6-Day Course on Queer Affirmative Counselling Practice

“An apology in essence has two dimensions, namely the acknowledgment of having done a wrong and the expression of a willingness to atone for it.” 

Sec 377 of the Indian Penal Code that criminalised non-normative sexualities was read down on September 6th 2018. The judgment went beyond the detached language of the law to uphold the Right to Love for queer people. It acknowledged the oppression of a section of people pushed to the margins due to their genders and sexualities and stated that ‘History owes them an apology’. 

The judgement also centres a collective responsibility. For too long, the mental health community has been complicit in upholding oppressive structures of gender binarism and heteronormativity by providing a "cure" for the non-normative. When we speak of being queer affirming, we are beginning to challenge these structures that pathologise and discriminate against queer persons and participate in promoting their wellbeing in a deliberate and affirming manner.

How might we, as mental health practitioners, contribute, generate and operationalise ways to make amends? This 6-day training is an opportunity to reorient ourselves to an anti-oppressive therapeutic practice. The training covers both perspective building to recognise inequalities and their impact on mental health and also provides tools to address distress and promote well-being of LGBTQIA+ persons. These perspectives and tools will support practitioners to modify their ongoing practice to make it queer affirmative.

This course is open to Mental Health Practitioners, viz. psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, counsellors, preferably with experience of working with queer identified clients/ their families.

Course schedule: 6 days over 2 modules
Module 1 - 30th July Friday, 31st July Saturday, 1st August Sunday, 10am to 6pm
Module 2 - 13th August Friday, 14th August Saturday, 15th August Sunday, 10am to 6pm

Medium of Instruction: English


  • Understanding gender & sexuality-related norms
  • Interrogating gender-sexuality as social structures
  • Exploring sexuality in the personal and professional/ clinical context
  • Paradigms informing Queer Affirmative Counselling Practice
  • Working with Queer individuals and queer-related distress
  • Working with Queer individuals and their inter-personal relationships, addressing issues with family, peers and intimate relationships
  • Understanding the psy diagnostic frameworks from a queer affirmative lens
  • Operationalising Queer Affirmative Counselling Practice - queering some of the traditional approaches to clinical and counselling practice

*Please note: This course will focus on both queer and trans mental health concerns, however will not cover specifics related to gender affirmative therapies (GAT) or medical transition services for trans persons. Participants will be provided with links to resource materials related to GAT.

Registration: Rs 12,000

Venue: Zoom

Last Date for Applications: 25 June 2021

Number of seats: Maximum 50 participants

For more information:
Apply for the course by filling out this form by (midnight) 25 June 2021. For questions write to training@mariwalahealthinitiative.org with the subject line QACP Course Online 2021
Selected applicants will be informed on 5th July 2021. Limited number of scholarships available. Please email MHI on training@mariwalahealthinitiative.org, with your reasons for seeking a scholarship, so that your request can be assessed.