Life Beyond Therapy: The 8 kinds of love

Now that Valentine’s Day has passed, many of us are wondering: What exactly is “love” anyway? I recently went to a workshop where many different aspects of love were addressed and we, the participants, were encouraged to examine how these different aspects of love appear (or don’t) in our lives.

Excited by this, I sat down and wrote about the eight kinds of love that I think are the most interesting and how they enrich or impoverish our lives. Most of these names are from the original Greek words, so they may not be familiar to you.

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Care of older LGBT adults: New AGS recommendations

NEW YORK — Health professionals who care for older adults can pioneer fairer and more equitable treatment for LGBT individuals subject to unfair discrimination in health care and society, according to a new position statement from the American Geriatrics Society (AGS).

New rule amending Family and Medical Leave Act impacts same-sex spouses

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Department of Labor announced today that eligible workers in legal same-sex marriages will be able to take federal job-protected family and medical leave to care for their spouse or family member, regardless of where they live.

The Final rule amends the regulatory definition of spouse under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and extends these rights to all eligible workers in same-sex marriages.

Australia: LGBTI Indigenous people offered a rainbow to follow

KIMBERLEY, Western Australia -- As a gay Aboriginal man, Dameyon Bonson says it was difficult to find anyone like him when he was growing up.

There were no gay Aboriginal role models that he knew of, and the AIDS scare that swept through Australia – culminating with the Grim Reaper campaign of 1987 – meant Bonson felt ashamed, and even scared, of his sexuality.

Nearly 30 years later, much of the health information aimed at gay Indigenous Australians is still centred around HIV and sexually transmitted diseases, says Bonson, a suicide prevention worker in the Kimberley.

Life Beyond Therapy: The ‘well of loneliness’

As a young gay boy in small-town Ohio, I read “The Well of Loneliness,” one of the few LGBT books I could get my hands on in our miniscule (and conservative) town library. The novel — written in 1928 by British author Radclyffe Hall — follows the life of Stephen Gordon, an Englishwoman whose homosexuality is apparent from an early age. She finds love with Mary Llewellyn, but their happiness together is doomed by social isolation and rejection.

Transgender children are not confused about their gender identity, study finds

An ongoing longitudinal study of transgender children and their siblings has revealed that these youths have a strong understanding of their gender identity. The paper’s findings, published in the February edition of the journal Psychological Science, counter the belief that transgender children are confused about their gender or are too young to understand what gender means.

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Life Beyond Therapy: Sigmund Freud goes to Palm Springs

For many of us LGBT San Diegans, this is the perfect time to go to Palm Springs: it’s not too hot and just far enough away to feel like we've had an adventure.

I was thinking recently of what it would be like if Sigmund Freud — the famous psychoanalyst — were alive today and joined me for a weekend in Palm Springs. He and I would sit by the pool at an LGBT-friendly resort during White Party weekend, margaritas in hand, watching the boys and girls go by. Here’s what Sigmund might say:

Male victims of campus sexual assault speak out

Note: The following story contains descriptions of sexual assault that some readers might find upsetting.

It was Andrew's sixth night of freshman year at Brown University when he was assaulted by a male student in his dorm bathroom. When Andrew brought on-campus charges, his assailant was expelled.

Unlike myriad students who report mishandled cases in the burgeoning national campaign against sexual assault, Andrew initially believed his case was handled appropriately.

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Life Beyond Therapy: "Eternal boy" syndrome

This week, I was talking to a client who is a smart, successful and happily-married bisexual woman in her early 30s.

We were talking about her worries and fears when suddenly she surprised me.

“I know it sounds weird, but I don’t want to grow up,” she said. “I want to be like Wendy in Peter Pan. Growing up sounds boring. Do I have to?”

I think this highly-accomplished woman is speaking for all of us. Do we have to grow up? And what does “growing up” mean anyway?

Life Beyond Therapy: Cleaning up

When I was a brand new therapist, I used to think that New Year’s resolutions were a good idea.

Now – years later — I see the truth.

For the vast majority of people, New Year’s resolutions are not useful and often make us feel worse, because 99.99 percent of the time we can’t follow through with them.

Instead, I recommend that my clients use the end of the old year/start of a new one to “clean up.” With a nice, new year we want a nice, “clean” life, don’t we? Isn’t that the point of all those “resolutions” we’ve made in the past?