Thriving in the margins

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Mitchell, M. B.
Hamilton, Tommy
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Conference Contribution - Oral Presentation
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
social workers
intersex people
New Zealand
Intersex Trust of Aotearoa New Zealand
ANZSRC Field of Research Code (2020)
Mitchell, M. B., & Hamilton, T. K. (2015, August). Thriving in the Margins. Paper presented at Health In Difference 9th National LGBTI Health Conference, Canberra, Australia.
This workshop will explore the challenges and opportunities of therapists who both come from and work with the more ‘excluded’ members of the LGBTIQ communities. We will comment on the lack of discourse about this reality. We will share our own identities and realities with personal story/ experiences. Explore privilege, minority stress and intersexionality in our own lives, our whanau/families the people we love, and the communities we work with. We will suggest that while it is possible to ‘thrive in the margins’ doing so requires attention to detail, a willingness to be reflective, real and honest. To find safe people, colleagues, to share with and learn from. To hold boundaries in critical and clear ways. Knowing that many of the things that our white, cis gendered, hetro, training left us poorly prepared for the reality of working with minority community that we are variously part of. The workshop will invite participants to also share their own experiences of thriving and not thriving ‘in the margins.’ We will draw out the collective wisdom that emerges from the room. Finally, we will dream and imagine where we might go, and or need to go, in the future. As recognised, valued cultural minority professionals, holding the reality that our knowledge can both inform, deepen and challenge mainstream practice. Result in less burn out. A connected and supportive more visible professional community. Reduced Illness. Better health for ourselves and our clients.
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