Rainbow Program

Are the groups confidential?

The importance of confidentiality is stressed at each meeting. We understand the potential damage that can be caused when a group participant discloses, outside the group, something that another person has said in the group. In the development of group agreements, the facilitators always address confidentiality specifically, as well as a number of other measures to ensure that all participants feel safe, heard and included.

Are the Rainbow counselling staff members of the LGBTIQ community?

Whilst most of our counsellors would not identify as members of the LGBTIQ community, some do. All of our counsellors have expressed a keen interest in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of LGBTIQ people. Those who do not have a lived experience of sexual or gender diversity receive considerable training and support to ensure a working knowledge of the community

How much does it cost to attend a Rainbow group?

Attendance at Rainbow Program groups is free, to encourage maximum participation. Participants are asked to contribute a gold coin donation to cover light refreshments provided.

How safe will I be at a Rainbow Program group?

Emotional and physical safety are of paramount importance to us in the facilitation of our groups. The facilitators work with participants to develop group agreements and monitor these during meetings, to ensure that all participants are feeling safe, heard and included. The importance of confidentiality is stressed at each meeting.

Groups can only be attended by LGBTIQ people, unless joined by a supportive loved one or ally. Non-LGBTIQ allies are not permitted to attend groups on their own.

Is Rainbow Training evidence based?

The Relationships Australia Queensland (RAQ) Rainbow Training is a suite of training modules designed to offer effective training for human services organisations in achieving best practice in service provision to clients of diverse bodies, genders and sexualities. This target group is often referred to as the LGBTIQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex or queer) community. At Relationships Australia Queensland, we also sometimes refer to this community as the Rainbow Community. These various terms will all be used in this document, depending on the context.

The learning materials have been developed by RAQ’s Rainbow Program, in consultation with leading Australian support agencies, such as Queensland AIDS Council and members of the community.

The Rainbow Training modules introduce staff to essential skills and knowledge relating to Rainbow clients.

What approach does Rainbow Training take?

The Rainbow training approach is largely informed by the model of Gay-Affirmative Practice and the growing body of work supporting its efficacy (McGeorge & Stone Carlson, 2011; Bieschke, Perez et al., 2007; Lebolt, 1999). In order to reflect the inclusive nature of the Rainbow Program, we have adopted the term ‘LGBTIQ-Affirmative Practice’.

Central to LGBTIQ-Affirmative Practice is an emphasis on an exploration of practitioners’ understandings of their own sexual orientation development as well as their understanding of the heteronormative assumptions they were conditioned by and the heterosexual privilege they experience (if heterosexual) in daily life.

Whilst it is acknowledged that there does not currently exist in the literature a cohesive therapeutic model that can be called ‘Gay-Affirmative Therapy’ (Johnson, S.D, 2012), there is general consensus about the core elements of a gay-affirmative approach to psychotherapy, (Kort, 2008; Lebolt, J, 1999), which can be comprised as the following:

  • Cultural knowledge pertaining to the lives and collective experiences of LGBTI individuals, couples and families
  • An awareness of our own sexuality development and heteronormative conditioning and the experience of heterosexual privilege
  • A stance of proactive advocacy, which helps LGBTI clients to recognise the systemic impacts of heterosexism and homophobia on their lives and relationships

You can read more about the Rainbow Training in our Introduction to Rainbow Training document.

What are the operating hours of the service?

Service times vary from venue to venue, including day time hours and some evening hours. We are closed on weekends. Contact us to find out the availability of your nearest Rainbow Counsellor

What will participants gain from Rainbow Training?

Each training module or series will comprise different sets of knowledge and opportunities for experiential learning. Our proposed outcomes for participants, broadly are the following:

  • Participants will feel they have greater knowledge and understanding of Rainbow cultural issues and experiences
  • Participants will have a deeper understanding of their own identity & values development and conditioned heteronormative assumptions
  • Participants will have a deeper understanding of the negative impacts of heterosexism and cisgenderism on the lives of people of diverse bodies, genders and sexualities
  • Participants will feel more confident in approaching work with people of diverse bodies, genders and sexualities