Jo Flannery, AMFT, MA Sexology, is one of four therapists to join LifeWorks this year through the Greenhouse, our postgraduate psychotherapy training and mentoring program. The Greenhouse provides new clinicians with opportunities to develop their identities as therapists, deepen their skills and unique strengths, and expand their cultural competence through hands-on experience and educational modules.
In the following interview, Jo recounts the life events that motivated her to join the Greenhouse, shares her dreams for the future, and offers a glimpse of her style and philosophy as a clinician.
What first drew you to the Greenhouse?
As soon as I learned that Lifeworks was hosting a postgraduate training program, I knew I would apply. I have been interested in working with the marginalized populations Lifeworks is dedicated to since I was young. Previously, I worked at a sex therapy practice honing my skills surrounding sexual dysfunction. The Greenhouse felt like a timely opportunity to expand my cultural competence and experience working with LGBTQIA folks, non-monogamous relationships and people practicing kink, BDSM, and fetish sex.
Tell us about your goals and aspirations—what are you hoping for in 2016 and beyond?
This year, my primary goal is to expand my sex therapy experience to include marginalized populations. The Greenhouse has helped me to feel confident in working with populations I hold in my heart, but with whom I have little clinical experience. In addition, a close friend (and now business partner) and I are starting a website and a magazine, Sexology International, to disseminate reliable and relevant sexual and relationship health information to the general public. It is our hope that people of all genders, sexual orientations, ages, and races will find our website helpful.
What are you most looking forward to in the Greenhouse?
An opportunity to work closely with other like-minded therapists is the biggest draw for me. My fellow therapists in the Greenhouse cohort are open-hearted, open-minded, and forward-thinking. I am grateful to have been thrust into such a cool crew, and am excited to continue to learn from each other and grow together as clinicians and activists now—and through our lifetimes.