Interview with Jamie Moran, LCSW on LGBT Social Work
- A certain number of my gay male clients struggle with perfection; we have talked about how early memories point out how perfectionism has a specific role of both protecting them, increasing safety, but limiting vulnerability. Many of them are working on increasing vulnerability in their lives to increase intimacy and connection, and clearly, to feel better about themselves.
- Broader social dynamics, including racism, sexism, and other isms naturally play out in our communities, but can often be ignored, downplayed or misunderstood. A prime example of this is with LGBTQ people of color. Early on in the AIDS epidemic there was, at times, a lack of awareness about who was being hired and where resources were allocated. It is clearly disappointing to feel you have “arrived” in your community only to have familiar mainstream experiences of sexism and racism.
- One of my therapeutic interests is on the concept of “injury and repair’. Basically, we all have injuries of a psychological and emotional level, but the repairs are often lacking. Group therapy is an excellent working environment to work on repair by being with like minded individuals who are motivated to share of themselves and also learn how to approach and integrate repairs. As a colleague of mine once suggested, gay men [and others] have been hurt in groups; and can now heal in groups. Most male environments, certain churches, and other ‘groups’ have been hostile and unsafe. There is a strong degree of potential repair by being in a positive, health enhancing group or environment.