2:00 - 3:00pm

QTAP Student Orientation & Virtual Reception

Jeff Lutes, LPC, QTAP (Austin, Texas)

Open to registered QTAP students and faculty. Conference-only attendees should plan to join us at 3:15pm.

QTAP students and faculty are invited to join us for an introductory meeting as they begin the journey toward certification. We will get to know each other, review the four components (conference + core curriculum + consultation + anti-racism training) of certification, and answer any other questions students might have about the certification process.

3:15 - 3:45pm

The State of Equality: A summation of the last year and what is coming in 2023

Ricardo Martinez, CEO, Equality Texas (Austin, Texas)

The anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric has been loud lately. Recently, some politicians have taken every opportunity to paint the LGBTQ+ community as a threat, committing publicly to policies they will champion through the next legislative session. Anti-equality Texas politicians pledged to extend the harmful anti-transgender sports ban to the collegiate level and bring Florida’s notorious “Don’t say gay/trans” bill to Texas. On the heels of the Attorney General's purposely misinterpreting state law to terrorize trans kids and their loving families and baselessly threaten pharmaceutical companies, and Austin ISD’s Pride Week – the unrelenting nature of the attacks on our community are continuing. The next Texas legislative session will feature a slew of bills that impact the lives of LGBTQ+ Texans, and Equality Texas is hard at work to protect the rights of all in our state. Equality Texas envisions a Texas where LGBTQ+ Texans and their families have full equality in the hearts and minds of our fellow Texans and in all areas of the law. We will active this through political action, education, community organizing, and collaboration. Participants will learn:

  • Anticipated 2023 legislative efforts that seek to strengthen and protect the rights of LGBTQ+ persons

  • Anticipated 2023 legislative efforts that seek to discriminate and promote inequality for LGBTQ+ persons

  • Options for how LGBTQ+ persons and their allies can assist the vital work of Equality Texas 

4:00 - 6:00pm

Trailblazers In Love: Live "Flash" Lessons From Couples Together 20+ Years

Jeff Lutes, LPC, QTAP (Austin, Texas) - 2 CE Credits

In this workshop, attendees will learn about love and resilience directly from a composite of queer couples who have been together at least twenty years. Each couple will hold a brief conversation between the two of them, talking about how they met, the highs and lows over the years, and the keys to sustaining a relationship that grows and endures. Attendees will be "spectators" as we listen to these remarkable stories and learn, this time not from a clinician, but rather from the wisdom that comes from lived experiences and the hard work it takes to thrive, instead of just survive.  Attendees will gather valuable insights that may help them in their work with queer relationships, by learning how these couples:

  • overcame challenges, threats, and obstacles

  • maintain healthy connection through intentionality and mindfulness

  • build trust and resilience through their day-to-day choices



Adjourn for the evening. See you in the morning!



Welcome & Announcements

Jeff Lutes, LPC, QTAP (Austin, Texas)

9:15 - 10:45am

Saturday Opening Keynote

Screening of “Angels and Saints - Eros and Awe”

Edie Weinstein, MSW, LSW (Perkasie, Pennsylvania) and Rodney Whittenberg (Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania) - 1.5 CE Credits

The screening of this award-winning documentary will be preceded by and followed by a panel discussion with the producers, and some of the speakers involved in it. This presentation will address the historic schism between “the spirit” and "the flesh” which has been perpetuated by traditional religions through the promotion of body-shame, fear and guilt and excessive cultural controls. We will discuss key scenes from this new documentary, which has been selected by 14 national and international film festivals. Our modern “Angels and Saints”, who represent a spectrum of gender and sexual identities, speak not only to the harm perpetuated through this cultural splitting but also of ways they have reconnected spirituality and sexuality and developed a sense of personal and communal wholeness and meaning. There will be a 10-minute introduction, followed by the screening of the 57-minute film and then a 20-minute Q & A period. Participants will witness and carry with them:

  • A candid visualization and acknowledgement of the historic confusion and harm of traditionally controlling religious institutions

  • The reintegration of eros and spirit amongst the highly developed sexual and spiritual leaders of the documentary

  • The use of the arts, including animation, poetry, original music, and modern dance to illustrate the ineffable and beautiful mysteries of healing and hope

11:00am - 12:00pm

Taking Responsibility: Accountability After Causing Harm and Using Shame as a Guide for Growth

Lydia Hamel, MSW (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) - 1 CE Credit

Borrowing from Intimate Justice Theory as well as Theresa McDowell's Socioculturally attuned therapy and Jenkin's Invitation to Responsibility, this presentation aims to explain the steps to effective accountability in a therapeutic context. It also hopes to address how societal systems of power can act as contributors to harmful behaviour as well as barriers to appropriate responsibility-taking. This presentation also moves beyond helping clients to take responsibility and into using shame as a guide to become more in line with our ethical selves (as defined by the client), in order to do less harm and access more harmonious relationships. Participants wil be able to:

  • Name and elaborate on the necessary steps to guide clients through an effective process of accountability working towards repair and transformed behavior

  • Identify the ways in which we can help clients reposition their feelings of shame and guide their behaviors to become more aligned with their ideal self and optimal values

  • Formulate the ways in which power and social location can guide harmful behavior and lead to resistance in taking responsibility and describe ways to raise client consciousness around the impact of power dynamics

12:00 - 12:30pm

Lunch Break

We will start back at 12:30 sharp, but please feel free to continue eating your lunch as we begin the afternoon.

12:30 - 1:30pm

Missing Colors of the Rainbow: Working with Queer Black Folx

Naomi Brown, MSW, LCSW (San Antonio) - 1 CE Credit

About 40% of LGBTQ+ adults in the United States are people of color, including 12% who identify as Black  (Williams Institute ). Black LGBTQ folx are more likely to experience oppression and discrimination. The intersection of being black and being queer can be a unique challenge for therapists who have a culturally correct education which limits the reality of the black experience. How do we look at the culture and race belonging to two marginalized groups, How do your work with a black trans woman who is constantly reminded of the fragility of safety in her world? ““Existing as black, queer and transgender people can be isolating and sometimes traumatizing experiences,” said Dr. Danielle Simmons, a clinical psychologist in Chicago. Intergenerational trauma, religious detachment and isolation from the black church, poverty and the lack of many viable options can often lead to the lack of role models and behavioral paradigms growing up black and queer. By the end of this session, participants will learn:

  • How systemic racism can interrupt or prevent the development of a strong personal identity as a thriving queer and black person

  • The possible challenges and disruption of the various coming out processes effected while embracing your queer black identity

  • Tools and talents to help develop the magic within your queer black folx who trust you to help them develop into the amazing warriors and shamans they were born to be

1:45 - 2:45pm

Treating the Community You Are Part Of: Ethical Considerations of Unavoidable Dual Relationships

Hannah Wilson, LCPC, CST (Bozeman, Montana) and Ty Lerman, LPC, CST, QTAP (Houston, Texas) - 1 CE Credit

There are many intersectional components of our work as therapists and often we can get tangled in the complexities of these relationships. From advocate to therapist, from colleague to patient, and even from play partner to professional acquaintance, dual relationships are sometimes unavoidable. In this presentation we are starting the important and often uncomfortable conversation of how to navigate boundaries when you are part of the community you treat. This is applicable to those who are in supervisory relationships, the LGBTQ+ community, military settings, prison and jail settings, rural and small communities, rehabilitation and drug recovery programs, spiritual and faith communities, and anyone on social media. This presentation will analyze dual relationships, how and when to utilize proper disclosure, and what boundaries can look like that empower both the clinician and the patient. Participants will learn how to:

  • Navigate small communities

  • Discern unethical and harmful dual relationships from unavoidable and potentially healthy dual relationships

  • Establish healthy dual relationships through proper disclosure and boundary setting

3:00 - 4; 00pm

Many Roads to Secure Bonding: A Second Look at Attachment Theory in Light of Gender, Sex and Relationship Diversity

David Fawcett PhD (Wilton Manors, Florida) - 1 CE Credit

Attachment theory is grounded in heteronormative experience and values. Individuals who fall out of “normal” gender identities and relationship constructs may be challenged to achieve secure relationships due to the intersection of the individual with culture, norms, emotions and personal experiences such as trauma. New works such as Ferns’ “Polysecure: Attachment, Trauma and Consensual Nonmonogamy” explore how diversity in gender identity and relationships may present opportunities for individuals to move toward more satisfying attachment. This interactive presentation will provide an overview of how such diversity can support opportunities for more secure and satisfying attachments. Participants will:

  • Understand the ways in which traditional attachment theory is culturally grounded in heteronormative values

  • Understand how gender and sexual orientation intersect with attachment style

  • Be able to name opportunities provided by diverse relationship styles in creating secure and satisfying attachment


Adjourn for the day. See you tomorrow!



Welcome & Announcements

Jeff Lutes, LPC, QTAP (Austin, Texas)


9:15 - 10;45am

Sunday Opening Keynote

Bringing Financial Sense into Individual and Couples Therapy

William Lyons, LCSW (Houston, Texas) - 1.5 CE Credits

Money is a common stressor for adults and research shows that financial conflict is a leading cause of divorce and relationship dissatisfaction. As mental health providers, we are trained to help clients with a variety of stressors, but infrequently is money and finances are covered in one's foundational training. Understanding how money impacts mental health and vice versa improves clinicians’ competence to work with individuals and couples. In addition, this workshop will improve clinicians' ability to identify risk factors for financial distress. Finally, clinicians will learn tips to create a safe space(brave space) to explore money in the therapeutic setting can strengthen the therapeutic relationship their clients. Clinicians and community members alike will learn about resources to improve their financial literacy and how to make a plan to achieve their financial goals. Participants will be able to:

  • Describe at least 4 mental health risk factors directly related to money

  • Describe at least 4 difference between a financial coach and therapist

  • Describe at least 3 benefits of including finances in therapeutic work as mental health clinician

  • Apply at least 3 interventions related to money

11:00am - 12:00pm

The Matrix Of Envy In Our Social And Sexual Lives

Rahim Thawer, MSW, RSW, QTAP (Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa) - 1 CE Credit

While most people can express their own experience of jealousy, distinguishing it from, and understanding our responses to, envy is more complex. Envy is a feeling that's directed at a person who possesses something desirable that we want. Envy triggers a sense of personal inferiority and can spark ill-will towards others. We engage with this experience by activating a web of affective orientations such as shame, counter-identification, grief, motivation, greed, grandiosity, and/or gratitude. In this presentation, we will:

  • Explore how early experiences of envy might shape our self-concept

  • Examine the ways envy surfaces in our relationship landscape, including its cultural manifestation in body ideals; and

  • Speculate about how a subculture of sexualized drug use might mitigate envy

  • Consider how aware we are when we're the object of someone else's envy and how we respond.

12:00 - 12:30pm

Lunch Break

We will start back at 12:30 sharp, but please feel free to continue eating your lunch as we begin the afternoon.

12:30 - 1:30pm

No White Saviors in Anti-Racist Practice: Learning When to Stand and When to Sit

Jacqueline Plante, LMFT (Whittier, California) - 1 CE Credit

What does it mean to be an anti-racist white mental health provider? How can you be an accessible provider in a space outside of community mental health? What is the responsibility of being a white leader nurturing the growth and development of a diverse staff? Currently in the United States, 77% of therapists are white. However, the diversity amongst those who experience mental illness is varied and diverse (NAMI, 2021). As white mental health providers it is imperative to use our privilege to work towards anti-racism in our practice, our places of work, and in our communities. This means learning when to use our voices and our bodies to stand up and advocate. And, even more importantly, when to sit back, make space, listen, and de-center ourselves. The intention of this workshop is to mobilize an internal shift in our individual practices to dismantle systemic inequity in our industry and support the healing of our professional communities and communities of color seeking care. At the end of this presentation, attendees will:

  • Acquire a basic understanding of what it means to be anti-racist

  • Learn to evaluate their internal process around implicit racial bias

  • Learn to implement these practices in a leadership role

  • Expand toolkit of approaches to address structural inequity in the workplace

1:45 - 2:45pm

Safe, Sane, and Consensual: Introduction to Working with Clients with Alternative Sexualities

Eli Lawrence, LCSW (Round Rock, Texas) - 1 CE Credit

Kink, Leather, fetish, and BDSM are stepping out of their closets into mainstream media but there is little training on what everyday people engaged in these lifestyles are doing behind closed doors. As a clinician you can expect to find yourself working with clients who do not hold to heteronormative views of sex and relationships. Working with this marginalized population requires learning cultural competence to parse the difference between controlling abusive narcissistic behaviors and healthy consensual BDSM when a client describes kink-inspired protocols and rituals they engage in with their partner(s). This presentation will provide an opportunity to better understand how to work with alternative sexualities. Participants learn:

  • Understand definitions of terms and interpersonal norms found in these communities

  • Have the opportunity to ask frank questions

  • Obtain resources for further learning

3:00 - 4: 00pm

SOS: Sexuality On the Spectrum

Nicholas Maio-Aether, MAMFT, MSPSY, BCBA, LBA (St. Louis, Missouri) - 1 CE Credit

In these days of increased Autism diagnoses and better understanding of Autism, itself, there have been many efforts made by therapeutic fields to assist in early interventions, often focused particularly upon ADLs/Activities of Daily Living. What is often ignored is the need for assistance in learning human intimacy skills (i.e., sociosexual behaviors), and indeed most Autism interventionists don't have any demonstrable competency in human sexuality. In this presentation, attendees will explore the growing subfield of Sexual Behavior Analysis (SBA), which draws upon behavior-analytic conventions for effective teaching while also keeping humanistic teachings of autonomy and consent at its heart, alongside the rigid science that makes this so powerful a modality. The use of RPGs and LARPing (e.g., SEX eD&D) will be highlighted as main teaching tools, along with how these can be utilized to explore values, relational ethics, gender & sexual orientations, coercion VS consent, and flirting VS harassment. Participants will:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the abusive history of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and how it differs in premise from the empowering processes of Sexual Behavior Analysis (SBA), while drawing upon the same set of scientific principles

  • Review best practices for experiential learning, including: avoiding microaggressions; remaining ethically-sound when roleplaying flirting; generalizing skills to the world outside of sessions

  • Explore how values and relational ethics can become steady guides for Autistic adults, reducing the need for prediction and avoiding unknowns, allowing relationships to develop naturally.


Conference adjourns. Thanks for joining us!