On today’s episode, we are joined by Dr. Matthew Skinta and Aisling Leonard-Curtin, two mental health providers who specialize in working with gender and sexual minority clients. We discuss:

‧ the emotional impact current events can have for gender and sexual minorities

‧ coming out with compassion

‧ issues of shame, rejection, and minority stress than can arise

‧ promoting resilience among gender and sexual minorities

‧ a mindfulness- and acceptance-based clinical approach to working with LGBT clients

‧ the importance of community and connection


Dr. Matthew D. Skinta and Aisling Curtin co-edited the book Mindfulness and Acceptance for Gender and Sexual Minorities: A Clinician’s Guide to Fostering Compassion, Connection, and Equality Using Contextual Strategies.

They also co-chaired a conference on evidence-based advances in psychotherapy for sexual orientation and gender diverse clients in the Bay Area in 2017, and are following up with a second international conference in Budapest in September, 2019. You can find Information about the conference here:  Advances in Evidence-Based Psychotherapy for Working with Gender and Sexual Minorities Conference (2nd International)

Aisling’s wonderful TEDx Talk, The Power of Small

A Clinician’s Guide to Gender-Affirming Care: Working with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Clients

APA Practice Guidelines for LGB Clients

APA Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming People

PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays)

For a great source for LGBTQ positive and diversity-oriented children’s books , check out the Flamingo Rampant webpage!

About the guests:

Aisling Leonard-Curtin, M.Sc., C.Psychol., Ps.S.I., is a chartered counselling psychologist with the Psychological Society of Ireland who lives with her wife Trish in Dublin, Ireland. She is a TEDx speaker, co-director of Act Now Purposeful Living, has a small private practice, and consults with a number of organisations to deliver acceptance and mindfulness workshops. Aisling is a peer-reviewed acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and functional analytic psychotherapy (FAP) trainer.  Aisling teaches on many university training programmes, and regularly gives workshops and talks internationally throughout Europe, North America and Australia. She has over a decades experience working in a wide range of settings including adult psychiatry, psycho-oncology, educational, health and community settings. Aisling co-authored The Power of Small: Making Tiny But Powerful Change When Everything Feels Too Much., alongside her wife fellow psychologist Trish, a self-help book aimed at those feeling overwhelmed, which was just recently released in 2019.  Aisling has led public workshops since 2010.  Her passion is making psychological concepts easy to understand and apply for all in the community.

Matthew D. Skinta, PhD, ABPP, is a board-certified clinical health psychologist who lives with his husband in San Francisco, CA. His private practice focuses on challenges posed by shame and interpersonal rejection and their interaction with health behaviors or minority status, and for four years he directed the Sexual and Gender Identities Clinic at Palo Alto University. Matthew’s past research has focused on the impact of stigma and shame on health behaviors of sexual minority men, particularly as it relates to sexual health and HIV-related care. He is a peer-reviewed acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) trainer, and is certified as both a compassion cultivation training (CCT) teacher, and as a trainer of functional analytic psychotherapy (FAP). Matthew has provided workshops for professional organizations, universities, and at conferences in North America, South America, and Europe.  He is currently writing a clinical manual on process-based therapy for treating minority stress among sexual orientation and gender diverse clients that will be released by Routledge in 2020.


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