I have recently contributed 2 Chapters to a newly published book: Critical & Experiential: Dimensions in Gender and Sexual Diversity – Edited by Previn Karian and published by Resonance Publications Ltd, it is an exciting collection of original, cutting-edge thinking from those living and working within the newly emerging field of gender and sexual diversity (GSD). The real diversity of human nature, human experience and human histories provoke, demand and generate critical thinking. The lived experiences shared in this book stand as a testament to this diversity. Voices which need to be heard!
Critical & Experiential is a multidisciplinary collection of chapters written from within the newly emerging field in gender and sexual diversity (GSD) that moves beyond the LGBTQ(IA) acronym to include non-binary and heterosexual variation. It brings together academics, practitioners and activists from the UK, US, Canada, Russia and India working in the fields of psychology, clinical psychology, psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, counselling, sociology, cultural studies, political activism, legal consultancy and legal expert witnessing.
The contributions are primarily aimed at mental health, psychology and psychotherapy practitioners and teachers, as well as those working with psychological aspects of social sciences and legal theory. The concepts of ‘critical’ and ‘critique’ are reframed throughout as experientially provoked thinking and thought. This collection provides a practical reference handbook to critique our range and styles of learning, teaching and interventions in the GSD field. However, it is also a stimulus to broader questions about mental health in the psychological organization of social and professional values that, painfully, still demand to be voiced, if not critiqued.
The chapters I contributed were based on some original research I did for my MA. Splicing reflections on my own life experiences and therapeutic modelling during training with those of three interviewees, I attempt to open up a psychological space between BDSM, male homosexuality and psychotherapy. Applying Psychosynthesis and Person Centred psychotherapy methodology, I try to identify and validate the psychological states of mind that can be experienced in gay male homosexuality. I discuss the psychological equality that can exist in BDSM and look at the meaning of transpersonal as an intimate connectedness between sexual partners and within sexual communities. Further, I consider comparisons between psychological shifts and positions in Gay Leathersex and the conventional therapeutic session to advance Psychosynthesis and Assagioli’s take on sexuality further. Providing and advancing a non-pathological lens that offers up an alternative opportunity for transformed sexuality, spirituality and self-actualisation that could be used in therapy and therapeutic training.
All of this is underscored by a direct challenge to current mental health and psychotherapy trainings regarding the dangerous inadequacy of information, dismissal and exclusion for this alternative sexuality group. I provide comparisons between psychological shifts and positions in Gay Leathersex and the conventional therapeutic session that brings to light some potentially profound empathic failures. The transmission of this culture through mentoring support and education for youth comprised of male gay adolescents is therefore vital to the psychological health and welfare of future generations. Given that these subculture’s and their histories and spiritual ancestry are becoming more and more visible and younger and younger gay boys/men are exploring their sexuality and spirituality, frantically searching for even deeper authenticity in a constantly restrictive environment/society, this human, ‘life’ knowledge for gay men (in all manifestations) is especially important and critical to have available.
Free copies available for Reviewers and discounted copies available for Individuals, Institutions and Event Organisers. Please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Resonance Publications direct for further information.