Last night a Focus Group in Trans/LGBT awareness for counsellor training. The purpose of this Focus Group was to help update a training pack for perspective counsellors with the Galway Rape Crisis Centre. This was an excellent event as it allowed for the community to directly have a say in the treatment of LGBT+ individuals. As someone who has a background in psychology I am acutely aware of the lack of knowledge provided in education regarding LGBT+ issues, so knowing that this information is being passed directly onto counsellors is wonderful. It’s incredibly reassuring to know that if any individual in the community needs to avail of the services of the Galway Rape Crisis Centre that they will be cared for and treated with the utmost respect.
The people who participated in the focus group represented a vast spectrum of the community, which will be an immense benefit to the updating of the training as it allowed for a variety of personal experiences and feelings to be shared with the counsellor. This means that these anonymised experiences will be shared with other counsellors allowing them to fully grasp the pain and distress that can be experienced by LGBT+ people, and allow them to help the individuals to the highest extent. The focus group was run in a really positive and empowering way. At no point was anyone overspoken, or rushed in what they were saying. The woman who facilitated the focus group did an excellent job as she let the people attending lead the conversation, allowing for a more detailed exploration of LGBT+ related issues.
Having the focus group in Teach Solais was excellent as it provided a safe, comfortable environment for the people who attended, as many would already be familiar with the centre. However, having it in the centre also allowed for people who weren’t familiar with the centre to get acquainted with it.
Overall it was a truly positive experience, as well as comforting to know that resources like the Galway Rape Crisis Centre are striving to provide the best care they can to everyone, including LGBT+ people.
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- Focus group with Counsellor for Galway Rape Crisis Centre - February 16, 2018