Queer Affirmative Counselling Practice (QACP)
A Resource Book for Mental Health Practitioners in India
Ketki Ranade, Shruti Chakravarty, Pooja Nair, Gauri Shringarpure
Answer a few questions and get a free copy of this resource book
Learn more about this book
The Queer Affirmative Counselling Practice (QACP) Resource Book is for mental health practitioners (MHPs), social workers, stakeholders within mental health and those working on gender and sexuality. This is a pathbreaking text that is truly the first of its kind to be published as a textbook for Psy disciplines - which have historically colluded to pathologise and medicalise queer-trans identities.
The book provides a balance of information, perspective, skill and an eclectic set of pedagogic tools to engage with the content that is drawn from the lived experiences of queer-trans realities. This can help MHPs understand and respond in affirmative ways to the challenges faced by those marginalised on account of their gender and sexuality.
The QACP Resource Book highlights an anti-oppressive framework to challenge all systems that are unequal, thereby 'queering' mental health and contributing to social justice.
The Queer Affirmative Counselling Practice (QACP) course
The Queer Affirmative Counselling Practice (QACP) course was launched in January 2019, aimed at building capacity of mental health practitioners and allied professionals (counsellors, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, medical professionals) to respond to the specific needs and challenges of the LGBTQI+ community. It is a 6-day course run by MHI to orient and reorient mental health practitioners to an anti-oppressive therapeutic practice. The QACP faculty at the course are all queer mental health practitioners themselves.
For more information, please visit here.
List of Queer-affirmative Mental Health Professionals, peer supporters and organisationsClick here to access LGBTQI- affirmative mental health support across India and a few locations in Asia.
Building Allyship: The Mental Health Community and LGBTQI+ Rights (click to read/ download the report)
This report published by Mariwala Health Initiative showcases the queer affirmative mental health work undertaken by MHPs Vidya Dinakaran and Shanmathi Senthil Kumar during the Madras High Court Judgment of June 7th 2021, on LGBTQI+ matters. Vidya and Shanmathi are both part of the MHI-QACP cohort. We have incorporated their experiences in this report as a guiding tool for MHPs who want to build allyship and promote LGBTQI+ rights.
Mental health practitioners and participants of MHI's Queer Affirmative Counselling Practice (QACP) cohort have produced a massive body of resources to understand more about queer affirmative mental health and other issues important for the LGBTQI++ community.Announcement
You're urged to scroll through these rich nuggets of information and insights to learn more about queer lives, issues and mental health.
Globally Pride Month is a solemn reminder of the Stonewall riots that took place on June 28, 1969 in Manhattan, United States, that is said to have sparked the queer rights movement in the US. Pride Month is witness to a variety of events and activities planned at various levels across the world. MHI's QACP cohort of mental health practitioners have been active in the past month participating in important talks, podcasts, and writing engaging articles. You can find more about this below. Feel free to read and share widely in your networks.
An IGTV Live in Hindi with Moody (@itsmoody_17) and Pooja (@vnpooja) and Shruti (@pawlyamorous). A 3-hour conversation on love, couplehood, sexuality, gender and so much more! Pooja and Shruti were joined by another couple like them on the Live. Watch this heartwarming Live here!
Our Chief Advisor, Dr. Shruti Chakravarty @pawlyamorous traces her story from being a young tomboy in small town Nashik to finding herself and the queer community in Bombay. (HINDI)
Our Chief Advisor, Dr. Shruti Chakravarty @pawlyamorous traces her story from being a young tomboy in small town Nashik to finding herself and the queer community in Bombay. (ENGLISH)
MHI Chief Advisor, Shruti Chakravarty @pawlyamorous and QACP faculty Pooja Nair @vnpooja on Navigating Queer Relationships in an Insta Live with @thewhiteroseclub and @mariwalahealth.
MHI Chief Advisor, Shruti Chakravarty @pawlyamorous with Winnie Chopra of @thegaygazebombay on an Insta live on being butch lesbians.
Psychologist Piyushee Mukerji @piyusheemukerji presents a podcast series with VTLPodcast on Queer Lives in Small Towns.
Pooja Nair and Shruti Chakravarty talk about experiences of discrimination faced by queer-trans people.
Lameeya Parween, a queer affirmative therapist & core member of the Queer Muslim Project, talks to @_missmindfullness about queerness and mental health.
Aarthi Selvan, Founder-Director, Pause for Perspective, talks about the need for responsibility and accountability to queer lives in the field of mental health.
Ashwini Date, co-founder, The Elephant in the Room, in a live interview with @harpuneeetkaur on Queer rights and visibility!
Shobika Jaju in a discussion hosted by Maansheekh talking about Rubin's concept of the Charmed Circle & how it works to suppress the LGBTQ+ community.
Instagram live video hosted by GirlsUp Nesrin in conversation with Sayli Jadhav talking about what includison means for the queer community.
In this session, Anushree Samant, speaks with Mind at Ease, about queer mental health, unique life stressors, allyship and what do queer affirmative Counselling Practices look like.
Shweta Srinivasan, co-founder, TheMindClan.com explains queer and trans affirmative therapy and harmful therapy practices that must be called out.
Pratiksha speaks about the need for #queeringmentalhealth and why #queeraffirmativetherapy is integral to supporting LGBTQ+ lives
Shama Shah in conversation with Pink Freud about managing self care during the lockdown, for the queer community.
Deepapriya Vishwanathan, talks in a webinar conducted by Mental Health Today, about differences between normal, normative, Ideas/ beliefs about sex, gender, sexuality and expression, the harmful effect of conversion treatment & the role of allies.
Omaiha Walajahi, writer from Pause for Perspective, interviews Patruni Chidananda Sastry, a drag queen from Hyderabad on drag culture in their city.
Sakshi Kaur Hira, a queer affirmative Psyhcotherapist, in conversation with the Mind Knit on the Mental Health aspects of LGBTQ+ community.
Bodies not equal to Gender - an instagram post by Kajal Makwana from Ambrosian Resources on how to be a responsible ally for the queer community?
Pooja Nair on struggles of a queer-trans couple in a cis-het world, couple concerns we face and how to keep loving each other!
Aarthi Selvan, Founder-Director, Pause for Perspective, in conversation with Dr. Swetha Turlapati, an MHP, discussing queer mental health.
Shruti Chakravarty talks about taking responsibility as an older queer person more seriously and sharing bits of her lesbian journey.
Lameeya Parween, Aarathi Selvan and Pooja Nair on a panel with @socialketchup as part of their Virtual Pride. Panel starts from 34 min to 1 hour 15 min on this link.
Omaiha Walajahi, writer from Pause for Perspective, demysifies polyamory and lays out values intrinsic to this form of a relationship.
Shruti Chakravarty tries to get us to reflect on how coming out and seeking acceptance as queer people, is a result of inequality and discrimination.
Raj, MHI Director talks about the importance of giving queer, marginalised labour its due. during pride month, by foregrounding the expertise of lived experience and knowledge from the margins.
Omaiha Walajahi, writer from Pause for Perspective, writes about the history of Pride globally and in India, and provides pointers on how to be a good ally.
Pooja Nair talks to queer-trans folks about self preservation, communicating boundaries, navigating dysphoria, and accessing + creating alternate spaces.
A social media post by TheMindClan.com on harmful therapy practices towards queer and trans* people + community resources for peer support including MHI's list of Queer Affirmative MHPs.
Shruti Chakravarty on Insta Live with @weareyuvaa on stressors of the LGBTQI++ community, channelising internal resources and cis-het allies.
As part of its Identity Series, Pause for Perspective, throws light on bisexuality and bierasure in society.
The video with Pink Freud describes an ally & how to be a therapist ally. It focuses on the need to inculcate queer affiramtive language skills among cis-het individuals.
Pause for Perspective writes about the illegal and harmful practice of conversion therapy & its own stand on the issue.
Watch @mumblingminds_ and @ashwinidate21 speak of Queer Affirmative Practices in mental health, and the dangers of therapist neutrality.
Omaiha Walajahi, writer from Pause for Perspective, interviews Musab Khalid Naqeeb on what its like to navigate the identities of being Queer and Muslim.
This series of creatives designed by Pink Freud attempts to explain what is heteronormativity, how it is omnipresent and works towards suppressing the queer community. It also briefly talks about steps for challenging heteronormativity.
Shalini Rao speaks to @therapyforliberation on why it’s important for mental health practitioners to be queer affirmative - not just queer friendly. Shalini shared some insightful perspectives on why mental health is political and feminist.
Through this article, TheMindClan.com hope to raise awareness, bust misconceptions and take a stand against what is known as "conversion therapy" that continues to be practiced and advocated by some mental health professionals and doctors.
A podcast to spread awareness about LGBT identities, to quash misconceptions, and to provide simple ways in which allies can be queer affirmative in daily life by Unnati Bhardwaj on Hubhopper
Pride Month story highlights to share information on LGBT community and address common misconceptions on the Instagram Page of The Thought Co.
IGTV video interview with MHI QACP Trainer Pooja Nair on Self Doubt and Acceptance with Priyanka Varma
Shruti Chakravarty on the importance of queer community especially in the absence of traditional sites of support such as family. Done upon request from @tiredfeministscollective
Ashwini Date, co-founder, The Elephant in the Room, talks about a few basic Do's and Don'ts of being an ally to the LGBTQIA Community, and a few experiential exercises you can try to challenge the existing cis-heteronormative thinking.
Shalini Rao speaks to RJ Jimmy about the challenges of queer persons coming out and the strategies they can adopt through the process and need for queer affirmative therapy.
Shruti in an Instagram live session with @_jazz_x_x on how the statistics around LGBTQ mental health do not reveal the full story of how minority stress affects the community.
Nikita Gagneja talks about experiences of femme invisibility and coming out through a mental health perspective.
Podcast for Teach for India @teachforindia on Instagram by Pooja and Shruti on Pride and prejudice, what is normal and how to be a good ally.Hosted by @arwari_ and @siddwal
NOTHING TO CURE
Despite the reading down of Sec 377 in September 2018, a range of unethical mental practices continue against LGBTQI++ people. These serve to perpetuate shame, discrimination and trauma on queer-trans people. This has to stop. The community has been raising its voice against conversion treatment for decades but this time the mental health community also joined in. MHPs from the QACP cohort launched a public petition urging MHPs and MH organizations to publicly reject practices such as conversion therapy to commemorate IDAHOBIT 2020. Over 1500+ signed the petition and several MH organizations and associations have published public statements against conversion therapy and other anti queer-trans practices. You can read more about this advocacy initiative below.
MHI Advisory Board member Amalina Kohli Davé is a queer feminist mental health activist & part of user-survivor movements. In this video she talks about holding space for neurodivergence and psychosocial disabilities within queer mental health spaces.
Shruti, MHI Chief Advisor, urges MHPs to issue statements against conversion therapy & uphold the rights of LBTQIA+ persons.
Pooja and Shruti in conversation with Aarambh on Conversion Therapy and contexualising it within work with children. It also throws light on what queer affirmative work with children should entail.
What is conversion therapy? The MH law is against any such practices related to and forced upon the LGBTQ+ community. Aarathi Selvan talks about Conversion therapy and its hazards to the mental health of the concerned individual.
A public petition launched by MHPs from the QACP cohort against harmful & illegal practices such conversion therapy.
Position statement against conversion therapy and approach towards Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ+) persons by Branch of Indian Psychiatric Society (Kerala)
Position Statement from Psychology Circle, a Kerala based group for psy professionals and students - against conversion therapy.
Official standing of IACP regarding 'conversion therapy' and approach towards lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ+) persons.
Often, the first step to change is accessing information. With that in mind, we have developed these videos on #ConversionTherapy and how one may use the law against this malpractice. Let's ensure it has no place in our future: call out and report violations
In the 19th century, different sexual behaviours were divided into ab/normal on a feeble rationale, giving rise to Conversion Therapy that targeted homosexuals. Three centuries on, where do we stand? Know more through our series on this topic.
An excellent letter to use for formulating anti- conversion therapy statements created by Tejas Shah, Queer Affirmative mental health practitioner.
THERAPY & PEER SUPPORT
The LGBTQIA+ community faces unique stressors and challenges from living in a queernegative society. To address these formal, professional counselling services that are queer affirmative will be useful. Reach out to a mental health practitioner who is certified by QACP.
Access to peer support groups and queer-friendly collectives are very important for LGBTQIA+ persons seeking support. Please find here links to such spaces that have been providing a range of support services to the LGBTQI++ community. Some of these have partnered with MHI on our Peer Support Practice trainings.
Shruti Chakravarty is a psychotherapist with an independent practice in Bombay and 17 years of experience; Chief Advisor MHI and faculty at QACP. In this video she shares what the Queer Affirmative Counselling Practice Certificate Course entails and why it would be useful for MHPs to be trained in it.