Bastian Counseling Services
If you need immediate assistance, please contact:
- UNI Crisis Intervention and Hospital Diversion / Mobile Crisis Outreach Team available 24/7: 801.587.3000
- The Trevor Project available 24/7: 866.488.7386 or text START to 678678
- National Suicide Prevention Hotline available 24/7: 1.800.273.8255
- Rape Recovery Center available 24/7: 801.467.7273
Check our Resources Directory for additional options.
MH Community Announcements
by Chanelle Buxton, MSWi
- There is one major change parents can make to prevent child abuse: reach out for help.
- Parents/caregivers can start by making a list of all the friends, neighbors, and family they can ask for support to ease stressors that come with parenting. This could also include a list of resources in their area such as food banks, community centers, emergency daycares, teachers, pediatricians, and the local police department. These tools increase their informal support (friends and family) and informal support (teachers and food banks).
- Parents/ Caregivers can take parenting classes and access free online resources or books at their local library to increase their knowledge of parenting. The focus is to find ways to learn positive discipline techniques, which work with your parenting style. It is also helpful to learn developmental milestones and tools to get your child through the stages.
- Most importantly, if parents are struggling with mental health needs such as depression, anxiety, past unresolved trauma, substance abuse, or feelings of harming their children or themselves, this is a space for therapeutic intervention. Therapists can help listen to the situation and make a plan of action with parents to reach specific goals. Right now with the stressors of money, parents can call their insurance and see what their mental health options are, or reach out to agencies with sliding scale fees.
- If parents/caregivers have a child who may identify as LGBTQ+ and are unsure what to do, please use the resources provided. The best thing parents/caregivers can do is love them and build support together.
Prevent Child Abuse Utahhttps://pcautah.org/ Founded in 1982, the mission of Prevent Child Abuse Utah is to forge and guide a community commitment to prevent child abuse in all forms through programs, services, public awareness, education, public policy development, and system partner collaboration.
How to Healthily Parent Kids During Crisishttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBulqMKTPjA&feature=push-u-sub&attr_tag=b6LFDqbyGG9ibzsu%3A6
Helping Children Cope Following Trauma</phttps://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/johns-hopkins-childrens-center/what-we-treat/specialties/palliative-care/grief-bereavement/sibling-young-children-support/helping-children-cope-following-trauma.html
Help Children Deal with Traumahttps://intermountainhealthcare.org/blogs/topics/pediatrics/2020/05/helping-children-deal-with-trauma/
The Trevor Projecthttps://www.thetrevorproject.org/resources/ https://www.positiveparentingsolutions.com/
What does it mean to be a queer individual seeking mental healthcare? There is no clear answer that encapsulates the contexts of all queer people, but there tend to be some shared experiences within the LGBTQIA+ community when it comes to this question. Seeking and receiving mental healthcare can be generally difficult for several reasons, including stigma, financial burden, logistical barriers, availability, etc. but can be especially complicated for those in marginalized groups. LGBTQIA+ individuals face added barriers when it comes to seeking and receiving mental health care in addition to the general issues that might arise for anyone. These barriers are not inherent to an individual within the community, and instead have been ingrained in societal standards and expectations through a sordid history of what mental healthcare looked like for queer people. In order to understand what mental healthcare looks like now for queer individuals, it is important to understand how we got here through a brief history of mental healthcare in the LGBTQIA+ community.
Early 20th century psychology, and before, did not look like it does today. The idea of treatment for patients without institutionalizing disorders was less of a focus prior to the mental hygiene movement of 1917. While homosexuality, the once accepted term for LGB and genderfluid individuals in psychiatric settings, was documented and a focus of treatment for some patients within institutions, it was often treated alongside more disrupting symptoms of dementia and melancholia. From the 1920s to the 1950s, homosexuals were treated with fundamental psychodynamic practices. Labelled as the “traumatized homosexual,” these individuals were seen by psychoanalysts as narcissistic, fearful of other genders, and/or infuriated with same-sex parents. At the time, full conversion from homosexual to heterosexual was not necessarily the goal, nor were homosexuality character-traits seen as problematic. Instead, Freud’s psychodynamic approaches of free-association and accessing the unconscious were used to develop a congruence of personality and desire. Identity conversion was a possible side-effect of reaching therapeutic goals but was not the only desired outcome
In the 1950s, a move into cognitive and cognitive behavioral therapies (CBT) were beginning to take hold. While still accounting for many of the same underlying factors as psychoanalysis, CBT worked to challenge irrational thoughts and beliefs, both conscious and unconscious, to effect change in behavior. Views toward treatment of same-sex attraction did not change much from the 20s, 30s, and 40s, but the psychotherapeutic theories and approaches were evolving as the understanding of psychology as a science continued to develop. Though vernacular when describing patients at the time included troublesome terms such as “disgusting”, “perverse”, and “deviant,” the focus was still not on the character of same-sex attraction, but on aiding in the reduction of subjective distress. Ultimately, this work on identifying and challenging thoughts of inferiority, self-consciousness, and fears of rejection led to behavior change aligned with heterosexual norms. When therapeutic successes were reported, remission of same-sex behaviors were often listed alongside presenting problems, such as anxiety, suicidality, tics, etc.
The 1960s and 1970s saw a polarizing split in terms of treatment modalities used with LGBTQIA+ individuals. Psychologists began exploring and promoting the use of conversion or reparative therapy. Therapists began publicly denouncing supportive sexual and gender research from Alfred Kinsey’s labs, and began researching conversion therapies in the 1960s, proclaiming that therapists could turn latent heterosexuality in overt heterosexuality. As the civil rights movements took hold, the Stonewall riots of 1969 began a liberation movement within the queer community and began to change what mental healthcare looked like for queer people.
In the late 60s and early 70s, most licensed psychologists and psychiatrists were still practicing in ways similar to those in the 50s. However, grassroots movements for non-reparative therapies by untrained individuals was taking hold. Stern (1973) chronicled one such self-help group in Chicago, with quotes from group members expressing gratitude for the group and that they avoided seeking help from traditional mental health workers. These groups were politicized and involved in liberation movements. 1973 was also the year the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Terms like “perversions”, “deviant behavior”, “pathological”, and “psychosexual” were beginning to be replaced by vocabulary such as “liberation”, “oppression”, “societies attitude”, and “homophobic”. These widespread movements led to backlash from the public. Conservative religious groups, with the help of psychologists, began pushing conversion therapies as the only solution. Alongside reparative talk therapies, behavioral aversion therapies using electric shocks and chemicals inducing vomit were used when queer people saw pictures of lovers, gay porn, or crossdressers.
The division further widened in the 1980s as individuals such as Elizabeth Moberly pushed religious based reparative therapy while LGBTQIA+ affirming professionals began implementing positive and accepting therapies. Literature about the importance of helping queer people feel positive and accepting of their identity was beginning to become mainstream. With presenting problems of guilt, shame, intimacy, and substance misuse, self-acceptance was the goal of these new experientially based therapeutic approaches. Furthermore, a move from the use of pathologizing language, such as “homosexual” toward group approved terms like “lesbian, gay, bisexual, etc.” was beginning.
1990s saw the beginning of modern-day conversion therapy, with the release of Nicolosi’s book, Reparative Therapy of Male Homosexuality in 1991. Like the antiquated psychological standings of those before him, Nicolosi argued natural law and gender complementarity, placing the blame for queerness on poor parenting. Throughout the 2000s, states began outlawing conversation and reparative therapies, with 20 states having banned conversion practices by 2020. However, in the current face of backlash for conversion and reparative therapy, movements to rename and stay relevant have been undertaken, with sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) and sexual attraction fluidity exploration in therapy (SAFE-T) becoming the newest attempts by conversion therapists.
Currently, the American Psychiatric Association suggests using affirmative therapies when working with LGBTQIA+ clients and reprimands the use of conversion therapy. Evidence has shown that conversion therapy is not only unsuccessful but causes significant harm to clients. CBT is still considered a best practice, but with strategies now focusing on self-acceptance and self-love to reduce psychological distress. With openness and acceptance as leading strategies in current therapies used with queer groups, a recent turn toward mindfulness in research as a treatment approach has been undertaken. Core elements of mindfulness practices, especially when paired with supportive and affirmative therapy are openness and acceptance. While the literature is young, the conceptual effectiveness of mindfulness and its overlap with queer peoples’ experiences of minority stress have been suggested to be hopeful. Furthermore, preliminary research has identified five constructs of mindfulness that reduce the harmful psychological effects of minority stress in LGBTQIA+ young adults, including acting with awareness, observing, describing, nonjudging, and nonreacting.
Though current best-practice is based in affirmative therapies for LGBTQIA+ individuals, treatment can still be confusing and difficult. Currently, queer individuals are receiving mental health services at a higher rate than other non-queer groups due to greater need (Dunbar et al., 2017). Though this is true, queer people report more barriers to these services, including embarrassment and confusion about how to access the right type of affirmative care. Furthermore, though queer individuals are using mental health services more than other communities, there is still a much larger disparity in terms of needs not being met through these services (Dunbar et al., 2017). This can happen for a number of reasons. Queer individuals might experience services from an unqualified provider, one who is untrained in affirmative therapies or unknowledgeable in the lives and lived experiences of queer people. This can make well-intentioned therapeutic practices delivered in heteronormative ways that are not conducive to effective treatment within the queer community. Additionally, in traditional mental health settings, queer people might find they must navigate self-disclosure/non-disclosure terms with their therapist (Stein & Bonuck, 2001). Many therapists untrained in LGBTQIA+ issues often fail to ask about sexual orientation and approach therapy with the assumption of heterosexuality. This assumption requires clients to initiate the discussion regarding their sexual orientation, which can often feel uncomfortable or go completely avoided (Stein & Bonuck, 2001). Additional problems experienced by queer people seeking treatment in settings of heteronormativity include the constant negotiation of how psychological distress is tied to sexuality and gender identity (Daley, 2010). Clients may find that therapists are quick to blame all mental health problems on their queer identity while others may negate the association.
Clients who receive adequate affirmative and acceptance-based therapies from knowledgeable providers often report significant improvements to their psychological well-being. Providers working in affirmative settings are aware of the importance of identity, the progression of identity development, and common intersectionalities. Additionally, therapists trained in LGBTQIA+ issues are familiar with common problems, stigmas, discrimination, prejudice, internalized homophobia, family rejection, etc. and understand how these societal factors interplay with internalized biological, behavioral, and cognitive components of mental illness. Though it is nuanced, settings like these allow for proper case conceptualization and exploration of what it means to be a queer individual in the current social climate. When clients are able to participate in appropriate mental health care services, they report positive experiences of acceptance, support, trust, personal growth, and a reduction of mental distress.
So, what does it mean to be a queer individual seeking mental health care? It varies from one individual to another, but there are often commonalities. Seeking mental healthcare means that though practices have improved greatly over the recent decades, there is still historical mistrust and a need to “shop around.” Finding the right setting and provider is essential for developing a successful therapeutic relationship that is conducive to effective treatment. When this happens, most queer people report positive and empowering experiences.
Dunbar, M. S., Sontag-Padilla, L., Ramchand, R., Seelam, R., & Stein, B. D. (2017). Mental health service utilization among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and questioning or queer college students. Journal of Adolescent Health, 61(3), 294-301.
Stein, G.L. and Bonuck, K.A. 2001. Physician-patient relationships among the lesbian and gay community. Journal of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, 5: 87–93.
Stern, R. A. (1975). A peer self-help group of homosexuals on the north side of Chicago. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research & Practice, 12(4), 418–424. https://doi-org.dist.lib.usu.edu/10.1037/h0086472
May 11, 2020
Rental Assistance Program Launches Today
Program targets renters impacted by COVID-19 and not receiving other assistance
SALT LAKE CITY (May 11, 2020) – Today the Housing and Community Development Division of the Utah Department of Workforce Services launched a new Rental Assistance Program for renters impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. More than $4 million is available through several programs, which will be implemented by regional agencies throughout the state.
The Rental Assistance Program is targeted to help individuals whose income has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, but have been found ineligible for unemployment benefits. Monthly rent payments of up to $1,500 can be made directly to landlords.
“There is a lot of assistance available right now through unemployment and other programs, but we know there are individuals and families in Utah who may be falling through the cracks,” said Jonathan Hardy, Housing and Community Development Division Director. “We don’t want anyone to lose their housing as a result of this pandemic.”
Of the available funding, $1 million is from existing federal HOME funds that might normally go to affordable housing construction or ongoing housing vouchers. Utah obtained a waiver from HUD to use the funds for short-term rental assistance instead. The remaining funding, more than $3 million, comes from the CARES Act.
To learn more about eligibility and where to apply, renters should call 2-1-1. Regional agency contacts are also listed below.
|Bear River Association of Governments (BRAG)||Cache, Rich, Box Elder|
|Community Action Services and Food Bank (CASFB)||Summit, Utah, Wasatch||(801) 373-8200|
|Family Connection Center dba Open Doors (FCC-Open Doors)||Morgan, Davis||(801) 773-0712|
|Five County Association of Governments (Five County AOG)||Beaver, Garfield, Iron, Kane, Washington|
|Mountainland Association of Governments||Summit, Utah, and Wasatch Counties|
|Ogden Weber Community Action Partnership (OWCAP)||Weber||(801) 399-9281|
|Southeastern Utah Association of Local Governments (SEUALG)||Carbon, Emery, Grand, San Juan|
|Six County Association of Governments (Six County AOG)||Juab, Millard, Piute, Sanpete, Sevier, Wayne|
|Salt Lake Community Action Program dba Utah Community Action (SLCAP-UCA)||Salt Lake, Tooele||(801) 521-6107|
|Uintah Basin Association of Governments (UBAOG)||Daggett, Duchesne, Uintah|
|Wasatch Front Regional Council||Davis, Weber, Morgan, Salt Lake, Tooele|
As a reminder from our Mental Health team here at your Utah Pride Center: Emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being are critical to our overall health. We’re glad to see this resource has been made available to the people of Utah. Take care of yourselves and one another.
Our Community Counseling Center Staff
Joshua Bravo, LCSW
Joshua holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Utah and he is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. He uses a variety of approaches to assist clients depending on their individual needs. He is trained in Mind-Body Bridging, EMDR, QPR, Brief Solution Focused Therapy and uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Therapy and psycho-education extensively. His experience includes working with individuals working through divorce, separation and single-parenting, addictions, intimate partner violence, suicidal ideation, grief, gender dysphoria, and co-occurring mental health disorders, among other areas. He is also known in the Q-community as a strong advocate for LGBTQIA+ rights; therefore, he has an affirmative, sex positive and queer friendly approach to treating our vast gender diverse population. Joshua regularly utilizes the WPATH Standards of Care when working with trans* and GNC identified individuals.
Joshua has been working with children, individuals, and families for over 17+ years. His strengths is in helping queer children, individuals and families who have experienced trauma; especially sexual abuse, childhood trauma, family violence, physical abuse and associated injuries. He utilizes play therapy when working with children. In addition, Joshua has worked with both offenders and survivors of intimate partner violence in various community mental health centers.
When he is not working with the LGBTQIA+ community, he enjoys spending time taking care of his home, 8 chickens, 2 fat cats and prefers to be out hiking then to be working in the garden.
Volunteer & Counseling Client Coordinator
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