Queering Psychotherapy

Saturday 22 June 2019 - London

With speakers Dr Meg-John Barker, Leah Davidson, Dominic Davies, Pamela Gawler-Wright, Amanda Middleton, Monty Moncrieff, David Richards, George Taxidis and Judy Yellin

This unique conference will explore the advances made in improving the mental health of gender, sexuality and relationship diverse (GSRD) people in the UK. We have enlisted some of the key figures in British LGBTQ+ psychotherapy to share significant developments in the fields of analytic, systemic, person-centred and contemporary psychotherapy, as well as hearing from two British pioneers Dominic Davies, Founder of Pink Therapy and Dr Meg-John Barker, psychologist-activist and author of many books on gender and sexuality.




08.30 – 09:45
Social Dreaming Matrix led by Laurie Slade
An opportunity to share your dreams from the night before in a facilitated group setting
In the Social Dreaming, we share dreams and associations. We don’t interpret the dreams. We’re there to pool the resources of our dreaming minds, seeing where this takes us – with space afterwards to reflect on dream experience as an altered state of consciousness. For anyone interested in dreams, imagination and new thinking.

Registration and coffee

Dominic Davies and Meg-John Barker
Just four years after the World Health Organisation declassified homosexuality as a psychiatric illness, Dominic Davies co-edited the first British textbook on working with lesbian, gay and bisexual clients. A psychotherapist for over 35 years, he founded Pink Therapy in 1999 and is its course director, delivering specialist professional training for therapists around the world. Meg-John Barker is a psychologist and activist who was a co-author of the BPS guidelines to working with gender, sexuality diverse clients and has written several books on improving the mental health of GSRD people including the BACP practice guidelines. They are a prolific author and editor of textbooks and self-help books.


Monty Moncrieff
How does the Queer Community sees psychotherapy? Our mental health challenges and what do we need from therapists?
Monty will look at the areas of health inequality that LGBT people experience, highlighting research and drawing from the experiences service users bring to support services like London Friend. He will outline some of the factors that can contribute to poor mental health within queer communities that will help therapists working with LGBT clients better understand the experiences that have shaped their clients’ lives and influenced society’s understanding of LGBT people.

George Taxidis, David Richards and Judy Yellin
The contribution of the British Analytic Schools
Psychoanalysis has had a complicated, chequered and often shameful history concerning homosexuality. Many post-Freudian psychoanalysts in the UK and USA have used contradictory applications of psychoanalytic theory to pathologise and cause very significant harm to clients/patients. However, there have been many contributions within the broader analytic tradition that have made substantial advances in understanding gender and sexual diversity. Our panel brings three different perspectives together: George Taxidis will explore Jungian and post-Jungian ideas, Judy Yellin will discuss the contribution of the contemporary Relational turn, and David Richards will present some of the work being done within the British Psychoanalytic Council and his own ideas about helpfully integrating Freudian and post-Freudian thinking with an informed awareness of current understanding of sexual diversity. These current practices aim to ensure that across the analytic modalities LGBTQ+ people can access informed, culturally sensitive and socially aware help from British psychoanalytically trained therapists.

Discussion with audience


Amanda Middleton
How has systemic practice queered the field of psychotherapy in the UK?
The Pink Practice was the first private practice to work specifically with the LGBTQ community in the UK. Starting in 1990 it has seen thousands of LGBTQ individuals, couples and families since and the practice has noted evolutions and liberations in queer lives and communities and so too in its systemic practices. This presentation will explore how queer lives, queer therapy and queer therapists have evolved over the last 28 years, especially noting what has bought people to therapy and the ideas best placed to navigate the conversations with them. These ideas are centred in systemic and social constructionist practice, inclusive of queer theory and narrative practice, ideas that have and will continue to queer the field of British Psychotherapy.

Discussion with audience


Leah Davidson and Dominic Davies
The contribution of person-centred theory
Carl Rogers was accepting of homosexuality and had close colleagues who were “homosexual” at a time when it was still considered a mental illness. Its stance of offering non-judgemental respect has attracted a large number of LGBTIQA+ people to train as therapists. However, for some reason it has not contributed a vast body of literature devoted to understanding gender and sexual diversity. Within the approach there are classicists who maintain the austerity of Rogers’ “The Necessary and Sufficient Conditions of Therapeutic Personality Change” (and eschew specialist training/knowledge) and others who take a more flexible and integrated approach. Leah Davidson and Dominic Davies both trained in the approach over 30 years ago, and they will explore what it is about it that seems so attractive to LGBTQIA+ therapists.

Pamela Gawler-Wright
Binning, Binding or Bonding? Taking Queer Psychotherapy forwards
As we advance in reclaiming our recognition of gender, relationship and sexual diversities, it is natural to experience nervousness and uncertainty as much as triumph and liberation. This may be especially true for those of us who have aligned with, or even thrived under the binary oppositions of gay/straight, male/female, trans/cis, biology/psyche discourse. Pam will invite consideration of a different relationship with logos and labels. Reviewing contrasting models, from structuralism to cultural humility, we will also consider how psychotherapeutic engagement with intersectional identity injunctions can take us all forward.

Discussion in groups, questions, ideas, comments and the future



Handouts and lunch included
Self-funded: £120
Self-funded x 2: £200
Organisationally-funded: £200
Psychotherapy trainee: £80 (sold out)


Certificates of attendance for 6 hours will be provided at the event


6th Floor
Foyles Bookshop
107 Charing Cross Road


08.30 Social Dreaming Matrix
09.30 Registration and coffee
10.00 Start
11:00 Coffee
12:45 Lunch
14:30 Tea
17:00 End


Regrettably, refunds cannot be given in any circumstances except as follows:

  • You cancel in writing to info@confer.uk.com 60 days before the first date of the event you have booked, in which case you will be entitled to a 100% refund.
  • You cancel in writing to info@confer.uk.com 30 days before the first date of the event you have booked, in which case you will be entitled to a 50% refund.

This does not apply to parts of an event such as a seminar within a series but only to a whole event or complete series. You may give your place to another person if you let us know that person's name at least 24 hours before the event begins.

We reserve the right to change a speaker at one of our conferences without offering a refund. However, if a solo presenter cancels we will offer a full refund OR transfer of your fee to another Confer event. If the entire event is cancelled we will offer you a full refund.

We reserve the right to change our prices at any time. Regrettably, discounts offered after you made your booking cannot be claimed or applied retrospectively.