The Myth of Post-Racial America:

Ethical Considerations For Treatment Professionals

Andrea Washington, LCSW-S, CSAT, CDWF (she/her), and Faith Harper, PhD, LPC-S, ACS, ACN (she/her)

This presentation is designed to be a foundational course for the newly-offered Queer & Trans Affirming Professional (QTAP) certification program, as well as stand alone as an ethics CE in conjunction with the 2021 CRC conference. This 2 hour foundational presentation and discussion will focus on participants experience of racism and work toward anti-racism as well as applications to the therapeutic relationship. Please note, in order for attendees to be able to participate fully, ask difficult questions of themselves and others, and process a complex topic this event will not be recorded and available for later viewing. This course is required for QTAP certification students, but optional for conference-only attendees.


  • Foundational understanding of structural inequities from colonization of Turtle Island through the present with  recognition of the role epigenetics plays in the inheritability of mental health conditions

  • Ethical considerations regarding the impact of racial, ethnic, and cultural issues related to the Texas Administrative Code (TAC)* and other organizational related codes (NASW, APA, ACA, etc.)

  • The formulation of treatment planning and interventions that account for  cultural and social impacts on mental health, to include RCT, CRT, and the PTM framework.


* The LPC board in the state of Texas requires half of all ethics CEs be related to TAC ethics, therefore this training fulfills that requirement.

What The HAES: An Introduction To Health At Every Size

Erin Ebert, LCSW (she/her)

This talk will cover an cursory overview of Health at Every Size (HAES), the core concepts and beliefs, as well as information about diet culture, fatphobia, and how Health at Every Size provides an ethical framework and best practices if you are in helping professions. H AES is a framework commonly used when working with eating disorders, disordered eating, or body image challenges--all of which are over represented in the LGBTQ+ community. We will examine ways that this philosophy may help destigmatize bodies both in our queer community and our local communities. Participants will:

  • Be able to define Health at Every Size (HAES)

  • Learn historical roots of weight related challenges in medical and care bias

  • Be introduced to the Health at Every Size Pledge AND learn about resources for further learning.

Touch Beyond The Physical

Susan Kaye, Ph.D, Sexologist, Sex Educator, Intimacy Coach (she/her); and Rae Lee Stegall, BS, Certified Sex Coach (they/them)

Touch beyond the physical affects us emotionally, mentally and psychologically. The emotional importance of our sense of touch runs deep. We are social beings who need others around to experience fulfillment. Loneliness has severe consequences towards health and wellbeing. Research both qualitative and quantitative has proven a most important piece of human heritage is the need for physical contact. From birth to death our sense of touch never changes. Touch has been known to help with learning disabilities Studies proved that hugs help us brave winter and not suffer from colds and flu viruses. We will address more studies the findings around cardiovascular diseases, elderly and loneliness, babies thriving or dying due to touch or touch deprivation. The hormone release of oxytocin promotes feel-good sensations that we remember from childhood on into sensations in adulthood. Participants will learn:

  • The significance of the Human Skin, which will make clear to participants "skin hungers" in a way that prior to learning these facts will imprint the emotional, mental and lifelong psychological significance of touch

  • That as science continues to prove the positive health manifestations from touch: Increase your happiness and longevity, reduce social anxiety and stress. Physical touch is proven to boost immune system and lower blood pressure

  • Through the wisdom of early pioneers such as Masters & Johnson and Joseph Campbell, how bridging traditional sex therapy with certified body practitioners will serve one's own mental, emotional and physical health through all of life's stages

Curating Faith Communities Which Are Safe For All Persons

Rev. Rick Diamond, D.Min. (he/him), and Rev. Christina Wisdom, JD, MSF (she/her)

How can mental health professionals supporting LGBTQ persons help them find contexts and communities of faith and spirituality that accept and honor them? And how does an LGBTQ person know what to look for? In this session, Reverends Diamond and Wisdom will share specific examples of the structure, beliefs, and practices of a number of faith communities in Austin, Texas, and beyond, regarding how those faith communities chose, with specific steps and discernment, to become affirming churches which honor all persons. Diamond and Wisdom’s own church, Journey Imperfect Faith Community, is only one example, but there are many more. These communities of faith – from the rainbow flag in front of the churches’ buildings, to participation in annual PRIDE parades and festivals, hosting a drag show benefitting local nonprofits, performing same-sex marriages, and LGBTQ persons in congregational leadership – foster dynamics that proclaim to their members, to their cities, and beyond, that there are religious contexts that reframe and refute the often-shaming messages of conservative Christianity.Diamond and Wisdom will present pre-recorded video interviews with LGBTQ persons who found acceptance, healing and belonging at Journey IFC and other communities of faith. Diamond and Wisdom will also give examples of faith communities which do work of reconciliation, and examine threads that churches, mosques, temples, and other reconciling organizations share in the work which Jesus said is most important: love your neighbor. Participants will learn:


  • Examples of communities of faith which see LGBTQIA persons, their sexuality, their gender, and their selfhood as wholly legitimate, and blessed

  • Directly from LGBTQIA persons who were rejected by their previous religious traditions but found belonging for themselves and their marriages and families in inclusive faith communities

  • Specific steps and practices that a faith community can take in order to create a safe and inclusive community which fosters healing and reconciliation

Exploring Ethical Non-Monogamy Using A Gottman Method Approach

Christopher Scott, PhD (he/him), and Brenna Ansley, LMFT-Associate, LPC Intern (she/her)

This presentation is designed for mental health professionals who work with couples who are interested in exploring ethical non-monogamy. Presenters will review a structured intake protocol and workshop participants will learn to apply Gottman Method interventions to the presented case studies. Attendees will learn to:

  • Describe two Gottman Method interventions designed to help previously monogamous couples explore nonmonogamy

  • Identify negative consequences of making agreements that cannot be sustained including “vetoing” new partners

  • Identify client variables that need to be addressed prior to creating new relationship agreements around non-monogamy

Queering The Spectrum

Julie Burke, LPC (she/her)

Julie Burke, LPC explores the world of working with neurodiverse individuals, particularly those on the autism spectrum who also identity as queer.
Participants will gain a better understanding of working with people with differing abilities through this experiential training becoming better equipped to work with this population. Participants will learn:

  • More knowledge for working with individuals with developmental disabilities, particularly Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Common microaggressions when discussing queer topics

  • Ideas to support individuals who identity as queer and being on the autism spectrum

Consensual Non-Monogamy: What We Can Learn From The Research

Marisa Cohen PhD (she/her)

A great deal of research approaches relationships from a heteronormative and mononormative perspective. As such, individuals in consensually non-monogamous (CNM) relationships are underrepresented. While CNM relationships are discussed mainstream media, research on these configurations is far behind. Additionally, despite the growth of outlets offering sex-positive information, there is still a stigma surrounding non-monogamous relationships.
This presentation will discuss consensual non-monogamy. Specifically, attendees will:

  • Gain a better understanding of CNM relationships, related research in the field, and implications for therapeutic practice

  • Learn about the satisfaction derived from non-monogamous relationship configurations, as well as gain insight into the stigma surrounding those in non-monogamous relationships

  • Examine experimental research designed to highlight perceptions of non-monogamous individuals and critically analyze exploratory work carried out on those within the CNM community to get a better picture of their views on relationship satisfaction and success

Empathy Practices At The Crossroads

Caleb Matthews LPC LMFT (he/him); Lauren Spaulding, LMFT, LPC-I (she/her); and Amy Wolfgang (she/her/they)

This presentation explores relationships at the intersection of the LGBTQIA+ community and Christianity. We will start by discussing the definition and importance of empathy and resilience. We will then teach practical tools for self-awareness that can assist in facilitating conversations among polarized communities. Finally, we will share strategies for developing and using resources to practice self-care and maintain mental health in response to difficult interactions. Participants will engage in a community building circle and:

  • Learn an overview of empathy and preparing for dialogue with those holding differing beliefs around matters of faith and sexual diversity

  • Learn the diversity acceptance continuum

  • Engage in a journal exercise exploring their internal relationship with parts that are activated during empathic conversation

Throupling Up: Why And How Gay Men Engage In Triad Relationships

Alan Johnson, PsyD (he/him)

Summarizing results gathered from qualitative interviews with a convenience sampling of gay men who have been or are currently in a “throuple” (i.e., triad relationship), this presentation will discuss some of the reasons why gay men in dyad relationships chose to open up their relationship for a third partner and why gay men chose to enter into a dyad relationship. This presentation will also discuss some of the intrapersonal and interpersonal adjustments these gay men experienced prior to establishing and throughout their triad relationships. Participants will gain an initial understanding of:

  • The reasons (i.e., why) gay men in dyad relationships may open up their relationship for a third partner and some of the intrapersonal and interpersonal adjustments (i.e., how) they may experience prior to establishing and throughout a triad relationship

  • The reasons (i.e., why) gay men choose to enter into a dyad relationship and some of the intrapersonal and interpersonal adjustments (i.e., how) they may experience prior to establishing and throughout a triad relationship

  • Anecdotal Dos and Don’ts behavioral health providers may recommend to gay men considering opening up or entering into or are currently in a triad relationship

The Ethics & Effectiveness Of Authentic Marketing

Traci Medeiros-Bagan, LMFT (she/they); and Kristel Why (she/they)

Varying theoretical orientations differ on the importance of a therapist’s identity in and outside of the therapy room. Through an intersectional and a trauma-informed lens, the identity of the therapist becomes much more significant especially when working with communities that have been marginalized by the mental health industry and society at large. In the new world of social media and online presence, there are more places to show up for our clients as well as more places to let them down. This workshop will help therapists understand the clinical necessity of ethical, accurate, and authentic marketing as well as offer functional advice for why this is also the most effective way to build a brand in an increasingly conscious digital landscape.  Participants will:

  • Understand the clinical implications of in|authentic marketing when serving marginalized communities

  • Be able to carify the ethical responsibilities of being a “therapist brand” in a digital landscape

  • Learn how to wield the power of social influence effectively to build an ethical brand

LGBTQ+ vs. GSRM: An Open Discussion Debating The Future Of Us

Ty David Lerman, LPC-S, CST (he/him)

The battle of the acronyms rages on. From GLBT, to LGBTIQQAAGNCNB2S, to LGBTQ+, this ever-evolving term has sought it's best to keep with the continued exploration of identities around sexual orientations and gender identities and expressions, and attempt to represent them all. In recent years, we have seen, largely in Europe and academic circles, a new term arise: Gender, Sexual, and Romantic Minorities (GSRM). This umbrella term has been intentional to be more inclusive of the wide spectrum of identities that defines the overall queer community, but has faced some criticism within the community. This facilitator can think of no greater group of people to debate this topic than the clinicians and humans with lived experience in our community, in this meeting-of-the-minds open discussion. This presentation will:

  • Briefly explore the history and progression of both terms

  • Provide all participants the opportunity to voice their thoughts/feelings on the terms

  • Set a path for further discussion in how we as academics, clinicians, and humans in the queer community define ourselves.

2021 Texas Legislative Snapshot

Ricardo Martinez, CEO, Equality Texas (he/him)

The 2021 Texas legislative session features 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.  While some bills seek to expand protections for LGBTQ+ Texans, others, such as the coordinated assault on trans youth, seek to further discriminate and harm our community. Equality Texas envisions a Texas where lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Texans and their families have full equality in the hearts and minds of our fellow Texans and in all areas of the law. The organization works to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Texans through political action, education, community organizing, and collaboration. The Equality Texas Foundation works to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Texans through education, community organizing, and collaboration. Participants will learn:

  • The status on bills that seek to strengthen and protect the rights of LGBTQ+ persons

  • The status of bills 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

Supporting Relational Intimacy In Recovery

Joseph Green (he/him)

This presentation will focus on common topics surrounding sexual health and sexual behaviors when working with individuals in recovery or pursuing recovery to include grappling with past behaviors that occurred during substance usage, the struggle with vulnerability in sobriety, and the recognition in treating out of control sexual behaviors outside the traditional addiction framework. Participants will learn:

  • How the World Health Organization's sexual health bill of rights informs the peer (and therapeutic for therapists) alliance and treatment strategies

  • Problems with treating sexual behaviors as part of the addiction model and introducing an affirming, evidence-based alternative

  • The six structural components from which to organize treatment objectives.