Advanced GSRD Trainer

My background, pre therapy, is as a teacher. I truly believe that most of the things I know about life, the universe, and everything (or everything important) I learnt from 3 year olds. Spending all day, every day, responsible for barely formed lives, their growth, development, and happiness teaches so many lessons. It also equips you to consider the most important questions; Why are clouds? What makes jelly, jelly? Why cant I fly? And of course the most important question of all – When is it naptime?

As a kindergarten teacher the most important thing I learnt was how to teach, and once I qualified as a counsellor I knew that training was something I wished to do, keeping the teaching flame alive inside myself. It is also the case that, unfortunately, I was becoming increasingly aware of bad training out there, especially around gender, sexuality and relationship diversity. Quite often people with neither a teaching background or specialist knowldge of GSRD identities were setting themselves up as experts.

Expertise = experience +training

I am honestly thinking of making this my next tattoo

Expertise = experience +training – what does this mean? It means lived experience is not enough, it means that unless we have done the work, unpicked our own internal biases we risk perpetutating oppressive ideas and structures. It means that in order to train others we must start from a place of humility, by saying, if I wish to lead, I first must follow.

Which is a rather poetic way of saying that I realised whilst I was an experienced teacher, and trainer, I wanted to live by my own values and beliefs, and ensure I had expertise in training therapists in working with gender, sexuality and relationship diversity.

Expertise = experience +training

Which is why I was very pleased and excited to enrol on the Pink Therapy Advanced Trainers course this year. This was not a general course, it was only offered to those who had already completed the diploma in GSRD therapy. It was assumed everyone was coming into the room with advanced knowledge, the focus was how to convey that knowledge to others.

Over an intensive period we covered so much, digging into not only the how but the why of good training, how to lead where others might not want to follow, how to work ethically, productively and in a way which alighned with educational theory.

Being true to my values is so important to me, and so it is with considerable pride that I recieved this certificate this week.

A kink course alongside one of my collegaues is almost ready to go, and in the spring an in-person Introduction to working with GSRD clients day will be taking place. I am in that happiest of places, living my life in the way I believe is right, and doing so authentically and ethically.

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