Tag Archive: gay

Women have to make gay helath policy – where are the gay men?

 

 

Gay sexual health policy driven too much by women

 

For years I have been at meetings where discussion of sexual health messaging, policy and procedures is taking place.  Too often these meetings are dominated by women. Few men and often I am one of the only or few gay guys there.  Of course many meetings happen that I am not part of but it seems like most of these meetings are dominated by women.

 

I was told by a gay guy that he attended a half day meeting about spending the $50 million dollars for BC HIV “prevention” (this is another story for next time, 50 million for what?), he said the presenters never mentioned the words gay, MSM, homosexual.  But there was discussion on mother to child transmission,  which has happens much less than one time a year.  I must add that the women try hard to understand gay men’s issues.  Not long ago I was at a meeting (the only gay guy in the room), it was about gay men’s sexual health issues.  There was discussion about a new term “pig sex”, and this was being explained to all assembled.  It feels strange to be sitting with a bunch of straight females talking about gay guys having “pig sex” (as a new phenomenon). Where are the gay men in these discussions?  If gay men are not part of the discussions then who will try to understand our needs, someone has to.  It is not easy for someone outside the community to fully understand, it is hard work for these people, they need our help.

 

An example of this kind of ineffective practice is a situation where men would be telling women about what being pregnant is like.  They can talk about it and have an understanding of the concept of pregnancy but they can never know pregnancy the way a women can.  The women often involved in gay health research, know their limitations, want to understand and want to help gay guys live a healthy life.  I have always felt welcomed and my comments as a gay guy are always greatly appreciated, but ultimately most policy and procedural decisions about treating gay guys are made not by gay guys but by straight women and straight men.

 

HIV education needs to acknowledge as a basic truth that sex for gay men isn’t just a collection of physical practices to be modified.  It’s how we relate,  how we connect, and yes, love.  Understanding that is where HIV education needs to start.  I modified this quote from:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/9/3/896919/-WGLB-presentsYou-Cant-Handle-the-Truth%21:-Gay-Men-and-HIV-Education  It is an interesting article that examines some of these issues in more depth.

 

Gay guys are the largest group of new infections of HIV, by far!  Gay guys are the largest group of group of new syphilis cases by far.  If gay guys are such a large group of the sexual health clients then where are they in being included in part of the solution.   It seems like HIM (Health Initiative for Men), and PWA are well placed to have or develop their expertise in sexual health of gay men, and should be a permanent consultant to all discussions about policies and procedures relating to gay men.  I do not think they are asked for their input and understandings very often.  Gay men should be a main part of all training of sexual health nurses, because they are the main part of the positive syphilis

More on gay guys and drug use

 

 

There are many things that gay guys may do to excess.  The excess causing the most problems I see in our community are:  alcohol, Crystal Meth, coke, body image concerns.  The things that we do not do enough of are: self love, support for each other, self acceptance as we are, pursuing things that make us really happy.  Here I will look at the excesses.

Is there anything wrong with occasionally using drugs?  While some gay guys do not use substances there are many who do.  A few of those who use substances sometimes have trouble because of their use.

Some of the main problems around substance use are: unsafe behaviour, using drugs so much that is causes problems for the user i.e., financial concerns, and disrupting relationships, hindering personal growth.

I have tried to experience most drugs during my life, but I have not achieved that yet.

I think that the typical way of approaching problem substance use is to focus on the drug and not on the reasons for using the drug(s).  There are reasons why we may use drugs.  Drugs do something for the user.  The most common benefit we look for in substance use is to feel free/uninhibited.  Crystal Meth is a good example of this.  Crystal Meth often allows guys feel sexually free; to be free to be the sex pig they would like to be but are too inhibited to freely enjoy such sex without the assistance of drugs.  Alcohol also helps guys to feel less inhibited; coke can help guys to feel less vulnerable/more in control.  Marijuana can help us to feel more mellow/relaxed.

So the common theme behind most of this substance use is to compensate for feeling inhibited.  We do not feel free enough to be ourselves.  We learned at an early age to not be the gay kid in school, to not be who we are, to hide who we are … to inhibit our natural feelings.   It is no surprise to see our community use drugs that helps us to feel less inhibited and freer to be ourselves.

Most of us spent years trying to survive childhood and early adulthood by hiding our feelings, because we felt that was the only way to survive and thrive.  We knew that there was a risk in being free to be ourselves, these risks are real and intense, the most common fears of being ourselves centred around: safety risks (gay bashing), risk to our career advancement, risks to being teased or bullied in school, risk of losing love of our family/friends.  This early trauma of threat and survival will have an effect all our lives.  Some of us can use these experiences to make us stronger, confident that we can handle what comes our way.  For others we feel afraid, scared to be; apprehensive about the world that seems unsafe and unfair.   For most of us it is a bit of both.  (For me I think part of the reason for getting a PhD is to prove I was ok I was acceptable.)

It is not surprising that some of us use substances.  I believe that drugs are not the problem.   Drug use is the symptom. Usually the symptom is our trying to cope with fears and inhibitions in our lives.

Some guys find the traditional drug abstinence programs work for them, but many do not.

So what is another way to approach drug use in our community?  There is no one answer for everyone but I believe that for most guys it is important to explore what we get out of our drug use.  How can we get that same result without problematic substance use?  An example of this might be, how do we be free enough to be the sex pig we enjoy being without Crystal Meth?  Again in this case Crystal Meth may not be the problem but the enabler to allow us to be free.  Crystal often provides the sense of being free/spontaneous/inhibited, but most guys find the actual sexual stimulation/organism is less important than the feeling of being free to be a sex pig.

We all use substances to help us feel better it may be coffee, alcohol, chocolate, etc.  Do these substances we use bring us closer to being the person we feel good about, and do they make us a happier better person?  If these substances do not contribute to our ultimate happiness then we may want to make some changes.   We must understand our fears and inhibitions as well as work on ways to change our habits.  I think drug use is not a bad thing but if we feel it is not helping us to be the best we can be, then we may want to make some changes.  Some things that we can do is use less of the drug, try a different drug that does not cause us problems.  But addressing the underlying issues is important to grow to be who we want to be.  This may involve counselling, or self-examination, or just pushing ourselves to take some risks to be more our ultimate ourselves.

The failure of medical community in delivering HIV messages

 

 

It has been more than 25 years that gay guys have been told to use condoms for sex.  Yet many of us still sometime do not do what we are told.  Almost no sexually active gay guys will say “I did not know I should use condoms”.  So why do we still get the same message, for 25 years, that clearly is not working?

Sex is complex and there are a lot of emotions that are part of our sex lives.  But the emotional part of who we are and the importance that sex plays in our lives, is not addressed.  Our originations around the world still shout at us to “USE CONDOMS”.  This message gets old and tiresome, yes we know that.   Where are the messages that help us to understand why we are not using condoms?

HIV has for over 25 years been dominated by the medical profession.  Medicine has done wonders at helping those of us who may be infected to have a healthier and better life.   But medicine tends to take a scientific and logical approach to problems.  Hence the simple message of “use condoms”.  Medicine is not as good at dealing with complex emotional aspects of human behaviour.

I think it is time for medicine to step aside in addressing HIV prevention and give way to the social scientists to explore more effective messaging.  It is also time for our organizations to focus more on messages other than “use condoms”.

If you ask gay guys why they sometimes do not use condoms they often have no more understanding than “I do not like condoms.”  There was an effort to tell us that condoms were fun and sexy but that message did not go very far.  So we may know that sex is better, more fun, easier, and more intimate without condoms.  But we are not assisted much in understanding how we sometimes allow ourselves to not use condoms.

It seems that there has been an underling message of: “be afraid of HIV”, and then by extension that leads to  fear  HIV poz guys.  Many gay guys have become so scared of HIV that they reject HIV poz guys.  Messages of fear are not effective.   Messages of fear have had the effect of marginalizing members of our community, not building a stronger community.  We know too much about stigma in our community; we do not need any messages that promote stigma amongst members of our own community.  We need messages of understanding, acceptance and support.  Where are the messages that a poz guys with undetectable viral load is not going to transmit HIV?  Where are the messages of support and understanding?

I have spent almost 20 years talking to guys about their sex lives and HIV.  I have noticed a few trends in HIV infections.   For over 10 years I would say “Guys are most vulnerable to get infected when a relationship ends.”  In the last few years I have seen that perhaps this message is too narrow.  It seems to me that guys are most vulnerable to get HIV when they are feeling their life is falling apart.  That can be death of a parent or a loved one, job loss, depression,  loss of home and loss of relationship, etc.

I do not pretend to have “the answer” to why we do not always use condoms but I feel I have some understanding of how bare sex happens.  But let’s focus more on why we take risks, when we will take risks and how to support all of us to take better care of ourselves.

Help for gay guys to decide when to have bareback sex

 

 

Sex between guys can be very complex.  Often when guys begin a sexual encounter they do not know how it will unfold, will it include: sucking, ropes, handcuffs, fucking, rimming, piss, electricity, alcohol, drugs, lots of alcohol, sounds, scat, tit play, other guys, fisting and many others.  The creative play between two guys exploring where their sex will go it part of the fun.

 

Reducing safe sex messaging to a simple prescription of “use condoms” is not very helpful, because we already know that message but who helps us to make the decisions in a complex playful experience of having sex.  The medicalization of safe sex messaging has not served us well.  Almost all new HIV infections now have emotional and psychological reasons as a main cause for lack of condom use.  The medical professional is not trained to integrate the emotional and psychological causes of problems, they are trained to look for medical causes.  Where is the messaging that helps us make the decisions we are comfortable with?

 

Let me give an example of how a psychosocial messaging may be more helpful for guys

 

A while ago a guy asked me, if he as poz bottom with long standing undetectable viral load could be fucked without condoms by his boyfriend who was negative.

 

I, as a person trained in psychology, made a few suggestions as follows:

 

1.         Consider how upset would your boyfriend be if he became poz.

 

2.         Also consider how upset you would be if your boyfriend became poz.

 

3.         Some people think that if either you or he have an STI that HIV transmission is more likely, so you could decide to not have unprotected sex outside the relationship.

 

4.         Some people think that if he cums and/or pees after fucking it will clean out the urethra and reduce the chances of getting HIV.

 

5.         If you (the poz guy) get a cold or some other infection your viral load MAY go up; you may wish to be more careful at these times.

 

6.         The spectrum Health website (the largest group of doctors treating gay men and HIV poz guys in BC, suggests that without an undetectable viral load there is 1 in 1,666 chance of getting infected as a top for each fuck.  (6.5/10,000) We can assume that with an undetectable viral load these odds are much less.  The exact chance of getting infected is not known but it may be 1 in 10,000 or maybe 1 in 100,000.  (BC is spending $50 million to reduce HIV poz guys viral load in an effort to reduce transmission; so they must believe that this will have a big effect in reducing the number of new infections.)  (The cynic in me thinks that it is not $50 million being spent because they care about the welfare of poz gay guys, or other poz persons.)

 

So by using the complex information above they can make decisions about the kind of sex they choose to have.

 

Notice that none of the above are “shoulds” but only things to consider when making decisions.  Medicine is good at “shoulds” and “musts” – at prescribing – a behaviour.  He did not want a prescription, but he really wanted to know was “what do I need to consider if we proceed with not using condoms” (if that is our choice).  He knows the normal message of use a condom, that is not what he is looking for and if no one helps him to know what to consider and give him an understanding of what are the risks and  how to reduce those risks of transmission he/they will be “fucking in the dark” – so to speak

 

What is interesting about this question is why he did not go to a medically trained person to ask this question.  I believe that he would have gotten a medical response that is prescriptive and not really useful for their decision making.  The medical profession has done wonders at supporting, treating and educating all of us on HIV.   But, the medicalization of HIV safe sex messaging has run it course.

 

It is time for medicine to step aside with the less than useful messages.  We need a psychosocial approach that will help us makes decisions that fit in our complex lived sexual experiences. What is needed is to understand that only pushing condoms is not effective.  What we need instead is messages to help guys to make informed decisions around their complex sexual decisions.

 

If there was more space I would add the following:

 

We need help to understand when and how we find ourselves vulnerable to take risks that are outside our comfort level.  For some it may be when drinking, for others it may be when depressed, for others it may be when horny, or lonely, or he is hot, or any number of things that we all need to understand more about how we put ourselves in situations where we are not comfortable afterwards.  In my experience the general pattern is when a person feels their life is falling apart, (job loss, boyfriend break up, money problems etc.) then they may do things that later they wish they had not done.

Risks and HIV Transmission for Gay Men

 

 

This one tends to continuation on from my last article in Xtra on 15 Dec 2011, but from a new angle.

 

I recently talked to an MD who works for the government in the field of HIV and s/he said that we need a nuanced message to deal with the new information out there about undetectable viral load reduces the risk of transmitting HIV.  S/he feels we need new messaging because s/he see people every day coping with viral load questions.  My response was that the CDC does not know the meaning of nuance they only know short messages with an all or nothing message, Later I talked with one of those bureaucrats that is part of developing those all or nothing messages. (S/he does not see patients in real life, and I wonder if s/he only knows about sex from journals and books.)  S/he confirmed s/he likes the all or nothing short simple messages.  Short and simple seems to be more important than how accurate the message is.

 

 

 

What if you wanted to go skiing and wanted to make sure you would not get injured in an accident on the dangerous highway 99.  You could decide to drive only between 2AM and 3AM, when there are fewer cars, you can get the best snow/ice tired there are, you can get the safest car with the most air bags, you could decide to only drive on days when there is no snow or rain.  But likely this would not be practical or fun – but safer.  Likely you will just drive to the ski hill when you want to ski and tell yourself to be careful.  After all you did it for two years and had no problems so just tell yourself to be careful.  Well it is a lot like fucking.  There are things you can do to make it safer but they may not all be fun or practical.

 

The Journal Science has declared that the scientific breakthrough of 2011 was a study (HPTN 052), this study found that a person with an undetectable viral load reduces transmission of HIV by 96%.  One article said “Having an undetectable viral was as effective as condoms.

 

That is like going to buy a pair of jeans for $100.00 but finding out they are reduced by 96% so they now cost $4.00.  That is a huge difference.

 

So lets look and what this means for fucking without condoms.  If you are getting fucked raw by a HIV poz guy with and undetectable viral load the chance of getting infected goes from 1 in 200 (no HIV treatment) to 1 in 5,000.  If you are fucking a poz guy raw with undetectable viral load the chances of getting HIV goes from 1 in 1,538 (no treatment) to 1 in 38,461.

 

So if you have sex with a poz guy with an undetectable viral load and if you use a condom that reduces it a further 96%.  So it is like those $100 pair of jeans go to $4.00, and then are deduced again by 96% and now they cost 16 cents.

 

We are told that BC government is spending $50,000,000 to get as many positive persons as possible to have an undetectable viral load.  They call it “Treatment as Prevention”, but that is just the marketing to the government.  It is not preventing HIV transmission but it is reducing the risk of getting HIV by 96%.

 

The risk of fucking without condoms changes dramatically – yea it is reduced by 96%!.  What do us as gay guys do?  Do we take more risks?  Do we decide that maybe we play more in the sandbox with the poz guys with undetectable viral load because they are not so scary now?

 

Do negative guys become scarier to play with because 2.5% of them may be poz and not know it and therefore may be 20 -25 time more likely to pass on HIV. For the guys who think they are negative but are newly positive then getting fucked by them changes the risk from 1 in 200 for a (poz guy with detectable viral load) to 1 in 10 for newly poz guy.

 

You may ask a negative partner if he get tested on a regular basis.  If he does it likely is because he is concerned he is maybe positive.  So why would you think he is negative if he thinks he may be poz and gets tested regularly to find out.

 

So if you decide to have sex only with guys who believe they are negative what is the chance of getting HIV?  We know 2.5% of those guys who think they are negative are really positive.  If we assume that those 2.5% are newly infected and that is why they do not know they are poz then the chance of becoming poz is about 1 in 200 if you choose only guys who think they are negative.   An interesting number – it is the same number as getting fucked by a poz guy with detectable viral load.

 

Where do all these numbers leave us.   Well poz guys with undetectable viral load are a lot less likely to infect someone then if they did not have an undetectable viral load.   Negative guys who will take risks with you will take risks with others also, – did you think you were special – so he may be poz.

 

A number of negative guys have told me that often poz guys are just more fun to have sex with than negative guys.

 

So where does the leave us?  Are poz guys (with undetectable viral load) sought after now, and are the “negative” guys shunned as having the potential for infecting others?  The science may say there is a good case for this.  But after all it is fear and prejudges that made many negative guys shun poz guys in the first place, – it was not science!  Our prejudges against poz guys as sex partners will not change easily.

 

What we do not need is the institutional marginalization of poz guys.  Many organizations will tell us we are at higher risk if we have sex with a poz guy.  Surveys ask “do you have sex with poz guys?”, they then tell you are at more risk if you do have sex with poz guys, this is not true if the viral load is undetectable. The institutional response should be: “ know your partners viral load” not his HIV status!

 

Well this is my last regular column in Xtra,   I plan on doing a retrospective piece next month outlining what I have learned while writing these pieces and bring up a few points to consider.  I may be back with the occasional writing on gay men’s health.

If only there were courses on being gay

If only there were courses on being gay

OPEN WIDE / How to make friends and connect with others

Bill Coleman / Vancouver / Thursday, July 28, 2011

 

 

If you ask me, the most common problem for gay men in Vancouveris a feeling of being lonely and disconnected.

I’m not talking about whether or not you currently have a boyfriend. I’m talking about not feeling close to anyone.

I believe that feeling of aloneness, of disconnection, alone/not connected, is the single biggest cause of guys becoming HIV-positive.

Vancouver may be full of friendly people, but there’s a common perception that it’s hard to make friends in this community. For most of us, making friends is an extremely important part of living a happy life. Feeling alone leads to social withdrawal for many guys. To build a strong community, we need to nurture confident, happy guys. We need to build a healthy community ourselves.

The beginnings of this strong community lie in supporting and respecting each other. As a therapist, I see many isolated gay guys who feel they cannot connect to anyone anywhere.

I have taken many courses in my life, most of them full of facts I did not want or need to know. But the two courses I’ve always wanted to take but could never find are Being Gay: How to Thrive in Gay Culture and Gay Sexuality: From Cruising to Kink and Everything in Between.

These are some of the most important skills for a successful, happy life, but they’re hard to learn with little or no guidance. I wonder why these courses don’t exist?

For more than 20 years, I have asked different groups in a number of cities to consider offering such courses, but no one has ever taken me up on the idea.  Maybe they’re right: maybe no one (except me) would sign up.

I’d offer the courses myself, but I wouldn’t have a clue where to start. I need them as much as — or more  than — the next guy.

I think bathhouses should offer monthly courses for new and old patrons alike. Imagine how much more enjoyable the bathhouse experience would be with a little instruction. (I’d sign up — I am a total failure in a bathhouse!)

And how about a course from online dating companies on Effective Bios and Effective Messaging: How to Find What You Want Online? They could even offer it online so people could remain anonymous.

I bet a lot of gay bar staff, who have observed years of bar behaviour, could give a course on How to Successfully Connect with a Guy in the Bar.

While we wait for gay school to start, there are some concrete things we, as individuals, can do.

We can smile more, make an effort to be more approachable and stop being so reluctant to say hi to strangers.

We can strike up a conversation first and not wait for the other person to find the courage to reach out to us.

We can stop expecting everyone to like us — and stop taking it so personally if they don’t. (Less than half the people you meet will be interested in developing a friendship with you, or with anyone else for that matter.)

We can be truly interested in the people we’re talking to, in discovering who they are and what they might share with us.

Remember: sitting at home knitting will not help you build friendships and connections.

You may wonder where I got my list of suggestions: it’s all the stuff I don’t do but think I should. I’ll try if you will. Together, maybe we can make a difference in our community and in our own lives.

 

About Bill Coleman

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Bill Coleman

Trained in psychology, Bill has devoted a major portion of his career to treatment, training and program development in the field of sexually transmitted disease with a particular focus on HIV. Working in North America, Europe,Africa and Asia he has cultivated his craft in many different cultural settings.

 

In practice and in life, he combines frank realism with unflinching humanism.  He believes in people, whatever their particular circumstance, and their capacity to find their way.  Bill has developed keen sensitivities for authenticity and fairness.  He is alert to ways in which organizations and systems may exert power over individuals, or for that matter, how one individual may exercise power over another.  Fittingly, his model for peer counselling specifically address these issues. His basic working premise is that when people feel safe, understood and supported, the will naturally enter into honest self-exploration and change.He currently operates a private practice and lives in Vancouver providing counselling to clients as well as consultation and training to agencies and organizations.Bill has worked as a psychologist for over 20 years working with gay men and forensic patients.  He moved to Amsterdam in 2001 and  returned to Vancouver in 2008.Bill wrote monthly columns on gay health  in Xtra – a local gay newspaper.  He is continuing his work as a psychotherapist, mostly with gay guys in Vancouver. Bill has taught counselling and has developed a video of his training method for peer counsellors.  The videos are available for viewing on this blog. Below is Bill’s resume and qualifications.

 

 

 

BILL COLEMAN, PhD
1160 Burrard St.
Vancouver BC  V6Z 2E8
778 320 4850
Email:  bcxca@yahoo.com

 PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS

British Columbia Association of Clinical Counsellors                 Registration number 3287

Canadian Psychological Association                                         Registration number 3099

 

 

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

Clinical Counselling and Consultation, Vancouver, Canada                   September 2008 – present

Private Practice

  • Provided clinical counselling to clients with a focus on: sexuality, men’s health, HIV, gay issues, and relationships
  • Delivered consultation services to Amerisourcebergen,  , Spectrum Health and Downtown Infectious Diseases Clinic to provide counselling for HIV positive persons who are taking Kaletra
  • Provided workplace mediation consultation services  to clients including the Positive Living Society
  • Contributed to a monthly column in Xtra West sharing expertise in gay men’s health

 

The University of British Columbia Medical School                                          August 2008 – 2012

British Columbia Centre for Disease Control

Faculty Appointment

  • Provided consultation on research design and development of a 5 year CIHR funded grant investigating the provision of social support for newly infected HIV+ gay men
  • Developed a training program for training peer counsellors
  • Supervision of peer counsellors working with newly diagnosed HIV+ gay men

 

British Columbia Persons with AIDS Society                                         October 2009 –November 2009

 

  • Provided training to peer counsellors to support people living with HIV through Lighthouse Society in the Fraser Valley

 

Health Imitative for Men (HIM), Vancouver, Canada                                    October 2010 – March 2014

Vancouver, Canada

Counsellor Trainer

  • Trained peer counsellors to provide counselling to  HIM’s clients and supervised peer counsellors

The NANNIE Method, Vancouver, Canada                                                                         November 2010

Peer Counselling training DVD development and production

  • Developed the NANNIE method of peer counselling
  • Produced hour long DVD training video to demonstrate use of the NANNIE method amongst peer counsellors.  Funded by Health Canada Grant

 

Artsen Zonder Grenzen, Amsterdam, Netherlands                                       April 2004-August 2008

(Doctors Without Borders)

Clinical Psychologist and Counsellor Trainer

  • Provided training for peers to support those suffering from post-war trauma
  • Provided training for peers to support to persons with HIV
  • Trained field counsellors and health professionals to support patients in war affected areas

 

Dr. Peter Centre, Vancouver, Canada                                                                April 2000- August 2002 Clinical Psychologist

  • Consulted with management on harm reduction and provided staff counselling training in harm reduction and safe injection sites

 

British Columbia Centre for Disease Control, Vancouver, Canada         April 1991- August 2002

Clinical Psychologist   

  • Counselled patients and provided risk reduction training to patients newly diagnosed with sexually transmitted diseases and/or HIV

 

Canadian Psychological Association, Ottawa, Canada              November 1997 – September 1999

Chair and Organising Committee Member

  • Organized “AIDS IMPACT, International Conference on the Psychosocial Aspects of HIV Infection”

 

Adult Forensic Psychiatric Outpatient Services, Canada                          January 1986- April 2002

Ministry of Health  BC

Clinical Psychologist

  • Provided group and individual therapy to individuals including sex offenders, drug and alcohol abusers and persons with antisocial personalities
  • Performed comprehensive assessments and prepared court reports

 

Prince George Health Unit, Prince George, Canada                        October 1992 – November 1998

PWA / HIV+ Counselling

Prince George AIDS Society, Prince George, Canada                                                                1991-1996

Consultant and Trainer

Mental Health Services, Prince George, Canada                                           August 1988 – April 1989

Clinical Psychologist

  • Assessed and treated young offenders

 

Mental Health Services, Kamloops and 100 Mile House, Canada                May 1984 – April 1987

Clinical Psychologist

  • Young offender assessment and treatment.

 

Children’s Service Centre, City of Calgary, Canada                          September 1982 – August 1983

Clinical Psychologist/Administrator

  • Provided individual and group counselling, staff training, consultant to staff, supervise social worker. The centre housed 102 children from age 8 – 19.

 

Solicitor General Alberta & Calgary General Hospital, Canada       April 1981 – September 1982

Clinical Psychologist, Forensic Outpatient Clinic

  • Assessed and treated inmates on remand
  • Assessed and treated offenders in Calgary and other communities and jails in southern Alberta

 

Corrections Canada, Drumheller and Bowden, Canada                             May 1977 – January 1981

Clinical Psychologist

  • Provided parole assessments, group therapy, individual treatment, local staff training, member of a team that designed a national prison guard hostage negotiating training package

 

 

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

Counseling Europe, Den Haag, Netherlands                                     February  2003 – January 2006

  • Taught advanced counselling skills in the last year of a 3 year certificate course in counselling
  • Provided supervision of advanced counsellors in Training

 

Health Canada Grant, Prepare and publish a training program for teaching counselling skills to persons in Canada on HIV and AIDS                                                                 April 1995 – July 2000

  • Chaired the working group and prepared modules on: HIV and Substance Use, and Counselling Recently Diagnosed Persons with HIV; in Phase, A Program in HIV/AIDS Education, Psychological Aspects of HIV/AIDS, Training Modules.

 

Vancouver Community College, Vancouver, Canada                            April 1989 – December 1989

Instructor Counselling Skills Program: Group Therapy Course

Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Canada                                                January 1988 – April 1988

Instructor Criminology Department:  Criminology 417 “Special Topics -The Sex Offender”

Cariboo College, Kamloops, Canada                                                          September 1983 – April 1984

Instructor Psychology Department:  Introductory Psychology

Northern Lights College, Dawson Creek & Ft St John, Canada         September 1976 – April 1977

Counsellor for Student Services

Psychology Instructor: Social Psychology; Psychology of Adjustment

Okanagan College, Vernon, Canada                                                                      August 1975 – May 1976

Psychology Instructor: Introductory Psychology; Social Psychology; Psychology of Adjustment

 

ACAEDMIC Publications

Taylor,D., Steinberg, M., Harris, P., Doupe, G., Coleman,B., Spencer, D., Rees, J., Tigchelaar, J., Sandstra, I.,Oglvie, G., Rekart, M. L., BC Centre for Disease Control, Vancouver, (2007) Psychological Influences on Sexual Risk-Taking Among HIV Positive MSM, International Society for Sexually Transmitted Diseases Research, Seattle, USA.

Coleman, B. (2002) Understanding Risks, Canadian Association of Nurses in AIDS Care Conference, Vancouver, BC.

Preece, M,  Viljoen, H, Coleman, B., (2001), Development of an Instrument to Assess Psychosocial Programming Needs in a Forensic Psychiatric Population: Some Preliminary Findings.  Poster session, Presented to the Founding Conference of the International Association of Forensic Mental Health Services, Vancouver April 2001.

Coleman, B. and Miller, M. L. (1996) Emotional reactions and safe sex practices of individuals who are newly diagnosed HIV+. Canadian Health Psychologist 4, 27-29.

Coleman, B. (1996) Learning to talk about sex (workshop at International AIDS Conference, Vancouver.)

Coleman, B. (1996) Tri-National “Response to AIDS” (developed Canada’s presentation at International AIDS Conference, Vancouver.)

Coleman, B. (1995) Emotional needs of HIV+ persons (poster presentation, International Biopsychosocial AIDS conference, Brighton, England).

Coleman, B. (1995) Legal and ethical issues raised by HIV/AIDS (panel member, BC HIV/AIDS Conference).

Coleman, B. (1994) Dealing with death and illness with our clients (presented to Networking Workshop in HIV and AIDS).

Coleman, B. and Miller, M. L. (1994) Counselling in HIV/AIDS (organisers of satellite conference at the BC HIV/AIDS Conference)

Coleman, B. (1993) Psychological and social issues in HIV disease/AIDS (presented to the Northern BC HIV Disease/AIDS Conference).

Coleman, B. (1992) AIDS in the workplace: caring for friends and co-workers (presented at the AGM for the Professional Theatre Assn. of Canada, St. Johns, Newfoundland).

Coleman, B. (1980) Psychological description of medium security federal Inmates. Presented to the Psychological Association of Alberta.

Coleman, B. (1980) Training correctional staff in human relations skills. Presented to the Psychological Association of Alberta.

Proctor, S. and Coleman, B. (1971) A volunteer crisis intervention centre on a University campus. Present to the American Psychological Assn. (Rocky Mountain Division).

 

EDUCATION

Ph.D. Clinical and Community Psychology, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada    1985

Thesis: The Personality and Social Support System of the Property and Violent Offender

 

M.Sc. Clinical and Counselling Psychology, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada    1975

Thesis: Effects of Counsellor-Client Conceptual Systems in Counselling

 

B.Sc. Clinical and Social Psychology, University of Utah, Utah, USA          1972

 

COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES

Elected to co-chair with the Chief of Police the Diversity Advisory Committee                                       2001 – 2002

Invited to be participate in International “Think Tank” on Gay Health Issues                                        2001 – 2002

Board member of Community Based Research Society of Vancouver                                                        1999 – 2003

Member, appointed to Vancouver City Police “Diversity Advisory Committee” to advise the Chief of Police on diversity Issues                                                                                                                                                         1996 – 2002

Chair, “Working Group” for Canadian Psychological Association, (funded by Health Canada), to prepare and present HIV/AIDS training for counsellors across Canada                                                                            1995 – 1997

Pacific Foundation for the Advancement Of Minority Equality, (The Gay and Lesbian Centre):  Chair of the Board                                                                                                                                                                           1994 – 1995

Pacific Foundation for The Advancement Of Minority Equality, (The Gay and Lesbian Centre):  Member of the Board                                                                                                                                                                           1993 – 1997

AIDS Vancouver:  Treasurer                                                                                                                                  1992 – 1993

AIDS Vancouver:  Member of the Board                                                                                                            1989 – 1993

Pacific Foundation for the Advancement of Minority Equality, (The Gay and Lesbian Centre):  Established a “Free Counselling Centre;” volunteer counsellor at the “free clinic.”                                                                       1988                                                                         B. C. Psychological Association:  Board Member – Chair of Member Services Committee; adjudicated ethics complaints                                                                                                                                                                              1988

Amnesty International:  Facilitator for amnesty groups in the BC region                                                  1986 – 1990

Thompson Valley Credit Union:  Member of Board of Directors                                                                  1986 – 1987

North Thompson Recreation Society:  President of Society                                                                            1985 -1986

 

SKILLS & INTERESTS

  • Word, PowerPoint, Front Page, Access, Excel, SPSS
  • Squash, Skiing, Biking, Hiking, Volleyball, Walking, Camping, Travel

 

Affordable Counselling: In Person and via Skype

 

Bill Coleman PhD

I am an experienced counsellor with over 25 years of experience.  I have taught individual counselling and group counselling.  I have worked as a psychologist in a sexually transmitted disease clinic for over 10 years, and I have also work as a psychologist with criminals in different settings.  

It is easy to book an appointment in person:

1. Click on the “Book an Appointment” button (This button is under construction for a few days, please call 778 320 4850 until it is working again)

2. Find a time that works for you  Book the time you wish to meet.  

IF you have any questions, or cannot find a time convenient, feel free to phone me at 778 320 4850.

 

 

 

AREAS OF SPECIALIZATION

I specialize in gay men’s issues; such as:
– coming out
– dating
– sexuality
– HIV
– STIs
– relationships etc.

 

WHAT IT COSTS

I charge on a sliding scale.  It isaffordable to anyone! My rates are based on whatever you, the client, makes per hour.  The best rule of thumb is:  look at you gross annual income and divide that by 2000.  If you make 50,000 a year then it is 25.00 per hour, or if you make 10,000 a year it is 5.00 per hour etc. (The rate you pay is based on trust and your honesty.)

 

You can read this blog and learn more about me.

 

WHERE I AM LOCATED  

 #3401  1028 Barclay St.                            enter code 0219

           

 After 16 March 2015:

 #808  1160 Burrard St.

(Burrard Health Centre)

enter code 930

 

Enterance to #808 1160 Burrard St.

Entrance to #808 1160 Burrard St.

HOW IT WORKS

 

If you click on the Schedule an Appointment button it will take to you my calendar and you can book a time for counselling.  You need to give your skype name, so we can get in contact.

 My Skype name is  billvancouver.

 

You may pay by: Visa or MasterCard, as well as Paypal.