Men’s Rehabilitation Therapy Thesis

Men’s Rehabilitation Therapy Thesis

We’ve come into a dynamic and challenging era in the new age of Gender in the United States. As sexual equity has increased, creating more egalitarian opportunities for both men and women. The challenges of sexual fluidity, the marginalized intersex community and the cohesive definition of gender remain as frontiers to be mastered. This challenge is prevalent in our lives as it determines our proclivities, anxieties and coping mechanisms in our most basic Belonging Needs as outlined in Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs. As a man navigating gender equity and my role as well as future as a holder of the XY chromosome, I’d like to ensure I can understand how I fit and pass that on to my own offspring if I am ever so fortunate to bear any. As a rehabilitation counselor, privileged to be a cisgender masculine identifying male, I’d like to expand my practice to specialize in men’s rehabilitation. I feel my Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling; my work experience in counseling; and my strong network into both the straight and LGBT male community provide me a demographic from which I can both gather and provide transformative data. As well, I feel my Bachelor of Art in language; my art studio; and my professional experience in both fitness and modeling; can help me form an effective experimental design as well as therapy to assist men in navigating, mastering and finding satisfaction in both their male sexuality and gender identity. In a Ph. D program, I’d like to pursue the hypothesis:

Through art, drama and sex therapies focused on photography, modeling and role play, men can be cognitively, psychiatrically, physically and sexually rehabilitated in the effect of reducing homophobia, sexist anti-female bias, sexual dysfunctions, body dysmorphia and general antisocial personality disorder related behaviors. I’d like to pursue this using conventional, boudoir, physique and Avant Garde film and photography to produce “process film and images” in which the client (a male) and counselor (myself) can use CBT, appreciative inquiry and motivational interviewing to achieve both internal and external results of self-improvement accordant to gender and sex egalitarian goals.

To properly discuss male rehabilitation with the challenges of our new era of sex and gender freedom and transitions, we need to ask and define what the terms of the conversation mean. What is sex? What is sexuality? What is gender? I’ll explore these first terms and as the paper unfolds, I’ll explain and apply other terms as they arise.

What is sex?

Sex is both noun and verb. While it can apply to action that incudes procreation, it also serves as mechanism of stress relief, social bonding, reconciliation, trust building, performance and even business. However, as a noun it classifies how we are born from our mothers and our genital descent. The sexual types are not just male or female, but usually termed intersex: hermaphrodite (herm), male hermaphrodite (merm) and female hermaphrodite (ferm). Intersex hermaphrodites usually have sexual organs and features solidly in the middle. Intersex male hermaphrodites present as male, but internally have female organs. And Intersex female hermaphrodites present as female although their internal equipment is male. In more medical language, the varieties of intersex are congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), androgen insensitivity syndrome (AIS) and especially rare, 5-alpha-reductase deficiency (5ARD). However, when we look at forms, we are only offered “male” or “female” (our sex). There are never any squares with “male, merm, herm, ferm and female” nor forms with “XX, CAH, AIS, 5ARD, XY”. As a public, we are ill-informed and our understanding of the varieties in which we humans naturally (without human tinkering) occur is quite low and tend to be restricted to limited segments of the medical community.

So, when it comes to the uninformed public, we have no choice but to confuse sex with gender and assume restrictions on sexual ideas. This situation becomes especially murky when discussing gender identity when “cisgender” discussions tend to be heteronormative and focus on male vs female, while the intersex minority remains marginalized. When people discuss transgender or transsexualism, the common goals are male-to-female (MTF) or female-to-male (FTM). It is virtually never that you see male-to-intersex (MTI) or female-to-Intersex (FTI) procedures nor patients who seek it specifically as a goal. When people discuss cisgender privilege or how forms should have “male, female, transgender”, it often is a faux pas of their own heteronormative privilege. In a culture of pathological binary thinking, the intersex-positive stance can revolutionize and reenergize discussions between the sexes and balance some of the arguments of the transgender/ transsexual movement. Transitioning sex to either male or female is a privilege for anyone heteronormatively identified and never offered “male, female, intersex”.


Nancy Krieger; Genders, sexes, and health: what are the connections—and why does it matter?, International Journal of Epidemiology, Volume 32, Issue 4, 1 August 2003, Pages 652–657,

Ernst, M. M., Liao, L. M., Baratz, A. B., & Sandberg, D. E. (2018). Disorders of Sex Development/Intersex: Gaps in Psychosocial Care for Children. Pediatrics, e20174045.

Griffiths, D. A. (2018). Shifting syndromes: Sex chromosome variations and intersex classifications. Social studies of science, 48(1), 125-148.

What is gender?

As done with sex, gender too must be clarified. Gender, although the term can be found to be synonymously used to mean physical sexual characteristic has become distinguished to refer to style. As Butler describes and harkening back to dramaturgy theory, gender has abstract, relative and aesthetic qualities. Originally found in linguistics, the term indicates male, female and neuter. Not only in linguistics and language is gender explored as a performative art with clear rules, Butler employs a helpful model of theatre to also understand its performative qualities in the context of sexual politics and social expression. This also helps us gain a clearer understanding on how to approach sexual equity in the public sphere as well as gender equity. As before, I noted that the intersex minority id often without representation and consequently gender role. However, using aesthetic principles of performance, this means asexual or neutral can be the space for intersexual discussion as male is for male and female is for female.

With this pattern we can also see how transsexualism/ transgenderism must be properly negotiated. A man—especially unaware of intersexual reality—claiming female identity and space must be challenged that he is not making a male chauvinist claim toward not only a gender expression, but also not toward a complex sexual identity that is not his own. To most males who do not understand the sexual experience of menstruation, childbearing and childbirth, mammary development, menopause, etc. it is presumptive and marginalizing to women to reduce female experience to just the aesthetics of breasts, genitals and fashion. And for FTM is it the same when considering the unique male experiences of nocturnal emissions, epididymal hypertension, erectile dysfunction and andropause. Perhaps it could even be described a potentially reverse female chauvinism or even a Stockholm syndrome of sorts.

Furthermore, it must be considered what the effects of intersex-negative transgenderism can have on youth. As we are aware of the negative effects of excessive heteronormative sexualization of children, transgenderism/ transsexualism may potentially have equal and opposite outcomes. If transsexual/ transgender discourse ignores the reality of intersexuality as does its heteronormative counterpart, the trans movement may not only potentially be prematurely emphasizing sexual identity conclusions in children, but it may also potentially reinforce the marginalization of intersexual children; and consequently, reinforce body dysmorphic disorder and unrealistic body images. Ideally children should have the right to be inconclusive, asexual, androgynous and purely intellectual in a neutral environment until they are not only resolute, but also when they are cognitively, emotionally and physically prepared for the gender and sexual identity that suits them in their adulthood (18). However, sexual/ gender identity politics and their profound real-life ramifications can damage children, especially intersexual children who are more likely to suffer genital mutilation and body dysmorphia from their own parents and doctors.

What is Men’s Rehabilitation Therapy?

In exploring gender and all its complexity, my personal interest and motivation is in male gender expression, sexuality and masculinity of men. Feminist Theory has posited a plethora of positive points and contributions towards the empowerment of women as well as the recruitment of feminism allies. It has also spurned motivation throughout LGBTQIA communities. However, as the knowledge unlocked from feminism has bettered society, it has also reverberated into producing negative effects: polarization of WASP men as well as paternalistic, female-negative men; the lack of minority men in nurturing positions; homophobia and marginalization of the sexuality of feminist male allies; male chauvinist MTF transgenderism; retaliatory insensitivity toward male children; and many other, seen but not heard social problems.

But through the conclusions of feminist theory—that gender is performed—I feel I can help the male world through the art therapy of modeling, performance and a safe space for the exhibition and artistic appreciation and eventually holistic rehabilitation of masculinity.

Virtual Rehabilitation

The Department of Rehabilitation handles large numbers when it comes to processing cases of disability for employment. When it comes to caseworkers’ loads, cognitive disabilities dominate–mental health disorders, learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, ADHD, traumatic brain injury, PTSD and others. Using the power of technology of virtual reality, augmented reality and simulation engines, the DOR can reverse the tide in the numbers battle that case managers and workers deal with everyday. VR/ AR enables the DOR to dramatically reverse the tide of consumers; function optimally with reductions in funding; tackle the myriad issues of veterans with PTSD; be ahead of the new trends in TBI; and finally be at the forefront in innovation for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act.

1) VR/ AR enables the DOR to dramatically reverse the tide of consumers;
2) function optimally with reductions in funding;
3) tackle the myriad issues of veterans with PTSD;
4) be ahead of the new trends in TBI;
5) and finally be at the forefront in innovation for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act.

One-on-one counseling time is a time-intensive and expesive process that can lead to burn out and sometimes even beauracratic inefficiencies in the VR field. However the utilization of virtual reality and game simulations can increase effectiveness and practice time of education and therapies exponentially. This paper explores the benefits and advantages of the central employment of sims and game modules over role-plays, examples of their successful implication and how to restructure job duties in VR counseling and even education for greater efficiency of expenditure.How much money is spent on counseling? How many hours? What variety of environments can be simulated? Does it need to be realistic? Does it feel the same as reality?

1) Current trends in VR
a. Science Fiction to Reality
X-Men comics feature a virtual reality training mechanism called the Danger Room. Star Trek: The Next Generation featured a holographic training deck. The Matrix featured a surgically installed brain plug for entering a computer system. Science fiction tales all acknowledge the need for education and rehabilitation to stay abreast of technological advancement.
b. The Grandfather of VE
c. The Research of Skip Rizzo and Therapeutic Applications
d. Major Tech Companies and the Demand for VR

2) The dynamics of VR for VR
a. Interactive Proxemics
b. Sense of Control
c. Tailoring for Consumers
d. The Role of the Administrator

3) Installations
a. Psychology/ Observation Office Installation
b. Inexpensive installations
c. Affordability of augmented training

1) VR/ AR enables the DOR to dramatically reverse the tide of consumers;
2) function optimally with reductions in funding;
3) tackle the myriad issues of veterans with PTSD;
4) be ahead of the new trends in TBI;
5) and finally be at the forefront in innovation for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act.”

Virtual reality interviewing

Christopher J. Wilson and Alessandro Soranzo, “The Use of Virtual Reality in Psychology: A Case Study in Visual Perception,” Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine, vol. 2015, Article ID 151702, 7 pages, 2015. doi:10.1155/2015/151702

“Richmond, B. (2015). Virtual Reality Interview Training Helped Veterans with PTSD Get Job Offers. Retrieved from

“According to research just published in the journal Psychiatric Service, interviewing with a virtual director of human resources has proven to be extremely effective at helping users control their anxiety in a job interview.

Both PTSD and unemployment are problems for veterans, and either can exacerbate the other. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for male veterans of the most recent war in Iraq remained higher than the rate for male non-veterans in 2014. A study cited by The Economist stated that an estimated 12 percent of American veterans from wars in Afghanistan and Iraq suffer from PTSD.””

“Seventy participants, some of whom were veterans diagnosed with PTSD and some were civilians diagnosed with other mental illnesses, took a 10-hour training course on SIMmersion’s software. Each virtual interview took about 20 to 30 minutes to complete. Afterwards, participants could review transcripts of their virtual interview, which provide constructive feedback on how to better next time. Smith told me that participants usually completed about 15 trials during the intervention.””

“Being twice as likely to get a job offer would be remarkable enough, but, as Smith explained, when the data is controlled for two factors—cognition or memory and time since last full-time employment—trainees were actually nine-times more likely to get a job offer than the control group. The results were the same for job-seeking adults who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia: trainees were nine-times more likely to get job offers.””

“”I had thought that a big value of virtual reality might be that it’s cheaper than working face-to-face with a counselor or teacher, but Smith made some compelling points about the advantages of VR. He said that neuroscience has learned that sustainable behavioral learning takes repetitive practice. Virtual reality training gave individuals 10 to 20 interviews to work to establish their skills. Software has other advantages as well.

“For example, a service provider may not be able to change their personality and take on the characteristics of several different types of interviewers, whereas the virtual reality training has that characteristic,” he said. “One of the other advantages, I think, is that when you’re practicing a role play with a service provider you already know, there’s a level of comfort there. Whereas a job interview creates a more anxious environment where you’re going to be asked questions you may or may not be prepared for, and to some degree it’s a nerve-racking experience for anybody, let alone individuals who may already be prone to anxiety.” “””

“McGuire, P. (2014). Inside the Research Institute Battling PTSD with Virtual Reality. Retrieved from”

“For many people in Canada, which boasts a small military, meeting an active soldier or a veteran during one’s average day can be rare, especially when media stereotypes tend to depict veterans as scattered or mentally ravaged. Because of that, I was pleased to meet Jody Mitic, a war hero who stepped on a landmine and lost both of his feet in Afghanistan, and who has become an outspoken advocate of soldiers’ mental health.

PTSD remains a massive, widespread problem facing veterans today, and one of the most confounding, troublesome aspects of treating it is the difficulty in predicting who it will afflict. For example, despite his injuries, Jody says he has not been affected by PTSD. “””
Effectiveness of VR as a VR theray for veterans.

“McGuire, P. (2014). Inside the Research Institute Battling PTSD with Virtual Reality. Retrieved from”

“The focus of the LA Times piece, however, is Sgt. Warren’s treatment. After going through immersive VR therapy at Rizzo’s clinic, he now (while the word “cure” is a tough one to use here) feels like a much healthier man.

Video games and virtual reality have been a part of our lives for decades, but we’re clearly only scratching the surface of how they can help us become better human beings, and how they can help us heal. “The sad part of war is, of course, it sucks, but if you can pull anything good out of it, it’s that the urgency of war drives innovation,”” Rizzo told us. “”Soldiers are the test case, and when we move on to the next thing, it’ll be using this kind of technology with civilians. Making a difference for everybody.”

While we’re hoping that the technologies we saw at ICT will soon trickle down into militaries worldwide, there are clearly implications here for the entire planet. There’s surely a market for virtual therapists that can’t or won’t charge you by the hour; that kept your secrets safe from prying eyes (except for maybe the NSA, perhaps).”

Henderson, J. (2015). Grandfather Of VR: The Virtual Can Show The Beauty Of The Real., All Tech Considered. Retrieved from

“He often gets called the “”grandfather of virtual reality””: he started with work on interfaces of fighter aircraft cockpits and now, at 72, he’s been at it for more than four decades — longer than the creator of Oculus Rift has been alive. And with his looks and demeanor, Furness would make a convincing Santa, only the kind who literally schools people in three kinds of engineering, aeronautics and astronautics at the University of Washington, and whose elves come with graduate degrees.

Like many observers, Furness agrees that VR is going to be a major tech theme for 2016. And as a founder of the Virtual World Society, he dreams that this technology could one day solve our deepest societal problems.”””

Delahoussaye, J. (2015). Virtual Games Try To Generate Real Empathy For Faraway Conflict., All Tech Considered. Retrieved from

“In America, we’re deeply involved in Syria, but we’re very disconnected about — what is that place?”” says Nonny de la Peña, head of Project Syria and a longtime journalist in print and film. “”Who are the people? Why do I care? Why are we there?””

Peña says the game helps people feel a little closer to Syrians in the middle of the civil war.

“”I sometimes call virtual reality an empathy generator,”” she says. “”It’s astonishing to me. People all of a sudden connect to the characters in a way that they don’t when they’ve read about it in the newspaper or watched it on TV.”” […] What Peña’s doing — using virtual reality in combination with reporting — is part of a wider landscape of video games being created to explore the news. And they’re called, appropriately enough, “”newsgames.””

“”There’s an argument to be made that games are perfect at getting at the systemic problems and challenges in the world,”” says Ian Bogost, a professor at Georgia Tech.”

Shahani, A. (2015). Getting ‘Physical’ And Emotional In Virtual Reality., All Tech Considered. Retrieved from

” The virtual world feels physical. I want to see if it’s intimate, if we feel close (as robots).

Over by a virtual ocean, the waves gently breaking, I ask if I can try a little experiment. Jones volunteers. I tell her: “”My fair warning is that it will require being a bit in your face.”” And by “”face,”” I mean robot face: no nose or lips.

Again, in real life we’re in different rooms miles away. I lean forward, so that my robot is right up against hers.

Jones doesn’t like it. She grunts a bit and compares it to a crowded subway car, with other bodies too close for comfort. “”It makes me want to back up a little bit, just because of that same subway impulse,”” she says.

To her boyfriend, who’s standing a few virtual feet away, it looks like our robot heads are touching.

“”I don’t really want to, but I feel a little bit jealous,”” Gordon admits. “”I already have this sensation like this body has Amy in it. And here’s someone right up, head snuggling.””

Jones doesn’t like that he feels that way so she backs up.”””

VR feels real and is effective.
Shahani, A. (2015). Getting ‘Physical’ And Emotional In Virtual Reality., All Tech Considered. Retrieved from

” The virtual world feels physical. I want to see if it’s intimate, if we feel close (as robots).

Over by a virtual ocean, the waves gently breaking, I ask if I can try a little experiment. Jones volunteers. I tell her: “”My fair warning is that it will require being a bit in your face.”” And by “”face,”” I mean robot face: no nose or lips.

Again, in real life we’re in different rooms miles away. I lean forward, so that my robot is right up against hers.

Jones doesn’t like it. She grunts a bit and compares it to a crowded subway car, with other bodies too close for comfort. “”It makes me want to back up a little bit, just because of that same subway impulse,”” she says.

To her boyfriend, who’s standing a few virtual feet away, it looks like our robot heads are touching.

“”I don’t really want to, but I feel a little bit jealous,”” Gordon admits. “”I already have this sensation like this body has Amy in it. And here’s someone right up, head snuggling.””

Jones doesn’t like that he feels that way so she backs up.”” […] Bailenson says only a handful of scientific experiments have studied how the human brain reacts when we feel this thing called “”social presence.””

He defines it as: “”This magic feeling where all of a sudden: Wow! I know that person is an actual living, breathing human being on the other end, and it feels real. It’s very difficult to quantify when it happens.””

Bailenson did a study 12 years ago that found real people “”flinch”” when a virtual avatar invades their personal space. In another study, researchers found that having a realistic face is not a major contributor to social presence. The mere presence of any face has a greater effect than making sure it’s granular like a photograph.

He says only a few thousand people on earth have experienced “”social presence”” — my couples and myself now among them. The technologists building this thing haven’t written the code of conduct.”””
VR technology can simulate realistic social interactions and ‘social presence’ ”

Workplace challenge and sound simulation.

Cognitive dynamic structures can easily be accomodated and their processes influenced by VR. By looking at the araes that cognitive assessments analzyze in patiens reporting cognitive disability, we can develop career development strategies and approahes in VR that accomodate and compliment the thought styles of the dsabilities.
” Neuropsychological assessment / Ronald M. Ruff and James C. Schraa — Questions that need to be answered”, Bolton, Brian, and Randall M. Parker, eds. Handbook of measurement and evaluation in rehabilitation. 4th ed. Austin, Tex.: Pro-Ed, Inc., ©2008.
attention and concentration, sustained attention, memory and learning, executive functioning, reason abstractly, arousal and alertness, selective attention; effort, resource allocation and speed of processing; concept formation; ideational fluency;

Development of a Data Management Tool for Investigating Multivariate Space and Free Will Experiences in Virtual Reality Jacquelyn Ford Morie, Kumar Iyer, Donat-Pierre Luigi, Josh Williams, Aimee Dozois, Albert ““Skip”” Rizzo University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT) 13274 Fiji Way, Marina Del Rey CA 90292
“””For example, Phloem will be integrated into an ongoing clinical application project that is targeting the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in returning Iraq and Afghanistan military personnel (Rizzo et al., 2005). In this application, designed to deliver graduated exposure therapy within the context of VR scenarios that resemble combat-related settings (see Figure 4), clinicians have the capacity to deliver real time trigger stimuli while monitoring the ongoing physiological status of the client on the same interface. This integrated interface and data
capture approach is essential for giving the clinician the capacity to modulate client anxiety responses, as is essential to promote the therapeutic habituation that is desired within an exposure therapy format. ”
PTSD; Cognitive arousal

Dysmorphia and Disability

This paper explores the relationship of identity on disability and employment. Age, race, congenital development and acquisition affect aspects of an individual’s self-image, esteem, efficacy and identity in relationship to their diagnosis and interaction with their social and physical environment. The paper will initially explore the definitions of self image and self-concept and then look at a series of sources that focus on varying studies that determine various characteristics and their effects in the professional world. I will also look at how–although largely prohibited by employment and constitutional discrimination laws prohibit it–workplace and job market politics and culture revolve around first impressions and influence rooted in identity.

Literature Review

1) Identity Formation:
Racial, sexual, spiritual, regional, legal (nationality), vocational and educational aspects of what makes a person and how disability affects that formation.

The study found that youth with disabilities experienced higher rates of suspension than those without. Particularly students with emotional disturbances experienced higher suspension rates across all demographics compared to their non-disabled counterparts. The rates increase too for learning disabilities and other health impairments. The article goes on to discuss how disabled students–particularly African-Americans are suspended at three times the rate of other students. Although the relevance of race to disability may seem a stretch to connect with image counseling, as an African-American consumer I’d like to make the connection between race and dysmorphia topics. I’ve another article that is related and all together I feel it will have cohesion under cognitive disability studies.

Krezmien, M. , Leone, P. , & Achilles, G. (2006). Suspension, race, and disability: Analysis of statewide practices and reporting. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 14(4), 217-226.

“This study looks at the patterns formed by race and disability in the context of educational suspension within the state of Maryland. This study looks at all Maryland public schools, drawing information from state-public records including special education services, suspensions and enrollment from 1995 to 2003. The population breakdown was racially 50.4% white, 37.9% African American, 6.4% Hispanic, 6% Asian American, .4% American Indian; gender was 51.3% boys, 48.7% girls; placement was 88% general education, 12% special education; academically 30% high school, 23.9% middle school, 43% elementary, 2.5% preschool. The categories of disability that were included focused on cognitive, psychiatric and developmental disabilities. The data was analyzed using SPSS calculating the number of suspensions per thousand students and number of students per thousand suspensions. Then calculations were by logistic regression model to examine disproportionate suspensions by race from 1995 to 2003. Then third, using the regression model again, suspension was analyzed by a combination of race and disability.”

Social Media Provides a Digital Mirror for Identity Formation
Allen, Sharee Nicole, “”Adolescents, Social Media, and the Use of Self-Portraiture in Identity Formation”” (2015). LMU/LLS Theses and Dissertations. Paper 150.

“Timing in the therapeutic process is very important when giving a self-portrait
directive: too soon in treatment may cause an insecure adolescent to regress or to
misinterpret a self-image (Muri, 2007). One way to curb this regression is to promote
insight into the so-called social acting. There is a distinct power in projecting one’s
visual self, particularly in a group context. By doing this, individuals encourage their
online audience to know them via the friends they are depicted with, attempting to
generate an impression of them as socially desirable (Zhao et al. 2008)””

“The circulation of Selfies online can be a therapeutic act. There exists a distinct
advantage in projecting one’s visual self. Even when depicting our id in a published
photograph, we recognize what is damaged within us, and open ourselves up for honest
healing. Several participants in this study identify themselves within a group context, an
attempt to label the self by association. This approach may have similar advantages to
group therapy: the formation of and the client’s integration into a group identity based on
a common characteristic.
Posts that contain no image might serve different purposes. In these cases, the
validation of one’s ideas is being sought, and the poster is classified by his or her
thoughts. Participant’s attempts to interact solely via words have been met with some
resistance, reminding us of the power of the visual sphere.”””
Issuew of Dysmorphia of Gender Identity

Arlene Istar Lev LCSW, CASAC (2006) Disordering Gender Identity, Journal of
Psychology & Human Sexuality, 17:3-4, 35-69, DOI: 10.1300/J056v17n03_03″

41:”These diagnoses then influence repressive social policies and judicial decision-making that further institutionalize these bigoted and oppressive polices. Clinically the
question is raised whether the “deviance,” “conflict,” or “disorder” that
women, people of color, and sexual minorities have experienced are, in
fact, symptoms of a “dysfunction in the individual”–as the definition for
mental disorders in the DSM maintains is necessary for a diagnosis to
be made (APA, 2000, p. xxxi, emphasis mine)–or an adaptation to untenable
and abusive social and clinical paradigms.

51:””By stating that some
gendered behavior in children is pathological, the DSM establishes a
“fiction of natural gender” (Spade, 2003, p. 25), an assumption that
there is normal and abnormal ways to express, that creates a policing
and surveillance of correct gender behaviors in all children. Boys are,
however, more frequently referred for assessment of gender disorders
than are girls (Zucker & Bradley, 1995; Cohen-Kettenis et al., 2003)–
and therefore more likely to receive treatment. In all likelihood this is
because they are held to more rigid gender conformity in their dress and
mannerisms and their transgressions cause more social difficulties
(Rottnek, 1999). Although it is their atypical gender identity that has
been identified as the problem, it is possible that their distress is related
to the stigma of being different, indeed being referred to clinics and
professionals to treat these differences, rather than their actual gender
experiences or expressions (Lev, 2004).

54-55: “”This gatekeeping system reinforces the development of a false relationship
between therapist and client and some clinicians are developing
advocacy-based models that allow room for alternative “stories”
about cross-gender experience (see Cole et al., 2000; Bockting &
Coleman, 1992; Lev, 2004; Rachlin, 1997; Raj, 2002). These advocacy
models allow gender specialists to move out of a gatekeeping model of
assessment to a psychotherapeutic relationship that allows for a client’s
unique narrative and gender trajectory. These treatment philosophies
54 Sexual and Gender Diagnoses of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM)
Downloaded by [SDSU San Diego State University] at 12:46 06 February 2016
and are based in a model of educated self-determination, where gender
variance is respected, and clinicians serve as advocates and educators,
as well as evaluators of mental health.”
Although teachcrs are trained, the general public response may be otherwise.”


2) Culture and Identity matching with career:
Looking at clients who have various language skills, cultural identities and knowledge and eve gender communities and their most emotionally and socially complimentary work environments.

3) Work-world Resilience of Identity Management:
Exploring social roles, discretion of disability, when to disclose, whom to disclose, etc.”
“Firstly, Weinberg’s “Expectations and performance” provides a very scientific understanding of how self-efficacy works. From his article and his goal of creating an empirical study on the internal psychological phenomenon, I was inspired to investigate what ways technology can be applied to manipulate and hone a consumer’s talent tapping needs. Self-motivation and empowerment are a basis for success for VR consumers and it’s great to know that Weinberg created a method in physically looking at how the self-talk can actually lead to advancement.
The qualitative, case study basis of the information gathered by the articles is especially helpful. Looking at how the individuals and their experiences in varying social contexts and in adversity like racism, sexism, ageism, ableism, etc, this assortment of articles brings a very helpful and broad view.

Adamson’s “Self-image, adolescence, and disability” definitely gives me framework on where interpretations could lead and underlying factors. I can definitely utilize the article on many general points although I think the socialized healthcare and welfare national context from which it comes creates results that may be very different than American references.

Levine’s “Denial and self-image” gives a great in depth look at acquired that also provides a great contrast to Adamson’s congenital disability focus. In addressing range it helps for my understanding how self-imaging processes differ developmentally. In line with the others, both Schieman’s “Age variations in personal agency and self-esteem” and Krezmien’s ”Suspension, race, and disability” provide me a better idea on the diversity of disability and its interaction with other characteristics. In helping consumers realize their potentials, knowing the interplay of other factors like sex and ethnicity provides a much more tailored and empathic repertoire.”

This article provides many correlative sources to understand how self-efficacy, self-esteem, health control in particular as items that contribute to self-identity and self-image can be adversely affected. How those adverse effects contribute to dysmorphia are integral to my thesis. I’d like to explore and break down how self-image works in a reverse engineering fashion in order to look at dysmorphia and its relationship with disability. Additionally in helping me accomplish that goal, this source provides me we reference on aging and ageism and its effects on self-image and dysmorphia.

Schieman, S., & Campbell, J. E. (2001). Age variations in personal agency and self-esteem: The context of physical disability.Journal of Aging and Health, 13(2), 155-85. Retrieved from

The article “Age variations in personal agency and self-esteem: The context of physical disability” gives an in depth analysis and a study focused on the social and psychological aspects of disability, positive self-identity, aging and disability. The study is conducted with a sample of 1,549 Canadians with and without disabilities in 1985. Its results conclude that older respondents reported lower scores at a percentage of 43% with reasons for lower health control rooted in physical impairments, global health, empathy and introspectiveness including more than half lower score reporting being rooted in low self-esteem. The article reinforces the social effects of aging on the self-esteem, efficacy and control over health. Integral are the comparison of the two views, “age as decline” a cognitive pattern associating loss of roles and physical function with aging, undermining social integration, potency, and the sense of self-worth. In opposition, “age as maturity” views older people as developing new capabilities to meet expectations and hardship.
“This results of the study reported that individuals generally marked high with due reason. The researchers provide two suggestions as to why: 1) earlier identity formation due to coping with easily discernable physical differences; 2) better socialization due to being exposed to persons outside of the home such as medical and educational staff. However those remain suggestions of the study because of contradictory evidence that was also gathered. The oldest and most mildly affected affected CP subject expressed a more negative self-image and the researchers suspect it had to do with internalizing non-self generated criticisms received elsewhere. This report is particularly helpful because of it’s focus on congenital disability. For non-cognitive, non-acquired disorders it gives a great example of the development of self image and the social context in which it occurs.”

Adamson, L. (2003). Self-image, adolescence, and disability. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 57(5), 578-581.

“The article takes a look at healthiness of self image among several students with cerebral palsy, three girls and four boys between the ages of 12 and 17 in sweden. The study utilized the “I think I am” personality inventory which is commonly used in general Swedish education in conjunction with transcribed interviews. The test is Likert based on a four point scale and express results in areas of physical characteristics, psychological well-being, skills and talents, relationships with family and relationships with others. Scores are expressed in integers in which high integers indicate a high self-image whereas negative indicate negative self-image. The participants were then interviewed with a semi-structured set of questions over a period of four months in a conversational format in order to properly assess the person’s thought pattern.”

“This article’s study found higher disparity scores on the questionnaire versus the adjective list, and higher on the now assessments versus the before assessments. A key quote on the conclusion of the study is that the findings “indicate mechanisms employed by individuals with major illnesses have more to do with denying their aspirations as gauged by the real-ideal-self-measure than with denying their real level of functioning.” The stroke patient group particularly rated lower than both the control group and the other patient groups regarding normal aspirations in order to achieve a sense of well-being. The studies indicate and reinforce that denial is a defense-mechanism that is critical for the survival of the seriously ill against susceptibility to frustration and despair. It gives a great amount of support in advocacy for people with disabilities’ vital need for self-image support for not just their real-self (physiological) but also their ideal-self (psycho-emotional) in order to be productive and satisfied.”

Levine, J., & Zigler, E. (1975). Denial and self-image in stroke, lung cancer, and heart disease patients. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 43(6), 751.

“In psychological and sports psychological writings ideas of self-confidence and self-efficacy are often reinforced as affecting a person’s performance. This article assesses Bandura’s 1977 theory of self-efficacy. He views “behavioral change as being mediated by a common cognitive mechanism, self-efficacy, which is defined as the strength of one’s conviction that he or she can successfully execute a behavior to produce a certain outcome”. Although the framework provides a means of conceptualizing, the article looks at a a study that set out to empirically gather data based upon Bandura’s self-efficacy theory. At the time of publication although Bandura’s ideas were supported, the scientific method of most of the studies suffered some error. The study is accomplished by looking at 30 male and 30 female students at North Texas State University who ranged from 18-24 years old. They were each randomly assigned to a high or low self-efficacy condition in a two by two by two, type of sex by type of self-efficacy by type of trial design. The experiment involved accomplishing a task of physical endurance. A trial was done to collect a baseline time for all participants. The participants then performed a task using the same muscles in another task on an isokinetic leg-strength machine. Subjects who reported low-self efficacy in the pre-test were then compared to those with high self-efficacy in the test and vise versa. Then they rigged the trial to be a competition in which one was a subject and the other was a confederate and the subject would lose. The experiment had two trials and culminates in the end with a post-experimental seven scale Likert questionnaire.”

“This results from the article state “Substantial performance differences accompanying the subjects’ changes in efficacy expectations”. This indicates that high-efficacy resulted in higher endurance rates whereas low-efficacy indicated lower. Subjects with high-efficacy demonstrated increased exertion after failure. Low-efficacy subjects decreased their efforts after failure. While the confirmation of Bandura’s self-efficacy theory is handy for my interest in Disability and Self-Image, the article introduced me to some new ideas that include the learned helplessness theory which is described as “organisms are aware of contingencies and noncontingencies in their environments and that an experience with noncontingency in one situation may cause an expectation of noncontingency in a subsequent situation”. Although the study concluded that helplessness theory wasn’t suited, it introduced the idea of “learned skepticism”. Even of more interest, because the study addressed gender as an attribute, commenting, “It is highly possible that the females in this investigation perceived ‘leg strength’ performance as male-oriented, thus demonstrating lower expectations and a higher frequency of negative self-talk than their male counterparts”. The conductors of the study also speculated that accordingly male participants may have “underreacted to failure” by attributing reasons elsewhere in spite of more affirmational statements.”

Weinberg, R. S., Gould, D., & Jackson, A. (1979). Expectations and performance: An empirical test of Bandura’s self-efficacy theory. Journal of sport psychology, 1(4), 320-331.

” In psychological and sports psychological writings ideas of self-confidence and self-efficacy are often reinforced as affecting a person’s performance. This article assesses Bandura’s 1977 theory of self-efficacy. He views “behavioral change as being mediated by a common cognitive mechanism, self-efficacy, which is defined as the strength of one’s conviction that he or she can successfully execute a behavior to produce a certain outcome”. Although the framework provides a means of conceptualizing, the article looks at a a study that set out to empirically gather data based upon Bandura’s self-efficacy theory. At the time of publication although Bandura’s ideas were supported, the scientific method of most of the studies suffered some error. The study is accomplished by looking at 30 male and 30 female students at North Texas State University who ranged from 18-24 years old. They were each randomly assigned to a high or low self-efficacy condition in a two by two by two, type of sex by type of self-efficacy by type of trial design. The experiment involved accomplishing a task of physical endurance. A trial was done to collect a baseline time for all participants. The participants then performed a task using the same muscles in another task on an isokinetic leg-strength machine. Subjects who reported low-self efficacy in the pre-test were then compared to those with high self-efficacy in the test and vise versa. Then they rigged the trial to be a competition in which one was a subject and the other was a confederate and the subject would lose. The experiment had two trials and culminates in the end with a post-experimental seven scale Likert questionnaire.”

Cooper, P. S. (1993). Self-esteem and facial attractiveness in learning disabled children. Child Study Journal, 23(2), 79-89.

Investigated the relationship between facial attractiveness (FA) and self-esteem (SE) in 55 diagnosed learning disabled children (aged 8–13 yrs). Ss were 11 female and 44 male students. Each S was orally administered the Children’s Self-Concept Scale and a total score for SE along with 6 cluster scores were obtained. Facial photographs were taken of Ss and rated by adults and same age peers. A significant positive relationship emerged between FA and SE, and a significant difference was found between adult and peer mean rating of FA. No significant difference, however, was found between correlations of adult rating and total SE to peer rating and total SE. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

X-Men as Vocational Rehabilitaiton Archetype

In the 1960s, Stan Lee and Marvel Comics premiered X-Men. The book was an enthralling narrative of people born with congenital or genetic characteristics that made them different from the rest of society at large. These differences–sometimes extraordinary powers… sometimes extraordinarily disabilities–brought upon them all stigma, but also great privilege. However the story revolves around the philosophies of two major characters in the book. Often compared to Martin Luther King Jr. versus Malcolm X stand Professor Charles Xavier and Erik Lensher. Better known as Professor X, Charles Xavier is born with a congenital condition of acute ESP that of course manifested as a disabling condition in his youth. But as he resolved his difficulties with his condition, he realized his ability and mastered it into powers. His political stance eventually solidified that as the series terms “mutant abilities” were not only a gift, but one that can serve to benefit humanity and “mutant-kind” mutually. Professor X grew up affluent and privileged and accommodated, On the converse is Magneto, Erik Lensher, his long-time colleague, yet political and philosophical opposite. Magneto’s stance is one of mutant supremacy. And although some mutations are debilitating, his view is that humanity is less advanced and mutants should have a more pivotal role in their ow and civilization’s destiny. Magneto’s condition is molecular structure that channels magnetic forces that he has mastered, effectively manipulating metal objects. His philosophy is harsh, yet an immediate result of surviving the Holocaust as a Jewish person. Although the X-MEN is a pulp fantasy of a hopeful, industrial, post War America, its fanciful and socially relevant themes provide a model of guidance and exploration upon the themes of biological condition, adaptive technology, the mind and potential, rehabilitation of weaknesses into strengths and the advocacy and self-identity of the minority and majority.

The Biological Condition: Mutation, the Perspectival Pivot of Ability and Inability, and Adaptation.

Both Professor X and Magneto recruit and scout mutants. Those in dire need and those with exceptional capacity. Of course they both carry out the same work of providing counsel in their two very different ways, but they have to deal with similar underlying issues. First the reality that the human societies from which they are coming are harsh, judgmental and even in some cases have sent them into destructive behavior and self-loathing. The X-MEN universe features groups of people who are committed to hating mutants like the Friends of Humanity (FOH) or eugenicist oriented politicians and governmental leaders like Graydon Creed who are hell bent on government programs to eliminate mutants, seeing them as a threat to “normal” people.

Second, after freeing them from the doldrums of despair and self-esteem and self-efficacy deficits–sometimes impossible due to psychiatric complications like in the cases of Sabertooth’s psychopathy or Mystique’s personality disorders–Professor X and Magneto spend an immense amount of time in retraining them to hone their condition into strengths. The series is filled with great cases studies such as Wolverine who suffers from PTSD after governmental experimentation and special ops and has bouts of bloodthirsty violence in addition to total estrangement. Then there’s Storm who has bouts of claustrophobia. Or Jean Grey–the highest ranking psychic mind after Professor X–whose empathic ability is susceptible to bipolar mania. Or even the professor himself who had to master himself, suffering the schizophrenic ailments of hearing voices and navigating it to find his own.

Adaptive Technology: Prosthetic functions from bionics to fashion.

The Mind and Potential: Professor X, Psychoanalysis and the Astral Plane, Cerebro and Measuring Ability.

Rehabilitation of Weaknesses into Strengths: Distilling Social Privilege from Social Stigma

Advocacy and Self-Identity of the Minority versus the Majority:

Qamarism: A Personal Counseling Approach


Coming from a house of counseling parents, I grew up acclimated to an environment of helping, consideration and introspection. As I have experienced the curriculum regarding the theory and practice of counseling and psychotherapy as posited in Gerald Corey’s text, I’ve realized that the various counseling approaches to which my parents exposed were centered upon the models in the book. Exposed to personal centered approaches and narrative approaches of looking at especially the intellectual African-American experiences with which I was raised; via the cognitive behavior approaches when they dealt with drug and alcohol dependent consumers; via existential approaches when they dealt with clients dealing with death and loss; and via Feminist approaches while supporting clients living in the LGBT community; I was slowly developing a counseling approach. This paper explores my development of my unique method. My Qamarist approach which acknowledges that race, gender, sexuality, etc. are all important qualitative axis we traverse in an ultimate axis of existence, each quality containing a range of pyschophysiosocial abilities with which our lifetime is spent in learning how to maneuver and cope.


  1. Kawaida Theory, African Humanist Centrality & Reclaiming Power away from the Racial Narrative

I was raised in a African-American environment, by a community of upper-middle, middle class African-American folk. They fully were committed not only to civil rights, but also the Black Power Movement, the Nation of Islam, radicalism and the then emerging theories of Afrocentricty and African-Centered thought. Although some of these ideas were still very developmental, our communal centerpiece was Kwanzaa, a holiday developed from Dr. Maulana Karenga out of his Kawaida theory. Revolving around seven principles, celebrated during Kwanzaa as the Nguzo Saba, Kawaida Theory focuses on the nature of “goodness” as it applies as not just a moral ideal, but also as it applies to our psychosocioeconomic communal interactions. Overtime and research I found that even the pan-African, idealized principles struck universal themes of what makes healthy, sustainable human communities. Sometime during my undergraduate, conflicted with the everyday frustrations of society’s racialized interactions, I needed to find a scientific neutrality of the black and non-black world I lived in. And through learning Spencer Wells’ Human Migration Theory through his work The Journey of Man and through Jarod Diamond’s work Guns, Germs and Steel, I applied them to KT. And as result I concluded on a non-racialized, pan-African and pan-human interpretation because of our universal DNA and specieial birthplace–Africa.

Kawaida Theory

Although the African-American holiday Kwanzaa has existed since 1968, and is the core of my upbringing and character, is still a very marginalized and racialized holiday. Although the core principles have an application beyond race and have very common themes with Asian Confucianism and the most idealized incarnations of Marxist utopian concepts, it has been authored and perpetuated as racially black in many instances. The idea of black has to be properly assessed and in fact in order to resolve my own inner conflicts with identity, ethnicity, culture and nationality, I had to consider: What are the actual dynamics of race? In that pondering I had to come to acknowledge that race is an absolute construction. In the 1940s the general categorization was white and colored, which mainly resulted in especially WASP ethnic people being categorized as “white” and non-WASP ethnicities being pooled into the “non-white” category. Then time changed to make more divisions. However the classic “one-drop” rule, as was reinforced in my upper-division GE multicultural class, even a person with predominantly European features–if on their birth certificate had “black”–was forced to live a double life of descriptive inconsistency. So upon realizing that Dr. Maulana Karenga of California State University, Long Beach masterfully synthesized a new holiday around a pan-African, “communalist”–as my dad would say–concept of Kawaida Theory, the ambiguity inherent in the wording of “black race”–primarily because “race” is an inherent unscientific idea contradicted by the more substantiated concept of species–both Kawaida and Kwanzaa can be ethnically distributed and celebrated by all Americans and all people without having a blatantly “black” visage thanks to the underlying ecological and humanistic principles housed in its African theme.  

African Humanist Centrality

In college, being an African-American student, single, sexually ambiguous, anti-misogynist and multiculturally submerged into Japanese culture, I was constantly wondering “had I sold out?”, “where do I fit in?”. In so far as racial considerations, I found two valuable scientific sources to provide me a sort of reassurance and guidance for my ethnic, racial and cultural wonderings. The first was a book recommended to me by my high school buddy, now a computer specialist working in the Language Acquisition Resource Center of San Diego State University’s linguistics department. The book was Guns, Germs and Steel, by Jared Diamond. The book particularly opened my eyes to the environmental and social organizational factors that dictated the development of human civilization. Although I found the author was later criticized for having a too “environmentally deterministic” approach and seemingly providing justification for the state of today’s powers, he brought up very valid principles of agrarianism, egalitarianism, food supply control, geographic boundaries, governmental style, etc as to how groups of people maintain a powerful narrative and influence. Coming from a black nationalist background, I found it especially interesting and useful.

But the book that really drove home the concept of the “loophole in racial nationalist construct” that I was realizing was The Journey of Man, by Spencer Wells. His book describes his process of deconstructing racial notions and supporting his hypothesis of “human migration theory”, tracking phenotype and DNA patterns across the world, finding a universal pattern in the Khoisan peoples of the Kalahari desert south of the Serengeti plains. His following of DNA patterns creates a narrative of an organizing, cooperative, adventurous, yet genetically adapting human species flourishing upon the Earth since birth from the Great RIft Valley. That narrative I was even able to see confirmed–in a surely lost to revision–2008 Wikipedia entry on Dr. Molefi Kete Asante’s controversial cultural theory on “Afrocentrism”.

Reclaiming Power away from the Racial Narrative

In this process of self-realization, I was able to build a personal narrative that was universal utilizing a genetic, biologically evolving and environmentally adaptable African-originating specieial identity and therefore narrative. Once in college, my father introduced me to a book authored by Clyde W. Ford entitled The Hero with an African Face. In it Mr. Ford champions that the ability to construct positive narratives, is integral for African-Americans and “black” categorized peoples (Ford 1999). Although scientifically we all have disproven race as a colonial concept, those same colonial bodies still exist, human pragmatic behavior still popularizes the compliance with racial narratives and social organizational resource distribution is still disproportionate for those in the “black” categories. But despite the challenge of the disparities the book poises itself in address, it is a beautiful illustration of the core idea of Narrative Therapy and Theory that “We live our lives by stories we tell about ourselves and that others tell about us. These stories actually shape reality in that they construct and constitute what we see, feel and do. The stories we live by grow our of conversations in a social and cultural context.” especially in its application to people like me, who are born into an environment full of anti-black-culture sentiments and immigrating/emigrating populations and political stances (Corey 2013).

III. Pacific Southwest Pan-Asian Up-bringing & Existential Therapy and Theory

Born in Hawaii, having half Filipino cousins, raised on Tang Soo Do, regularly eating Chinese and Vietnamese food and schooling bilingually in Japanese, the Asian influence. Naturally, while studying any Northeast Asian martial art, Confucianism, Buddhism and Shinto are all spiritual influences that come forth through practice–the most central is in awareness of technique and practicing meditation. Those spiritual practices epitomize the idea of “mindfulness” and idea that although have come into the West via Ralph Waldo Emerson, Existential philosophy and therapy. Those ideas were initially described in Chinese and Japanese by legendary Buddhist clergy like Kukai and Takuan Soho. Takuan Soho is reputed to helping the famous swordsman Miyamoto Musashi. The monk’s famous treatise was The Unfettered Mind, focused upon mindfulness via Buddhist Zen concepts.

During the fall of 2010, my father visited me while teaching in Japan and we visited the temple complex founded by another famous Buddhist scholar, Kukai. Kukai–as Dr. Nakamura of the SDSU School of Art and Design suggested to me in one conversation about Japan–Kukai was like the Christian Martin Luther. He essentially brought Zen Buddhism from Ancient China and proliferated the ideas of meditation and mindfulness at a layman level (Takuan 1986).

Pacific Southwest Pan-Asian Upbringing

The trajectory of my life was situated in a most particular way that in my own eyes determines the style and presentation of myself as a counselor. Although I am obviously “black” as acknowledged by our hyper-racialized American culture makes me aware, I have a battery of Pan-Pacific cultural identifiers that gives me a unique aesthetic. Firstly, born in Hawaii, I am technically a kama aina or native by geography, though not by ethnic blood. So I do relate to the Hawaiian civilizational process. I am most obviously Californian and San Diegan due to my lineage and upbringing in California and San Diego via my father. Being from here I identify with the spring blooming of the lavender jacaranda trees and orange poppies. I also feel a connection to the surrounding mountains, Miguel, Helix and Cowles. I also have an undeniable affinity for the beaches and deserts. In addition I’ve an inclination towards Asia and my upbringing in Filipino peers, Chinese and Vietnamese cuisines, Korean karate and Japanese language. Most influential of Asian culture and accentuating to the Kawaida principles with which I was raised was the Korean karate, Tang Soo Do. Within that branch of martial arts both the virtually Alderian Confucianist and Daoist sociophilosophical ideologies are systemically enforced (Hwang 1978). And I naturally comprehend the salsa of Mexicana and Amerind culture that proliferates this state and county. As a counselor, it is the cultural milieu that I will bring to my clients in conjunction with a comprehension of all of the “mainstream” American industries staple to the West Coast.


The textbook acknowledges that “Existential therapy focuses on exploring themes such as mortality, meaning, freedom, responsibility, anxiety and aloneness as these relate to a person’s current struggle.”

Reflecting Buddhist ideas of impermanence, Existential Therapy’s focus of making person’s aware of their changes and limitations, as apparent in Corey’s description: “The existential view of human nature is captured, in part, by the notion that the significance of our existence is never fixed once and for all; rather, we continually recreate ourselves through our projects. Humans are in a constant state of transition, emerging, evolving and becoming in response to the tensions, contradictions and conflicts in our lives” (Corey 2013). This psychological postulation acutely parallels the Buddhist theological postulations of impermanence and the idea that we are always seeking divine wisdom or Enlightenment. During my junior year at Helix High School, I began to look into a variety of books on religion, especially as my parents moved away from Islamic practices towards more indigenous African spiritual concepts. So including reading Of Water and the Spirit by Patrice Malidoma Some–an exploration of West African Dagara cosmology and divination practices–I also spent time reading Shambhala: the Sacred Path of the Warrior a Tibetan treatise on Buddhism, compassion, morality and mortality. The book touched upon many concepts that related to my training in martial arts and our constant focus upon endurance and mastery of technique. The underlying concepts that these Buddhists studies–in addition to my experience with pilgrimages to Eihei Temple in Fukui prefecture, Kouya Temple Complex and Shitenno Temple in Osaka Prefecture and Todai Temple in Nara Japan–solidified the theological concept of “suffering” and human experience as being limited to our ultimately individual experience of our senses. The concept aligns virtually seamlessly with Existential theoretical ideas on existential anxiety and aloneness (Trungpa 1984).


  1. Feminist Theory, Boyhood to Manhood & Black Masculinism

Although I grew up as a male with male privilege, I was the youngest in what a US census designated “black” household and ranked lowest in authority for leadership in my household. So while many would see me as the only male child and naturally see my activities as “masculine” in comparison to the other males around me, my actual focuses were very reserved and cerebral and additionally influenced by the two higher ranking females in my household–my older sister and mother. My dad made regular efforts in masculinizing me to maintain a gender influence balance. He enrolled me into Tang Soo Do, a Korean karate he excelled in during his youth. The influence of that environment allowed me introduction to the rugged, but meaningful characteristics of masculine hard-power combat culture such as jockstraps, lockers, gear, athletic masochism, weapons, adrenaline, bawdiness, camaraderie and the equalizing and the gender neutral revelation of effective technique. In Tang Soo Do I trained as a child, in forms, sparring and flesh wounds with adults twice my size–often students of my alma mater San Diego State University–until I earned a second degree black belt and graduated SDSU with my bachelors.

With feminism revolutionizing social justice especially for women and feminine gender expression, it has in some ways also allowed voices against the mistreatment of men–especially those with a heavily masculine gender identity separate from the WASP ideal. Issues especially reflected of minority males, male sexuality, circumcision, military recruitment, etc. have not been widely acknowledged as both misandrist and misanthropic endeavors by the patriarchal establishments and only marginally in the mainstream feminist discourse.

Feminist Theory & Therapy

Feminist theory is a paramount necessary ideology for humanity beyond just sociophilosophical principles but also biophysiological principles. Many of the most organized and effective organisms on the planet are predominantly female including colonies of insects, reptiles and even mammals like lions.  In fact one species of lizard exists without males whatsoever. But further beyond that, the self-sufficient female society has always existed, especially apparent in the Amazonian warriors of Sub-Saharan African ruler, N’Zinga, polyandrous ethnicities and even evidence of the gender rule breaking Queen Hatshepsut of Ancient Egypt. The idea of gender equality and elimination of stereotyping in order to see the individual objectively underlies feminist theory. Accordingly, my comprehension of Africa epitomizes that egalitarian feminist ideal and gives me a hunch that a proper ideology African-Americana incorporates what I feel is an inherently indigenous African egalitarian philosophy of gender parity that borders on the Berdache of the Americas (Williams 1986). Our textbook notes that, “Feminist therapy is built on the premise that it is essential to consider the social, cultural, and political context that contributes to a person’s problems in order to understand that person. This perspective has significant implications for the development of counseling theory and for how practitioners intervene with diverse client populations” (Corey 2013).

Additionally, I’ve come to realize that much of sexism that objectives women into sexualized roles lf servitude. This legacy is especially preserved in archaic American laws that don’t protect the safety of sex-workers, provide sex-workers rights or reasonably regulate those industries which largely trap and often traffic women. However opportunities like assisted certification the International Surrogate Partner Association or participation, development and proliferation of academics in sexuality as pioneered by Kinsey, Comfort and Masters & Johnson can stabilize and save lives of women and provide a stronger therapeutic basis for families suffering domestic violence.

Boyhood to Manhood

Of course with any exploration of counseling approach, I have to consider my background. I was raised in a predominantly overt heteronormative African-American environment. During my elementary school years, my father took up the reigns of a youth program for African-American boys called Boyhood to Manhood–a sort of anti-boyscouts. We spent Saturdays in a para-military styled order, beginning with the Pan-African Libation ceremony, invoking the blessings of God, Progeny and Predecessors. We read and recited the eight principles of adulthood–honor, reliability, respect, ancestry, purpose, unity, faith, trust; the Pledge to Self and Nation and the Nguzo Saba. We sang African language songs and practiced counting in Bamabara and KiSwhahili. We did craft projects, drumming, volunteer activities and even pursued advancement via an academic curriculum via projects of the Drum Book and Spear Book. As an African-American male child, I knew a pristine order bordering on that of Israeli or South Korean youth. But as society happened, so did the buckling of African-American leadership as we grew older, resources became scarce and adult interpersonal values shifted. The void of post-adolescent guidance I began to feel entering high school and college led me on my own quest of understanding the role of gender and sex especially because Boyhood to Manhood instilled in me that it was much deeper, cultural and ancestral than music videos, sports stars and Hollywood glamour.

Black Masculinism

Although there are masculinist scholars like Jack Malebranch (Donovan) who put forth a version of masculine ideals that is still sterilely “white” dependent upon a vilified, anti-intellectual, under researched black male stereotype of a non-white anti-masculinity (Malebranche 2006). My background encouraged my pursuit to develop an understanding of the African gender spectrum. That exploration led me to books like Boy-wives and Female Husbands: Studies in African Homosexualities which charted gender variation originating from African continental populations. It helped me conclude that masculinity is a cultural practice and aesthetic non-dependent on sexual practice, even for men of African backgrounds (Murray 1998). And while self-proclaimed masculinists and men’s rights advocates can comprehend the universal relativity of Kinseyan sexuality and of the gender spectrum, he and his supporters are unable to separate from their colonial pseudo-scientific racial mindset of denying those same male rights and sexuo-gender flexible dignities to African masculinities other than us only having a place in their occidental mindset as either “feminized, amoral gays” or “unsophisticated, misogynist straights or bisexuals”.


  1. Principles of Qamarist Counseling Approach and Theory

My personal approach, the Qamarist approach, incorporates traditional African-American communal principles with which I was raised, The Eight Principles of Adulthood, The Nguzo Saba and the humanist and scientific ideas that our acknowledgement of Africa as our biological Center and an alternate logic pattern opposed to the intense rhetorical engine of strictly East versus West. Next, my approach incorporates Existentialist therapy and theory in acknowledging the transformational nature of the human experience, its sensualism and impermanence and the power of our individual choice in seeking the wisdom our moments. Lastly my approach incorporates black masculinism which necessitates the incorporation of ethnic pluralism, unlike currently typified masculinism, yet still acknowledges that masculinism ultimately compliments feminism as its opposite color, with pre-feminist, pre-Stonewall Modern culture as being especially earmarked as misanthropic toward anyone concentrically exterior to the male WASP demographic in general. Overall my approach acknowledges that race, gender, sexuality, etc. are all integral qualitative axis we traverse in an ultimate axis of existence, each quality containing a range of pyschophysiosocial abilities with which our lifetime is spent in learning how to maneuver and cope.


  1. Works Cited

Corey, G. (2013). Theory & Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy. Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.

Diamond, J. M. (1999). Guns, germs, and steel: The fates of human societies. New York: Norton.

Ford, C. W. (1999). The hero with an African face: Mythic wisdom of traditional Africa. New York: Bantam Books.

Hwang, K. (1978). Tang Soo Do (Soo Bahk Do). Springfield, N.J: U.S. Tang Soo Do Moo Duk Kwan Federation.

Malebranche, J. (2006). Androphilia: A manifesto : Rejecting the Gay Identity, Reclaiming Masculinity. Baltimore, MD: Scapegoat Pub.

Murray, S. O., & Roscoe, W. (1998). Boy-wives and female husbands: Studies in African homosexualities. New York: St. Martin’s Press.

Takuan, S., & Wilson, W. S. (1986). The unfettered mind: Writings of the Zen master to the sword master. Tokyo: Kodansha International.

Trungpa, C., & Gimian, C. R. (1984). Shambhala: The sacred path of the warrior. Boulder, Colo: Shambhala.

Wells, S. (2003). The journey of man: A genetic odyssey. London: Penguin.

Williams, W. L. (1986). The spirit and the flesh: Sexual diversity in American Indian culture. Boston: Beacon Press.


If in the result of material manifestation energy is ultimately transformed and lost, then physical life is not measured by safety (the lack of risk taken) but instead by bravery (the amount of risk taken). Biological units as

Although Maslow’s needs hierarchy serves as a valuable framework during child development, it is also a necessary principle in adult development that will determine productivity and cooperation.

The sociodynamics of the racial concept have been a perpetual thorn in the progressing foot of domestic politics. However, simply adapting the racial concept from its archaic inception of mongoloid, negroid, caucasoid, indioid, etc. pseudo-biological modeling into one that codes individuals by their geopolitical place of origin and their steps since removed, our sociopolical interactions can be advanced with more fine-tuned benchmarking for demographic analysis, ethnic enclave economic valuation, vocational job divisioning, accurate international futures investing etc.

Gay and straight are obvious political factions with a variety of players in between, however they are essentially physical manifestations of a singular underlying argument in support of a readily fluid human sexuality and a public that accepts it and its sociobiological functions. Homosexuality as birth control and hygiene facilitation. Heterosexuality as momentary and acute in planning and execution.

Although the national culture, law, and politics of a country are of great leadership relevance, the overdependence on centralized authority creates decapitates the authority of states, prefectures and provinces. The only path that is sustainable is towards an authoritative parity in which laws, militia organization, industrial opportunities, and market access are proportionately distributed from national capitol to state capitol. Each state, prefecture, province, etc. has enough cultural diversity and singularity for an autonomous existence, but the primary missing pieces from their effectiveness are the legal, social, economic and political infrastructures that invest authority and value into such bodies. The idea that a national capitol can and will lead all–especially in continentally bounded nations–is unrealistic, lazy, inefficient and a strategic Achilles heel that invites an array of Trojan horses.




Medicalizing Sex Work with Sexual Surrogacy

Sexuality is a major component fitting into Maslow’s needs hierarchy as it is a spectrum. This paper will investigate sexual needs as an explorable palette and capacity that needs to be met and can be met in a safe, minimal risk environment. Sex work will be identified as a fulfillment of needs tied to socially relevant emotions. Accordingly, the paper will focus on how these unmet needs result in a psycho-emotional loop, a vicious cycle. It will touch upon how to counter prostitution by professionalizing sex-workers into sexual surrogates. The paper will answer the complex question: if there is not a pyramidal scheme in the surrogate’s earnings; if the client’s sexual needs are based in some sort of functional limitation that is temporal, psychological or emotional rather than recreation; If the exchange is consensual and mutually beneficial; If both parties assume responsibility and potential health risk; how is it not a therapeutic act? Lastly the paper will explore how the International Professional Surrogate Association’s three party framework can be integrated and proliferated to combat illegal sexual activity like prostitution and sex trafficking.

Melissa Febos explores in retrospect her access to the BDSM culture and sheds light on the psychoanalytic properties of sex workers. She reports a variety of aspects that touch upon themes of transference, counter transference, identity, power distribution and privilege. Febos delivers a detailed account that fits well in comparative analysis of sexuality with curricula form organizations like the International Professional Surrogate Association and the Kinsey Institute.

Sanders, T. (2007). The politics of sexual citizenship: Commercial sex and disability. Disability & Society, 22(5), 439-455. doi:10.1080/09687590701427479

“This paper breaks a long silence by bringing together two areas of literature that have generally been considered separately: that of sexuality and disability with findings from studies on sex work. Presenting empirical findings from two studies, one with sex workers who work from indoor sex markets and the other with men who buy sex, this paper exposes the existing relationships and practices between men with physical and sensory impairments who seek out commercial sexual services from female sex workers. In the discussion the politics surrounding sexual rights and commercial sex will be addressed. In the context of commercial sex, quality of life issues, complex power dynamics and the common ground between disabled people and sex workers rights are discussed. This paper considers the negative aspects of promoting commercial sex for people with impairments, as well as the positive aspects regarding the wider campaign for sexual citizenship. Finally, I set out recommendations and a new research and policy agenda that investigates the complexities of commercial and facilitated sex. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract)”

Ableism in Sex and Gender

In sexual politics, men and women have often excessively relied upon gender–a social construct of mannerist aesthetics generally composed of a spectrum spanning from masculinity, neutrality and femininity–to define human capacities, social privileges and stigmas, and even physical ability at a sexual physiological level beyond those physiologically systemic such as chromosome and maturation. The paper investigates: The unacknowledged sexes: Intersexes; Government perpetuated work division by sex and reproduction–not by talent, culture or capacity; Comprehension of gender and level of education and class; Overemphasis and monolithizaion of gender, and the body modification to adapt to it (genital mutilation, cross dressing, synonymization of beauty and femininity, Caitlyn Jenner and her irreversible XY chromosomes); Feminism and masculinism’s common foe: Misanthropy.

Considering from a natural standpoint, females of a species are dominant. Insect colonies are populated largely by female drones. Female birds are courted in large numbers, ye have the discretion on just who’ll fertilize their eggs. Female seahorses pass gestational duties onto males. Even some species of reptile have reduced males into just being cells they produce themselves when desired.

Shane, C. “The Meme-ification of Misandry” (2015) Matter (Aug 5)
“It’s true there’s no institutionalized violence against all men due to their gender, and women as a group aren’t regarded as a threat to their physical well being. But women of color have repeatedly pointed out that “kill all men” takes on a grotesque dimension when put in the context of our country’s racial reality. Black feminist Zoé Samudzi agrees that “misandry — like reverse racism — isn’t possible,” but “‘kill all men’ — even in jest — is a reminder of the historical role white women play in white masculine violence against men of color.” Black men are targets of institutional violence — a truth that’s acutely impossible to ignore in light of the rampant police murders of black Americans. And when Dylan Roof murdered nine black church congregants in South Carolina, reportedly attributing his brutality to “you rape our women,” white women’s tacit and active participation in white supremacy was brought even further to the fore/ “Ariel Lebeau, a biracial cis woman, subscribed to misandry when she first encountered it online, but became increasingly critical of the limited thinking it belied: “Adopting cavalier misandry as part of your feminism strikes me as a disregard for the intersectionality of race, gender, sexuality and class.” White feminists have such a poor track record of intersectional activism, it’s no wonder women of color don’t trust them to be sensitive in their casual comedy. “My people, families, friends of families, and so on, are already dying,” says Soha Kareem, a queer Palestinian-Iraqi woman. “It’s a joke that I can no longer support because I see death happen everywhere, with whiteness centered and protected.”

“But inherent in this word “misandry” is hatred. And inherent in phrases like “ban men” and “male tears” are cruelty and violence. If a man wore a tee shirt that said “misogynist,” even if he were a dyed-in-the-wool feminist, wearing it tongue-in-cheek, it would not be funny. It would be misguided.

“We are all familiar with misogyny: the hatred of women. This has been well-researched for decades. We are less familiar with misandry: the hatred of men, or more broadly, the hatred, fear, anger and contempt of men. It is worth some consideration, especially since misandry is by no means restricted to women. Indeed some of the most male-negative people out there are men./ “To conclude: misandry is everywhere, culturally acceptable, even normative, largely invisible, taught directly and indirectly by men and women, blind to reality, very damaging and dangerous to men and women in different ways and de-humanizing. This post is to help make it visible and to deal with it – as we have dealt with, or tried to deal with, misogyny, racism and homophobia.

Carifounia Teikoku

This past Spring group show at the Broker’s Building was a refreshing opportunity to produce some new art. Inspired by the idea of an Imperial California, I settled on illustrating a Pan Pacific woman in a Buddhist inspired gown with waving lines, large shell earrings holding an obsidian Aztec sword. This piece is latex and acrylic on red paper. It will fit into a series of the theme Imperial California or カリフォルニア帝国。