Successfully held Esteem training (LGBTQ-affirming treatment in psychotherapy)

On July 18th and 19th, Subversive Front had the honor to organize a two-day training run by John Pachankis, PhD – Associate Professor of Public Health (Social and Behavioral Sciences) – Yale School of Public Health. Fifteen mental health professionals had the chance to be part of the Esteem training, an evidence-based approach for improving mental health and reducing stigma.

The Esteem research group in New York, led by Professor John Pachankis, creates LGBTQ-affirmative psychotherapy programs to improve the mental health, behavior, and sexual health of LGBTQ individuals. For instance, the ESTEEM intervention reworks gay and bisexual men’s cognitive, behavioral, and emotional experiences to be self-affirming. Originally tested in a small waitlist-controlled trial, this treatment is now being tested in a large multi-site trial in NYC and Miami, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Results will not only establish whether this treatment works over the long-term but also how and why it works, allowing healthcare professionals to incorporate research evidence into their practices.

John Pachankis, a clinical psychologist, has the ultimate goal of translating the results of the studies into psychosocial interventions, aimed at improving the health of the LGBTQ community.

The group in Skopje that passed the training was comprised of professionals working in private institutes for psychotherapy and training, education, health, social affairs, as well as representatives from the non-governmental sector. The applications for participation that were received were selected according to the experience in working with LGBTI people, as well as focusing on the diversity of the group with representatives from different fields and institutions.

After the completion of the training, the questionnaires were anonymously filled in, and they measured the satisfaction from the training, as well as the knowledge and skills in working with LGBTI people.

All participants in the training answered affirmatively to the claims about the benefits of the training, as well as the acquisition of new practices for work, as well as the usefulness of the promotion and accreditation of the Esteem program. The evaluation of the satisfaction from the training is 4.7 (out of maximum grade 5).