LGBTQI-Affirmative Psychotherapy Training

When he first commenced working in private practice in 2010, Heart Matters Psychology clinical psychologist Dr. Jacques Rizk reached out to local GPs to let them know he was a gay clinician seeking to work specifically with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex (LGBTQI) individuals and couples. LGBTQI people experience much higher rates of suicide, mental health problems, victimisation, and social discord and isolation relative to the rest of the population, and referrers were consistent in their feedback – “we need more psychologists who understand this population and how to help them”. The demand for evidence-based, LGBTQI-affirming clinical services continues to far outstrip the number of practitioners with the specialised training and experience to deliver it; 80% of the clients Jacques sees in his private practice are people who are same-sex attracted or belong to a gender minority group. While offering expert clinical supervision to interested clinicians goes some way to stem this shortage, it is hoped that this series of professional development workshops will help mobilise more practitioners to provide much-needed services to this population.


As part of its commitment to promoting and fostering excellence in clinical training and treatment, Benchmark Psychology is excited to host Jacques in bringing this important workshop to Brisbane.



About the workshop

This is a one-day training event (7 CPD Hours) designed to introduce practitioners to therapeutic work with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex clients.  The workshop will be split into four sections, and by the end of the workshop participants will have extended their knowledge and skills in the following four areas:

  1. Knowledge regarding LGBTQI terminology and the latest research on LGBTQI   well-being and mental health
  2. Working effectively with individual same-sex attracted clients, including: the coming out process; addressing internalised stigma; and addressing potential conflicts between a client’s religious beliefs or culture and sexuality
  3. Working with same-sex couples including: the similarities and differences between heterosexual and same-sex couples; working with internalised stigma in relationships; common issues associated with intimacy and disclosure of the relationship; and working with couples in open relationships
  4. Working with individuals who identify as gender-fluid, non-binary, gender-queer, or transgender, including: the unique and common experiences associated with Gender Dysphoria; the assessment and intervention process with transgender clients; and how to assist transgender clients through the coming out and transitioning process.


The workshop will include a live interview with a former client of the presenter, who will share stories about his lived experience as a trans man, including accessing a psychologist for diagnosis of Gender Dysphoria, and assistance with coming out and transitioning.


La Trobe University researcher and Heart Matters Psychology clinical psychologist Dr. Christopher Pepping ran a modified but comparable version of this training in Melbourne multiple times throughout 2016 and 2017. Not only was participant satisfaction rated consistently very high, but preliminary analysis indicates that these workshops are significantly effective in enhancing clinician self-efficacy in working in an affirmative way with LGBTQI clients.



Who is this workshop for?

This workshop has been developed as an introductory training for clinicians who wish to provide evidence-based, informed, affirmative psychological interventions to LGBTQI individuals and couples. There is an assumed level of knowledge about evidence-based psychological interventions for common disorders and presentations (e.g., the principles of CBT for anxiety disorders, and clinical considerations relevant to working with couples). The workshop is designed to be accessible and beneficial for all interested practitioners (e.g. psychologists, psychiatrists, psychotherapists, counsellors) and clinical supervisors, including those with limited prior exposure to LGBTQI clients and culture.



Key workshop information

The Brisbane workshop will be held on Saturday 15th July 2017, 9am to 5pm. To attend the same workshop in Melbourne with Dr. Christopher Pepping instead, please click here.


Please note that morning and afternoon tea will be provided. Please bring your own lunch. Alternatively, there will be ample break time provided for those wishing to source lunch from the many options close to the venue.


The host venue is:
Benchmark Psychology
2/21 Mt Gravatt-Capalaba Rd.
Upper Mount Gravatt, QLD 4122


Please direct all questions relating to the workshop to Jacques Rizk:
(ph) 0421 281 298.



How to register your attendance

The registration section appears after the ‘Personal bio’ section below.


To register, select the number of attendees and hit the ‘Register Now’ button.


PLEASE NOTE that you will initially be prompted to pay via PayPal only, however you will have the option later in the booking process to pay via either credit card or PayPal.  The fee will also initially appear without GST included, but GST will be added at the final stage of the online booking process.



Personal bio

Dr. Jacques Rizk, Ph.D., started working as a counsellor in 2002 and is now the principal psychologist of Melbourne-based Heart Matters Psychology. He is endorsed as a clinical psychologist and Board approved clinical supervisor, and splits his time between private practice, clinical supervision, and running mental health training within the community.


Jacques has a special interest in LGBTQI-affirming psychological intervention, clinical supervision, and training, and now works almost exclusively with this group of clients and their allies. His clinical work in this diverse and complex area includes: helping clients with Gender Dysphoria; managing bullying and discrimination; couples therapy, including for couples exploring polyamorous and open relationships; working with questioning clients; assistance with coming out; treatment of common comorbid mental health problems; working directly with the families, loved ones, and allies of LGBTQI people; and working with LGBTQI people from a religious and/or cultural and linguistically diverse background.


Jacques is a lifetime member of ANZPATH (the Australian and New Zealand Professional Association for Transgender Health), and in the past was a volunteer regular columnist for a gay national media network. He has provided LGBTQI training to a number of organisations, including the Queensland AIDS Council, Metro North Brisbane Medicare Locals, and Doncare Community Centre.


For more information on Jacques’ work with LGBTQI people, please visit




Cost $250 + $25 GST = $275 TOTAL

(NB: GST will be added on at the payment stage)


Workshop size will be strictly capped at 25 participants

  • 15 July, 2017
    9:00 am - 5:00 pm


Venue Phone: 07 3349 5511

Venue Website:

Level 2, Building 10 Technology Office Park, 107 Miles Platting Road, Eight Mile Plains, QLD, 4113, Australia