Dr. Jack Drescher, a noted U.S. researcher in psychology who is a strong opponent of “reparative therapy,” will take a part in a Tel Aviv conference addresses key issues in dealing with patients struggling with sexual orientation.
A Wider Bridge is co-sponsoring the 5th annual LGBT therapy conference which focuses every year on a unique issue relevant to LGBT treatment, such as family or risk matters, providing lectures and dynamic workshops. This year, the conference, which will be held on October 16th in Tel Aviv, is focusing on “Therapolitics,” the mutual influence of the therapeutic processes and social processes within the LGBT community.
The conference, organized by The Bob Shapell School of Social Work at Tel Aviv University, Hoshen (Education and Change), Havruta and PsycholoGay, will also tackle the issue of the therapist as a leader for social change, the change in theoretical perceptions that follow social developments, pathologization of sexuality, treatments for gender change, and other social and political issues impacting various populations.
Over the last few years, Israeli society has gone through a radical change in the way it treats the LGBT community. A lot of therapists meet patients who define themselves as LGBT, patients who cope with the consequences of their sexual identity and patients who are questioning that identity. Should we develop a unique way of thinking about these patients? And if so, in what form? What makes the experience of an LGBT patient different? What are the issues of a same-sex couple and how the therapist meets them? These issues and more will be discussed during the conference, which targets individual, couple and family therapists.
One of the keynote speakers at the event will be Dr. Jack Drescher M.D., psychiatrist and psychoanalyst in private practice in New York City, a well respected voice against the use of “reparative” therapy to change people’s sexual orientation. Dr. Drescher will talk about “Queer Diagnoses,” an updated perspective on gender diagnosis. He will participate in the concluding panel, which will discuss gay, mainstream, and alternative styles, variations on therapeutic approaches in patients who wish to examine their orientation. Also taking part in the conference: Prof. Daphna Joel (Ph.D.), Dr. Effi Ziv (Ph.D., MSW), Dr. Ronit Aloni, Dr. Rabbi Daniel Stopler, Nora Grinberg (one of the most famous transgenders in Israel), among others.
All the lectures and workshops will be led by volunteer professionals. Around 300 therapists are expected to attend at this year’s event.