A self-help therapy against trans-, bi- and homophobia. Presented by West Pride.
A self-help therapy in eight steps
Homophobia Therapy is a self-help therapy in eight steps developed to counteract symptoms such as fear, anger, stress and anxiety when interacting with trans-, bi- or homosexual people.
Based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy the treatment works as a tool to deal with negative cognitive processes and physical reactions. The aim of the therapy is to cure harmful prejudices and make possible a life with less fear, more freedom and happiness.
Step 8: Life as a non-homophobic
When thinking back on how things were before the therapy, do you perceive yourself as less irritated, worried or angry? Perhaps, it is not as important to categorize people or judge them based on how they look as it was before?
To keep developing and avoiding falling back into destructive thought patterns, contemplate over how you can use the tools from the therapy to keep living a life with more happiness, freedom and less prejudice.
Step 7: Meet your feelings
Perhaps the most important part of the therapy is to actually seek out the situations, people or things you feel uncomfortable about. It is all about changing your behavior and thus as a result change your thoughts and emotions. We have to confront things that scare us and learn to deal with it in order to discover that what we have been avoiding actually is not as uncomfortable as we previously thought.
The whole deal is to learn how to tolerate discomfort and thus the discomfort will decrease over time and will in turn allow you to have new experiences.
Step 6: How to practice your thoughts
It can be very hard to change your thought pattern, which can stem from that your thoughts not always align with your behavior.
If you tell yourself that something is dangerous and thus avoid it, it will be very difficult to learn that it is in fact safe. An important part of CBT is to expose yourself to what you fear and willingly go into situations that you would otherwise avoid.
Step 5: Quarreling with your thoughts
The goal with Homophobia Therapy is for you to have thoughts based on reality rather than just positive thoughts. The aim is not to eliminate thoughts but to think differently based on new perspectives.
In this step you will learn to question your negative thoughts. For every phobic thought, an alternative thought will be created that will help you on your path to a freer life.
Step 4: The power of the thought
The thoughts we carry around affect our behavior and emotions. Unfortunately, they seldom constitute objective truths. In this step we will examine your thoughts as a matter of fact, almost like a scientist examines something under a magnifying glass.
To work on your thought patterns, you have to be able to identify them. It may sound obvious, but it takes a lot of practice.
Steg 3: The origin of the phobia
Do you feel discomfort when you see someone who doesn’t fit the norm for sexuality or gender expression? Do you think that men and women should look a certain way? Do you easily adapt to a homophobic jargon without even thinking about it? In this step we will take a look at what factors that contribute to the development of phobia.
Step 2: Motivation, goals and values
To feel ambiguous when presented with change is not uncommon. Change infers accepting something new and such feelings of uncertainty can be stressful.
If you challenge yourself and reflect over what you are thinking, saying and doing, there is a lot to gain. Who knows, an increased understanding of the world around you might lead to something good?
Step 1: What is a phobia?
It is very common to suffer from phobias. Some people develop phobias for totally safe things, such as spiders in Europe, riding the elevator or talking to trans, bi- or homosexual people. It is possible to develop phobias for absolutely anything!
Cognitive behavioral therapy can help you deal with emotional problems by altering thought patterns and behaviors. Perhaps living a life with less discomfort sounds appealing to you?
Questions And Answers
Why do we need Homophobia Therapy?
It has been more than 50 years since the Stonewall Riots and progression of LGBTQ rights have over time been positive. However, prejudice and discrimination of LGBTQ-people is still too common. The fear of being subject to hate crime is far too imminent.
Even some religious groups, both Christian and Muslim, claim that they can convert non-heterosexuals. These are the reasons why we need to do what we can to fight and prevent prejudice, both at a structural level and on an individual level through therapy for trans-, bi- and homophobics.
For whom is the therapy?
Homophobia Therapy is helpful for those who want to work on their own prejudices and phobias in order to live a life free of discomfort and anger issues. The therapy can also be helpful for those who want a tool when coming out to their friends and families.
How long does it take to listen to the therapy?
The therapy consists of 8 steps of 4-8 minutes long episodes. Each episode discusses a specific area and is followed by an exercise. In other words, to listen to all of the episodes does not take that long. The exercises on the other hand takes more effort from the listener in order to give results. As with everything else,” practice makes perfect” for the best result.
Is trans-, bi-, or homophobia an illness?
No, homo-, bi-, transphobic people are not ill in a clinical sense. Although it may intrude and strongly limit the quality of their lives.
Why have you excluded bi- and transphobia in the therapy?
Bi- and transphobia are included in the therapy. We chose to call it ”Homophobia Therapy” because it’s easier to communicate and explain in order to get across to the general public.
Why do you support homophobes instead of people in the LGBTQ-community?
In this project, as opposed to a lot of other things we do, we have chosen to support LGBTQ-people by working with the offenders. It is like removing the bully instead of the one who is being bullied.
Do I need to listen to all the episodes to be helped?
For this project, unlike many of our other initiatives, we chose to support LGBTQ-people by focusing on individuals who suffer from homo-, bi-, and transphobia. In the therapy, we focus on those who oppose the lives of people in the LGBTQ community, how their fear is unfounded and how they can work on their prejudices in order to live freer lives. Our goal is a society without fear, prejudice and discrimination.
Genom Solidaritetsfonden bjuder West Pride in internationella gäster till festivalen som annars inte hade haft möjlighet att delta, då de inte kan leva öppet i sina hemländer på grund av förtryck och diskriminering.
Vi vill erbjuda dem en möjlighet att vara på en plats och i ett sammanhang där de kan vara öppna med sin sexualitet och inte behöva vara oroliga för våld eller förtryck. Vi vill ge dem en upplevelse där de kan känna glädje och stolthet över sig själva.Läs mer om Solidaritetsfonden
West Pride är en konst- och kulturfestival som skapar trygga mötesplatser för personer och lyfter upp normkritik och hbtq-personers livssituation. Festivalen är gratis för besökarna, 12-16 juni.
Published by West Pride | email@example.com