Queer Men's Mental Health

Mon Jul 24 2023 at 09:30 am to 05:30 pm UTC+01:00

Outhouse | Dublin 1

Affective Consulting & Psychotherapy Services
Publisher/HostAffective Consulting & Psychotherapy Services
Queer Men's Mental Health A full-day workshop for all therapists, service providers and educators that work with gay/queer men.
About this Event


We often reduce mental health to diagnostic labels, wellness to the absence of symptoms, and queer men's health to prevalence rates. If we take an exploratory approach to mental health and wellness we can begin to unravel some of the specific determinants of mental health concerns that nurses, social workers, and educators see in their work with queer and trans guys. As a racialized queer psychotherapist, Rahim Thawer will seek to examine the issues queer men come up against that impact their wellbeing. Specifically, this workshop will explore the concepts of internalized shame, body image, substance use, and conflicting relationship scripts as specific determinants of queer men's mental health.

Schedule and Learning Outcomes for Service Providers

Mental Health 101

  1. Explore our own relationship to mental health as service providers
  2. Reflect on the impact of culture and language when conceptualizing mental health concerns
  3. Identify areas where mental health stigma and challenges come up in our work with service users

Internalized Shame

  1. Describe the concept of shame and differentiate it from other experiences
  2. Explore where shame originates for most people
  3. Identify ways people respond to entrenched shame
  4. Examine the specific cultural sources of shame for queer guys
  5. Analyze 3 case scenarios and relevant clinical questions
  6. Illustrate how shame shows up in queer men's culture and relationships

Body Image

  1. Reflect on cultural messages around ‘good’ bodies, food, fatphobia and thin privilege
  2. Examine what body image challenges look like in queer men's communities
  3. Explore and discuss counselling/clinical questions and approaches to addressing body image
  4. issues with queer men drawing on cognitive behavioural, Gestalt, and psychodynamic tools

Substance Use

  1. Explore queer men's relationship to substances and distinguish how it operates compared to other communities
  2. Conceptualize "problem substance use"
  3. Review use of common "party drugs" and specific harm reduction strategies and messages for each
  4. Discuss various views on crystal meth use and present-day contentions between 'prevention' and harm reduction
  5. Evaluate the utility of Structured Relapse Prevention tools to support clients who identify problem substance use


  1. Consider the conflicts that arise in mixed messages ("scripts") gay men have internalized from mainstream/straight and gay communities
  2. Conceptualize the "traps" that arise when the clinical issues that arise from navigating casual sex and relationships are not fully processed
  3. Re-frame gay men's mental health concerns as products of (or adaptations to) casual sex and relationship pressures/scripts
  4. Re-Imagine the nuances and relationship permutations needed for more useful cultural representations of gay men's lives in order to foster more reconciled scripts

Speaker Bio

Rahim Thawer works as a psychotherapist, clinical supervisor, facilitator and public speaker, sessional lecturer, writer, and community organizer. He has had a strong presence in Canada’s LGBTQ community since he began working in the HIV/AIDS sector in 2008. Rahim strives to operate from a harm reduction, sex- positive, anti-oppressive and trauma-informed approach. He was welcomed as an International Visiting Scholar with the South African College for Applied Psychology (SACAP) for the 2021-2022 academic year, and has supervised post-graduate counselling students and taught as a lecturer at multiple universities in Canada. He’s an appointed Fellow at the Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto for his contributions to the field of sexuality. Rahim dedicated 10 years to community organizing with Salaam Canada, a national volunteer-run LGBTQ Muslim organization. He was also a co-editor and contributor to an anthology entitled Any Other Way: How Toronto Got Queer (shortlisted for the 2017 Toronto Book Awards). He's currently working on a book called Seeking to be published by Thornapple Press, and hosts a video podcast called The CBT Dive.

Event Venue

Outhouse, 105 Capel Street, Dublin 1, Ireland


EUR 80.00 to EUR 125.00

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