Projects, Outreach & Events
The Guild is dedicated to increasing the mental health and well being of Utah's sexual and gender minority population. Part of this is helping LGBTQ individuals find and connect with similar others and access quality services.
As part of the Guild's mission to improve LGBT mental-health services, it is dedicated to social activism and speaks out to inform the public of accurate information regarding sexual and gender minorities. This section lists the public activities and press releases it has been involved in:
- The Reconciliation & Growth Project - a dialogue group that has grown out of Guild activities - for more information check out the RGP website.
- An Open Letter to Members of the LDS Community in response to President Boyd K. Packer's speech at the 2010 Fall LDS General Conference 10/8/10
- Psychologist group rejects so-called 'gay therapy' 8/6/09
- APA's stance another positive step for gays, Utah therapist says 8/6/09
- Utah Therapists Worry Mormon Leader's Speech May Increase the Risk of Suicide for Mormons who are Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender 10/30/09 (includes the letter written to the LDS Church)
- Robin Tracy, LPC, was on Radio X96's program, "Ask a..." where she skillfully and accurately answered important questions related to LGBTQ issues (1/07/10). Click here for the podcast.
- RadioActive, a program of KRCL, had BYU biology professor Bill Bradshaw and psychologist Lee Beckstead on their program (11/16/10) to discuss "Born that Gay?" Click here for the podcast.
Utah Pride Day
Each year we organize a contingent of our members to march in the Pride Day Parade as well as host a booth at the Pride Festival. We plan our Pride activities during our February through May meetings, specifically about our Parade theme, booth activities, and outreach. If you have any new ideas, let us know!
Principles & Practices for Mental-Health Professionals Helping Faith Based Individuals Respond to Same-Sex Attractions.
Read the Document Here. Note: Feedback about this document can be submitted at the website: www.reconciliationandgrowth.com
How did this diverse group come together and what do you hope to accomplish?
In March 2013, the LGBTQ-Affirmative Psychotherapist Guild of Utah sponsored a 6-hour ethics workshop - "Building Bridges to Increase Efficacy: An Ethics Workshop on Respecting Religious & Sexual/Gender Orientation Differences." In March 2015 we conducted the follow up workshop "Ethical Strategies for Dealing with Sexual/Gender Orientation & Religious Conflicts." These workshops were constructed out of a hope to change how practitioners and community leaders relate with each other on these issues, from being oppositional and combative to being collaborative and curious. The primary objective for the workshops was to create a safe space for all to dialogue about differing approaches to responding to distress around same-sex attractions. Ninety Six people – representing a wide spectrum of approaches from LGBTQ-affirmative to sexual orientation change efforts – participated in the first workshop and 81 attended the 2nd. Through a structured process of respectful dialogue, the gathering was successful in defining common ground and achieving a deeper awareness about critical aspects of our historically polarizing differences.
Emerging from this workshop experience, a group of eight mental-health practitioners –who represented seemingly opposite ends of the sociopolitical spectrum-- agreed to meet for continued dialogue. This dialogue group has been able to explore levels of agreement that expanded upon the success of the workshop. With a shared commitment to understand our different viewpoints and establish an inclusive and comprehensive therapeutic approach, this group has been committed to meet twice monthly for two hours since March 2013. In the process of respectful dialogue and collaborative consensus, we have developed a mutual rapport that has become a healthy incubator for the development of the Peacemaking Protocol for LDS/Mormon families in conflict and the Principles & Practices document for practitioners.
What is the Principles and Practices document and why is it important?
The Principles and Practices document, focused primarily on issues of sexual orientation, represents the success of the Reconciliation & Growth Project to find common ground for clinical responses when working with individuals who experience distress about same-sex attractions. The two governing foundations for this document are (1) adherence to "Do No Harm" approaches for clinical interventions and (2) protection of "Self-determination" standards, when working with client distress.
It is our goal for this document to prompt expanded discussions that will adapt the areas of agreement for other faith communities. We hope for input from the greater community regarding applications of the Principles to therapeutic work with individuals and groups, from differing religions, cultures, and geographic areas of the world.
Whereas many of the Principles and Practices apply directly to working with issues of gender identity, we believe that additional attention is required to determine gaps or modifications in this document, as it is examined through that lens.. We hope that further work within our group, as well as by others beyond our group, can extend the dialogue to be inclusive of both sexual orientation and gender identity.