This week I talked with Dr. Lauren Costine a leading clinical psychologist, author, educator and activist whose practice focuses on LGBT affirmative psychotherapy about coping with the aftermath of the presidential election. Developed in the 1970's, Lesbian and Gay-Affirmative Psychotherapy (Bisexuality and Transgender were added later) was created as homosexuality was removed from the DSM-II as a mental disorder in 1973. For the last ten years Dr. Costine has worked within the framework of an affirmative approach where she creates a safe, warm, and empathic environment that aims to heal the trauma of growing up LGBT in a heterosexist world. Studies show that growing up LGBT in a world that negates, devalues and demonizes our LGBT community is very traumatizing to the budding sense of self. In her practice, Lauren addresses and deconstructs any and all negative myths and messages about LGBT people that you were taught. Her passion is to debunk these damaging lies so that we can begin to feel an authentic sense of self-love, confidence, empowerment and joy. She has proven this form of psychotherapy works. Now with a pending Trump administration, we have experienced the traumatizing effects over the last week of the prospect of losing hard fought rights for women, people of color, our LGBT community and beyond. I talked to Dr. Lauren Costine about how we need to address our shock, disappointment, grief and anger as we more forward to continue our fight for full equality.
When asked what advise she can offer our community dealing with the aftermath of the election Dr. Costine stated:
Upon review of the most recent fight for the White House it is obvious that our patriarchal-oriented world is still out of balance, in part due to the split between masculine and feminine values in which the masculine is deemed untouchable while the feminine is demonized. When people in a place of unearned privilege, white, heterosexual, cisgender, demonize the feminine, consciously or unconsciously, hate and aggression, misogyny, racism, heterosexism, LGBTQ phobias, oppression and inequality flourish. Learning how to deal with painful feelings so they can morph into something beyond our initial understanding heals our wounds so that we can move onto the next right action. If you are grieving, give yourself the space to grieve. Grief is a process that runs its course if it is given the chance. If you are angry, stay with it without taking it out on others; it will shift and change into something else sooner than you think. If you are sad, don't run from it; it will also dissipate if you give it room to be. These mindfulness practices will heal those painful states so that you can then channel your energy in ways that feel good to you so that we can move onto the next right action.
Dr. Lauren Costine received her MA in Psychology at Antioch University Los Angeles in 2001 and her PhD in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute in 2007. Her focus is on addiction and codependence issues, co-occurring disorders, depth psychology, LGBT-affirmative psychotherapy, lesbian-centered psychotherapy, psychodynamic and family systems modalities. She works with both individuals and couples. Her office is located in Beverly Hills, California.
For More Info: drlaurencostine.com