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Therapeutic Conversations with Queer Youth

Therapeutic Conversations with Queer Youth is for practitioners who seek culturally responsive, socially-just ways of engaging queer youth in conversations that evoke imagination, provoke possibility, and honor the courageous resistance and arresting inventiveness of their young clients. The first therapy book that focuses on work with youth who construct queer identities (as differentiated from essentialized gay or lesbian identities), it's also the first to draw on queer theory and constructionist philosophy to inform practice with queer youth. Case vignettes and reflective exercises suitable for classroom use are provided through the commentary of five queer youth who served as cultural consultants to the research and writing of the book.
Product Details

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Forward, by Sheila McNamee and David Nylund Glossary of Terms Introduction: Queering Your Practice or Practicing Queer? Chapter One: Where Do You Stand? Queer Ethos and Accountability Chapter Two: Social Construction: I Was Discursively Produced This Way Chapter Three: Queer Theory: The Audacity of Difference Chapter Four: Queer as Youth: Resisting the Homonormative of Identity Development Chapter Five: Bringing Sexy Back: Sex Positivity and the Rejection of Erotophobia Chapter Six: iQueer: Popular Culture and Therapeutic Moments Chapter Seven: Bullies, Bible-bangers and Haters: When Others Don't Want It to Get Better Chapter Eight: Resisting Conclusions: Continuing the Conversation Appendix A: Sex Positive Resources References Index About the Author

About the Author

Julie Tilsen, PhD, is the training director for the International Center for Clinical Excellence and an associate of the Taos Institute. Her work is featured in several counselor training videos including Queer Theory in Action: Theoretical Resources for Therapeutic Conversations, Feedback Informed Treatment, Therapy as Social Construction, and iYouth: Kids, Counseling, and Pop Culture.


I immediately engaged with this book. It offers reflective exercises, cases, conceptual frameworks, and conversational resources while also introducing its readers to queer theory & cultural studies applied to youth. * Canadian School Counsellor * Therapeutic Conversations with Queer Youth is unsurpassed as one of the leading applied clinical queer theory texts written to date. Julie acts as a translator in her approach to discussing social construction and queer theory in accessible ways-which allows both experienced clinicians and novice students to grasp challenging concepts. Critical questions and case vignettes guide the reader to thoughtfully consider the significant, yet often unspoken and unacknowledged experiences of young people. She challenges `experts' to move beyond academic and theoretical understandings to a place where insider perspectives of queer youth are heard and honored. Julie breathes humility and responsiveness into her work with queer youth, creating liberating therapeutic spaces. This book radically challenges the conventional diversity training that often guides work with queer youth. Reflecting on Julie's words, it truly is an invitation to clinicians, educators, students, and youth workers to queer your practice. -- Kristen Benson, PhD, North Dakota State University Tilsen produces a sophisticated new vision for mental health professionals to better grapple with the nature of human identity, sexuality, and gender described through the lived experience of queer youth. Using both a scholarly and conversational voice, this researcher critiques the outmoded labels produced within identity politics and modernist psychology and provides a revolutionary and radical analysis for engaging with the complexities, possibilities, and preferences of queer-identified youth. The ultimate strength of this text lies in its riveting commentary on identity construction that unhinges our contemporary understandings of sexuality and gender and provides a fresh pathway to meaningful and respectful engagement with queer youth. -- Gerald Monk, PhD, San Diego State University Prepare to engage! Julie Tilsen takes you right into the middle of conversations with queer young people that are lively, fresh, and deeply respectful. She is not telling counselors how to do what she does. She shines a flashlight ahead of her and says come with me. The ride she takes you on is vibrant, spirited, and rich with intelligent commentary. This book is written to be practiced-not really surprising because Julie Tilsen gives more than sneaking glimpses into her own practice. She opens the door wide and says come on in. She writes with a rare verve and a disarming directness so that her words convey a vital, invigorating force. They blow out cobwebs in the back of the mind. People should read this book. Many people. Some will find it is worth it to turn round straight away and read it again. It hums so much it will repay the effort. -- John Winslade, PhD, California State University San Bernardino Julie Tilsen has written a book that is firmly embedded in both queer theory and narrative dialogic practices, bridging the gap between heady ideas and skilled clinical practice. This book has provided me with the answer to the most common question I am asked-to explain the word `queer.' After years of linguistic stumbling, Julie Tilsen has given me language: `to queer something is an emergent process of disrupting expected norms in such a way that new possibilities emerge and standard, unquestioned practices become open for interrogation.' This very queer book will help all who work with LGBT youth (and Julie Tilsen is clear that we must work collaboratively with these youths) to disrupt our own norms, and to question our clinical practice, developmental theories, and outdated perspectives on identity development. Revolutionary! -- Arlene Istar Lev, LCSW-R, author of Transgender Emergence

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