Kevin Alderson

Mental Health, Diversity and LGBTQ2 Expert

Dr. Kevin Alderson is a dynamic keynote speaker for mental health and LGBTQ2 issues. Dr. Alderson is full professor of counselling psychology at the University of Calgary (currently on professional leave and transitioning into full-time speaking). Dr. Alderson is a highly-respected counselling and clinical psychologist in the counselling and psychotherapy field with over 30 years of direct experience.

Kevin Alderson Canadianized a textbook called Counselling: A Comprehensive Profession, a book focused on a comprehensive introduction to counselling and psychotherapy. Since 2008, he has been the Editor in Chief of the Canadian Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy, the only Canadian peer-reviewed journal in the counselling and psychotherapy field. He was recently elected to president with the College of Alberta Psychologists, spending a year in each of three capacities: President-Elect (September 2017 – September 2018), President (September 2018 – September 2019), and Past President (September 2019 – September 2020). His logo is “Embracing the Four Seas (4Cs),” a term that he coined, which stands for Compassionate, Caring, Competent, and Connected in the mental health community. He sees these four components as essential in both psychological practice and in public speaking.

Dr. Kevin Alderson is an author of eight published books and is a recognized expert in addictions, hypnotherapy, and sexology. Regarding addictions, he specializes in substance (including drugs and alcohol) and behavioural addictions (e.g., gambling, sex, Internet, online gaming). He is currently writing a textbook for Sage Publications, one of the leading publishers of textbooks in the United States, called Addictions Counseling Today: Substances and Addictive Behaviors. Dr. Alderson has practiced hypnotherapy since 1982, and he has written two books focused on self-hypnosis applications: one for students improving their grades (Grade Power: The Complete Guide to Improving Your Grades Through Self-Hypnosis), and another for people wanting to quit smoking (Breathe, Freedom: A Comprehensive and Hypnotic Approach to Quitting Smoking).

In sexology, Dr. Kevin Alderson is recognized as an international authority on the topic of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) psychology, issues, and treatment. He is best known for his American textbook called Counseling LGBTI Clients, written after his earlier books called Breaking Out II: The Complete Guide to Building a Positive LGBTI Identity, Same-Sex Marriage: The Personal and the Political (co-authored), and Beyond Coming Out: Experiences of Positive Gay Identity.

Dr. Kevin Alderson earned a PhD in Counselling Psychology from the University of Alberta, a MSc in Clinical, School, and Community Psychology from the University of Calgary, and a BA in Psychology also from the University of Calgary. He is a current member of the College of Alberta Psychologists, Canadian Psychological Association, Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association, American Psychological Association, American Counseling Association, Canadian Professional Association for Transgender Health, World Professional Association for Transgender Health, and a lifetime member of the Professional Hypnotism Society of America.

Topic Presentations

We are witnessing today an explosion regarding LGBTQ awareness, and the readily accessible Internet is providing information being used by our youth to adopt identity labels and behaviours unheard of a few years ago. Besides lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB), we are seeing several new transgender identities emerge, such as gender queer, non-binary, transboy/transman, transgirl/transwoman. Do you know what to do in response? Do you know what you need to know about LGBTQ youth? This workshop can be tailored to any specific subgroup of focus on the entire LGBTQ spectrum.

LGBTQ youth are disclosing their identities today at unprecedented levels compared to even 5 years ago. How do you treat LGBTQ youth in the classroom so that your practice is considered ethical and sound? Dr. Alderson will look at the plethora of LGBTQ identity labels and what these mean, and some of the anticipated requests that may result from these identities. This talk will also explore the implications of these identities as they pertain to typical and atypical child development

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LGBTI Clients - Kevin Alderson

Counseling LGBTI Clients is a comprehensive, practical, easy-to-read guide for both emerging practitioners and current practitioners, LGBTI individuals, and those who know them. It combines theory, research and practice with a framework that focuses on challenging and changing beliefs and attitudes toward each LGBTI subgroup, gaining current knowledge about the subgroup, and empathetically developing skills to work effectively with the subgroup in a LGBTI-affirmative manner.

Breathe, Freedom

Breathe, Freedom is a comprehensive stop-smoking program using self-hypnosis. Although smoking is viewed medically as a chronic relapsing condition, psychological and medical research reveals that comprehensive smoking cessation programs boast as high as a 50% success rate after twelve months. Breathe, Freedom includes not only the best known methods to help smokers quit, but also incorporates the best of what we know about hypnotic intervention. The book is written in story form and includes a large resource guide and detailed methods. If you are a smoker, you are one of about 1.1 billion in the world. Ever wonder how that is possible given our current understanding of the hazards from long-term smoking? Ever wonder how you could quit easily by following a comprehensive stop smoking program? Breathe, Freedom is the book you need.

Beyond Coming Out

Although homosexuals are more visible and accepted in North American society than ever before, homophobia still takes an alarming toll on gay individuals. Gay male adolescents continue to run away from home, abuse drugs, turn to prostitution and attempt suicide in staggering numbers. And mature gay men with fulfilling jobs and comfortable homes still battle for self-esteem, discouraged again and again by negative attitudes and discriminatory acts. Looking at these statistics and his own experience of coming out — as a middle-aged husband and father of two — Calgary psychologist Kevin Alderson found himself wondering why some gay men manage to construct overwhelmingly positive self-images while so many others never overcome low self-esteem, or in some cases outright self-hatred. In interviews with sixteen gay men, ages 16 to 61, who have learned to celebrate their homosexuality, Alderson reveals that there are definite patterns in the development of a positive gay identity. His subjects, including a teenager with cerebral palsy, a high-ranking politician, a drag queen, a leatherman, a schoolteacher and an accountant, have very different lifestyles but have all achieved a positive image of themselves as gay men in society, despite their individual hurdles. Setting this book apart from others on the same subject, Dr. Alderson presents these men's stories, from childhood to adulthood, in their own words. These in-depth case studies pave the way for Dr. Alderson's trenchant, insightful analysis of the major themes emerging at each stage of development.

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