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Sexual Differences: Shame and Recovery (Armin Baier, LCSW and Laura Koonce, LMFT)

May 17 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm


In the past 50 years, our world has gradually and with much struggle begun to make room for sexual differences in human beings. Sexual identity, sexual orientation and varieties of conventional and unconventional sexual expression are now a vibrant part of our social and cultural discourses. Our sexual differences include both interpersonal expressions and individual impulses and fantasies. Yet, while social and political accommodation of sexual differences is becoming more common in some places, individuals still often experience opposition, conflict and rejection.

Among the most persistent effects of this experience is an ongoing legacy of shame.   The relational approach to contemporary Gestalt Therapy has placed special emphasis on shame. This salon will identify some of the causes and consequences of shame experienced by individuals with sexual differences, how that shame experience shows up in the therapeutic setting in gross and subtle ways, and the possibilities for support and healing through an existential and relational Gestalt therapeutic treatment. Case examples, large group discussion and small group sharing will aid us to deepen this exploration.

Laura Koonce, MA, LMFT, is a psychotherapist in private practice in West Los Angeles. She has a special interest in working with individuals and couples within the LGBTQ+ community from a relational gestalt perspective. She furthered her training with the Pacific Gestalt Institute of Los Angeles and serves on the board of the Gestalt Therapy Institute of Los Angeles.

Armin Baier, LCSW, has a private psychotherapy practice in Los Angeles specializing in relational gestalt therapy, trauma and addiction, and he is a member of the core faculty of the Pacific Gestalt Institute. He provides clinical consultation at the Venice Family Clinic, teaches at the Columbia University School of Social Work MSW program online campus, and serves on the board of directors of the Gestalt Therapy Institute of Los Angeles.



May 17
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Event Category:




Salon Leader(s)
Armin Baier, LCSW and Laura Koonce, LMFT
Free for GTILA members; $5 for nonmembers


Southern California Counseling Center
5615 W. Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90019 United States
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