR Security
    • Are EHRs Crucial to Providing Clients with the Best Possible Treatment?
    • The Unique Value of Smaller Psychotherapy Practices
    • Summary
    • Questions
    • Next Steps

    — download the full article 

    contact info:

    Stephen Huey, PhD, LP
    10520 Wayzata Boulevard
    Minnetonka, MN 55305
    952-545-6090
    shue2304@gmail.com
  • Thursday, September 25, 2014 3:46 PM | White Ash (Administrator)
    RECLAIM increases access to mental health support so that Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) youth may reclaim their lives from oppression in all its forms.  We partner with queer and transgender young adults ages 13-25 who are marginalized because of their gender identity, gender expression and/or sexual orientation. We provide accessible therapy to youth and their families, cultural competence training to practitioners, and community partnership at the intersection of gender and racial justice. We currently serve about 40% youth 
    of color and 75% transgender youth, the majority from the Twin Cities metro area.

    Now in our 5th year, RECLAIM is growing in response to the need in the communities we serve. Read more at www.reclaim-lgbtyouth.org.


    We are seeking a full time Mental Health Therapist who is passionate about the mission and values of RECLAIM. We are building a community of emerging and experienced practitioners who apply post-modern principles to their practice. We engage clients in holistic healing that addresses as many areas of need as possible. We specialize in supporting youth around sexual orientation and gender identity while recognizing all aspects of identity reclamation. RECLAIM is committed to recruiting candidates with lived experience in communities of color and/or Trans communities.

    This position is located in Minneapolis, MN.

    Salary to be determined, dependent upon experience.

    37.5 hour work week, generous PTO, benefits eligible.

    To apply send resume, cover letter, and salary rate at last two positions worked to:

    Therapist.reclaim@gmail.com

    Position open until filled. Interviews will begin the week of October 13, 2014.

    Summary of Responsibilities

    1. Therapy Provision
    • Provide individual, family and group therapy to youth and their families focusing on experiences related to sexual orientation and gender identity;
    • Maintain a full client schedule;
    • Complete diagnostic assessments, progress notes, and treatment plans in a timely manner;
    • Skillfully engage in routine conversations with clients regarding financial responsibilities;
    • Successfully meet target number of clients seen and overall organizational financial revenue goals;
    • Triage intake calls and make appropriate referrals;
    • Comply with grant requirements and reporting.

    2. Internal and External Collaboration
    • Openly engaging with others at RECLAIM to provide the best service possible;
    • Actively partner with youth to advocate with third party payers and other service providers to ensure their needs are met;
    • Represent RECLAIM in the community through formal and informal relationships.

    Required Licensure and Experience

    • Fully licensed and credentialed: Valid LICSW, LMFT, LPCC or LP license in the state of Minnesota;
    • Possess a minimum of 5 years post-license experience with individual, family and group counseling.
    • Intimate knowledge of how to support people around experiences of sexual orientation and gender identity as it intersects with other aspects of identity;
    • Experience and/or training in working from a post-modern perspective.
    Desired Qualifications:

    • Demonstrated experience in supporting clients through the informed consent process for access to hormones;
    • A clear commitment to actively work for social and racial justice;
    • Experience collaborating with social service organizations to meet the needs of youth;
    • Ability to rapidly connect with adolescents and young adults;
    • Experience providing community training and facilitation
  • Thursday, September 25, 2014 3:40 PM | White Ash (Administrator)

    from LGBT Therapists member Dara Larson

    More than 330,000 Minnesotans have enrolled in quality, affordable health insurance through MNsure. The number of uninsured Minnesotans fell by over 40 percent this year. However, there are still many people who don’t understand the benefits or insurance options they would have if they signed up through MNsure. This includes a large number of people living with mental illnesses and substance use disorders.

    NAMI Minnesota has received a new MNsure grant to provide outreach and assistance to people living with mental illnesses and substance use disorders.  NAMI Minnesota is partnering with its affiliates and several community mental health agencies across the state to ensure statewide outreach, and will be giving presentations in local communities. The partnering community mental health centers include Canvas Health, Central Minnesota Mental Health Center, Greater Minnesota Family Services, Lakeland Mental Health Center, Northern Pines Mental Health Center, Range Mental Health Center, Resource-Spectrum Mental Health, South Central Human Relations Center, Southwestern Mental Health Center, and Touchstone Mental Health. NAMI Minnesota is also partnering on this grant with its affiliates across the state, as well as Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health, Mental Health Association of Minnesota, and Dakota County.

    So why should people enroll in a health insurance plan through MNsure? MNsure offers multiple health plans from insurance companies all in one easy-to-shop location. Insurance through MNsure is very affordable, and tax credits and cost-sharing reductions are available for those who don’t qualify for public health insurance through Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare. MNsure is the only place where an individual or family can obtain these tax credits to help pay for insurance premiums. An individual earning up to $45,000 per year or a family of four earning up to $94,000 will most likely qualify for a tax credit.

    There are also benefits to people with mental illnesses and substance use disorders.

    • All plans under MNsure must cover mental health and substance use disorder treatment, and must follow mental health parity laws.
    • There are no exclusions or waiting periods for individuals with pre-existing health conditions.
    • Medical Assistance expanded. People can be eligible for Medical Assistance based on income, not just based on having a disability.
    • MinnesotaCare no longer has waiting periods or a $10,000 cap on inpatient hospital services.
    People who are on Medicare or SSI are allowed to have supplemental insurance (Medical Assistance, or a private health insurance plan). Though they would not sign up through the MNsure website, they are still eligible for supplemental insurance through their counties.

    Open Enrollment is from November 15th to February 15th. However, individuals may apply and be eligible for Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare at any time throughout the year. NAMI Minnesota and its partner agencies have navigators who can help you or your loved one sign up through MNsure, or assist you with supplemental insurance if you are on Medicare or SSI. To sign up or if you have questions, please contact NAMI Minnesota’s MNsure Project Coordinator, Dara Larson, at dlarson@namimn.org.

    Dara Larson
  • Friday, September 13, 2013 9:00 AM | White Ash (Administrator)

    Member Deb Hennen-Bergman, M.A., LMFT of Inner Peace Therapy & Yoga wrote this article on integrating yoga/meditation in treating and preventing mental health conditions, including anxiety and depression.

    Food for Thought

    Expanding Current Views of Anxiety and Depression to Include Eastern Contemplative Approaches of Yoga and Meditation:  Why integration makes clinical sense. 

    Traditional Western psychotherapies have proven beneficial to many clients, and these approaches have provided much relief and ease to those suffering from anxiety and depression.   However, these traditional models can also be somewhat limiting and pathological in nature.  In a search to provide holistic and effective approaches in treating anxiety and depression, and also a model that is inclusive of health and well-being, my path led me to Eastern Contemplative Approaches of yoga and meditation.  Eastern philosophy broadens our current definitions and treatments of anxiety and depression and also contains a framework for health and healing.   In fact, neuroscience is now proving  the ancient healing practices of yoga and meditation actually change the structure of our brain in positive ways and not only treat anxiety and depression, but also prevent these common mental health conditions.   This article explores and expands definitions and treatment of anxiety and depression from a holistic Eastern perspective. 

    Definition of Anxiety and Depression

    Most of our training and education as therapists has been limited to traditional Western Approaches of assessing pathology and treating clients’ symptoms.  According to Western psychology, we define Anxiety and Depression through a medical model of diagnosing mental health disorders based on symptoms.  Also, in this approach we view the body and brain as separate parts, and the body is often ignored.  Also, according to this model, symptoms are the focus of treatment, and a “healthy individual” is considered symptom free.

    Eastern philosophy expands our current view of anxiety and depression and offers a holistic approach to describing them.  According to Eastern Approaches, these two common mental health conditions involve multiple facets including physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual.  This approach says if we engage in thoughts, words, or actions that create imbalances or disharmony in our mental, physical or emotional body, we will experience symptoms of anxiety or depression (if we are vulnerable to them).  Further, we will experience a disruption in the health functioning of our physiology overtime if these imbalances go unaddressed.   Also, this framework expands the definition of “out of balance” as any of us who are not living up to our potential or who are not living fully.  In addition, Eastern philosophy explains that anything that blocks or depletes our life-energy or prevents us from living up to our potential can also be a source of anxiety or depression. 

    Eastern philosophy views health on a continuum, in which we all fall somewhere.  A “healthy individual” in this framework is defined as an individual who is living an abundant, fulfilling life on all levels-physical, energetic, emotional, mental, and spiritual.

    Treatment of Anxiety and Depression According to Eastern Philosophy          

    Eastern Approaches assumes we are whole; we all have imbalances; and healing is internal. Also, it says anxiety and depression are influenced by genes, life situations, and the state of an individual’s general health.  Therefore, treating anxiety and depression involves the whole physiology rather than just treating the brain, and treatment focuses on holistically exploring the causes of anxiety and depression in an effort to reduce symptoms.  In addition, treatment includes opening blockages of life-energy (prana) that create the physiological imbalances which lead to anxiety and depression.  In this framework Treatment/Healing Plans are based on the unique needs of the individual and include the brain, body and spirit. 

    According to Eastern philosophy, several practices may be used to unleash our internal healing potential:  First, we understand  we are whole and have an innate ability to heal ourselves (mind, body, spirit approach); second, we learn to identify own unique manifestations of anxiety and depression (our imbalances); and last, we use principles of yoga as a guide to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, relieve stress, boost physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual energy, and expand awareness through meditation as a path for healing. 

    Use of Yoga in Psychotherapy  

    Yoga is increasingly being used alone or as an adjunct to other therapies as a treatment method for various mental health conditions, including anxiety and depression.  In addition, empirical research is gaining in popularity, and preliminary findings indicate yoga and meditation (mindfulness) can be effective therapeutic tools in the prevention and treatment of anxiety and depression.  Based on current research, yoga has been shown to prevent mental health issues and promote overall health and wellbeing due to its physiological, psychological, ad biochemical benefits.

    Yoga Asana (Yoga’s Physical Practice) for Anxiety and Depression

    The physical practice (Yoga Asana) offers us many benefits, and its healing methods involve the body, mind, and spirit:  First, yoga asana balances the nervous system and affects the neuropathways toward calm as well as turns of fight/flight response; second, it regulates the breath, and breathing fully has been shown to deeply calm the nervous system and quiet the mind; third, yoga helps to cultivate direct experience, which is the central focus of yoga.  We learn to cultivate emotional balance by being centered in the body and develop friendliness to what’s happening in the moment; forth, it quiets the mind.  By staying anchored in the body, we learn to soothe and comfort ourselves without getting lost; last, yoga helps us change personal narratives.  It allows us to directly and deeply experience our stories from a new perspective.  It also helps us observe stories from intense emotional reactions and negative thought patterns while we are in a state of deep relaxation.        

    Final Thoughts

    It is an exciting time to be involved in the field of mental health.   Our current understanding and approaches to therapy continue to broaden and expand as a result of a growing body of empirical evidence showing ancient healing practices of yoga and meditation are not only effective in treating anxiety and depression, but they also prevent these mental health conditions.  In addition, not only does Eastern philosophy expand our definition and treatment of anxiety and depression, it’s inclusive to the mind, body and spirit and offer us a framework for overall health and well-being.  In addition, current findings in neuroscience research show Eastern contemplative practices are effective in training the brain towards ease, contentment, kindness, and compassion.  Given the many powerful health benefits of yoga and meditation, it seems reasonable to believe they hold clinical significance and offer deep healing to you and your clients.

  • Wednesday, August 15, 2012 2:43 PM | White Ash (Administrator)
    Therapists, social workers and organizations across California have been working hard to ban sexual conversion therapy for minors by supporting California Senate Bill 1172. Supporters of this bill include the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy of California, the National Association of Social Workers of California, the Trevor Project, the California National Organization of Women, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Equality California and many others.

    We need to let the politicians know we need their support for this bill.

    Please sign this petition and forward it to your network. We want your support even if you are not a California voter.

    http://www.change.org/petitions/protect-youth-from-being-forced-into-ex-gay-therapy-sb1172

    Continue spreading this petition throughout August 2012 for more people to sign.

    Thanks so much,

    Jim

    Jim Walker, MFT
    http://lgbtcounseling.com

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