Liberating the Core Self from the confines of Heterosexist Oppression in AEDP™

Course Information

Heterosexism affects us all, no matter how we may identify on the spectrum of sexual identity. For those who identify with a sexual minority group, living in a world that favors and expects heterosexuality can be both an alienating and traumatic experience. For members of this population, experiences of heterosexism have been linked to increases in depression and suicidality, anxiety, symptoms of PTSD, attachment injury and substance abuse. Not only can relationships with others be negatively impacted by heterosexism, but tragically, internalized heterosexism has also been shown to negatively affect how one views, experiences and relates to themselves. Those who are “advantaged” by heterosexism may also find themselves and their relationships to others restricted and negatively impacted. However, due to the insidious nature of oppression, anyone can uphold heterosexist norms and systems-knowingly and unknowingly- whether they are advantaged or oppressed by heterosexism. This is true for clients and for therapists. In this interactive seminar, Ben Medley and Kate Halliday will help clinicians explore how to explicitly and therapeutically work with the negative effects of heterosexist oppression using AEDP and the triangle of social experience. By explicitly recognizing systems of heterosexist oppression and the negative impact these systems can have on clients, the AEDP therapist seeks to dyadically co-create new, positive experiences in therapy. Healing is catalyzed by a focus on deeply processing core affect connected to experiences of heterosexism, in relationship to an informed, supportive, authentic and emotionally present therapist. As a result, the core self can be liberated from internalized heterosexism giving the client access to more internal resources, self-compassion, understanding and new cohesive narratives.