Wednesday, 2 November 2016

after the second session

I don't trust my counsellor.

no, that's not right. I trust her in some ways. I trust that she will keep the session confidential, and I trust that she thinks she's listening. she just doesn't understand.

I came out, sort of. I said I was bi & in a poly relationship. I tried to talk about the gap between talking to well intentioned but clueless straight people, and my fellow queers. it's not that my coursemates are actively queerphobic, but using "man" as shorthand for "partner or potential partner" assumes heterosexuality. adding "...or woman or whatever" when talking to me, as one coursemate does, is somehow worse.

I tried to explain how I feel I should educate my coursemates, so that they will be able to effectively support queer clients, and that I really don't know how to do that. because I know the queer community has appalling mental health statistics, and know some of the horror stories from those who've tried to get help from clueless mental health professionals.

she just wanted to know if I was scared to come out to her, and was very keen to explain that counsellors had to accept all kinds of people so sexuality doesn't matter. she didn't care that any fears I might have came from a rational place, or about the gulf of difference between "oh, of course I'm fine with that" and actually feeling heard & accepted.

I wasn't scared to come out, because I'm not that vulnerable right now. I'm in counselling because having 6 sessions of personal counselling is a course requirement, rather than because I need it. in any other situation, I would be nervous because coming out is always a risk.

and she kinda proved that point. being queer is highly significant, as is the gap between the real world and ideal counselling practise. telling me "it doesn't matter because counsellors have to accept all kinds of difference" dismisses both that gap and the significance of my relationships and community.

I don't know what that means for session 3, except that I won't be coming out as Autistic. that's a bigger risk than being queer.

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