Situating Myself as a Counsellor: The Influences of Intimate Experience and Inner Work on Process Ethics
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The experiences of individuals who deviate from heteronormative identity and roles in society are often neglected and/or overlooked, which merely compounds the oppression that sexual minority individuals very frequently experience. My research is a qualitative, autoethnographic study and interwoven analyses, which will aim to reflect upon aspects of myself and my experiences that have long been suppressed, and have, as a result prevented my full understanding of my ethics. I will further consider the question of how persons’ experiences can influence their identity development and why it is important to explore these experiences through inner work. The writing will also incorporate information regarding gender roles, heteronormative assumptions, the culture of athletics, and relationship dynamics with respect to the impact they may have on the overall mental health and level of internalized homophobia, shame and grief of sexual minority individuals in today's society. Finally, I will examine how a better understanding of a sexual minority experience may help counsellors facilitate a therapeutic alliance and build a safe space for their clients.