Heather B MacIntosh
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PhD | BA, PhD
Experience in LGBT2SQ research
I am a clinical psychologist and educator focused on ensuring that queer and trans students, and participants are intentionally and clearly included in all of my research. I think I may have said more about my background in the previous question but my current projects are the development of Developmental Couple Therapy for Complex Trauma (DCTCT) groups for queer and trans, BIPOC, and QTBIPOC couples dealing with the impacts of covid and ongoing traumas in their relational lives. Additionally, I am currently developing a research grant application to develop resources for LGBT2SQ survivors of trauma around sexual healing.
Interest in LGBT2SQ research
I have been involved in LGBT2SQ research for approximately 15 years. Initially, I lead a study on the impacts of legal marriage on “same sex” couples and published those findings in a peer reviewed journal. Since I started my tenure track position in the MScA in Couple and Family Therapy at McGill University I have been engaged, primarily, in clinical research with couples dealing with trauma. I have ensured that all of my projects include queer and trans couples and that their voices are represented in all of my research writing, book chapters and in the treatment manual that arose from a pilot study, Developmental Couple Therapy for Complex Trauma (DCTCT, MacIntosh, 2019, Routledge). Currently, I am running a funded programme of DCTCT groups for trauma survivor couples and have run specific groups for queer, trans, BIPOC and QTBIPOC couples. I am working on a grant application to develop resources for queer and trans trauma survivors around sexual healing.
- Developmental Couple Therapy for Complex Trauma
- Same-Sex Marriage in Canada: The Impact of Legal Marriage on the First Cohort of Gay and Lesbian Canadians to Wed ruling of the Court of Appeal for Ontario on June 10, 2003, declared the federal definition of marriage unconstitutional and thus opened the door for gay and lesbian couples to legally nnarry in Ontario. Other provinces followed suit until the federal Civil Marriage Act on July 20, 2005, nnade same-sex marriage legal nationwide. Research on the relationships of gay and lesbian couples that had previously been limited to cohabiting, unmarried couples could now examine the impact of legalized marriage on same-sex couples. The present study addressed this topic in a quantitative assessment of relationship satisfaction and attachment in 26 married lesbian or gay couples and also in a qualitative thematic analysis of interviews with 15 of these couples to determine the impact of legalized marriage on their relationships and to explore their views about the support they received from society and their communities. All couples interviewed indicated that being able to marry had affected them in various ways relationally, political and socially. The quantitative analysis showed that the 26 couples had significantly higher levels of relationship satisfaction and significantly less attachment-related anxiety and avoidance compared to normative data for married heterosexual couples. Despite some challenges and struggles, the participants Indicated that marriage had an overwhelmingly positive effect on their lives.
- In this review, 55 unique empirical studies of the impacts of a history of CSA on couple and parenting functioning were identified and analyzed according to assumptions considered in an earlier review. Overall, this current systematic review supported earlier assumptions that CSA survivors would evidence insecure attachments in their adult couple relationships; that CSA survivors would be less likely to marry and more likely to divorce; and that partners would also experience difficulties in relation to their partnership with a CSA survivor. Assumptions about parenting functioning included: that CSA survivors would have different attitudes toward their children; that CSA survivors would function poorly as parents; and that children of CSA survivors would be at increased risk for sexual abuse. Evolutions in the literature since that first review included methodological improvements, as well as the inclusion of male survivors in some studies. More sophisticated statistical modeling allowed for a greater understanding of mediators and moderators in the relationship between CSA and later interpersonal functioning in couple relationships and in parenting. Recommendations for future research and clinical implications were proposed.
- It is critical to ensure that long-term care (LTC) homes are sensitive to the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) older adults. However, the extent to which the LTC home sector has adopted recommended strategies is unknown. This qualitative study reports findings from two initiatives: Semi-structured telephone interviews with Canadian LTC home administrators on strategies adopted to support LGBT inclusivity (n = 32), and discussions with participants attending a 2-day meeting on supporting LGBT inclusivity in LTC (n = 25). We found that LGBT inclusivity training was the most commonly adopted strategy among the LTC homes surveyed. Study findings further suggested that practices more visible to residents and families, such as LGBT-themed programming, inclusive language and symbols, or joint initiatives with LGBT communities, were less commonly adopted because of anticipated negative resident/family reactions. The importance and benefits of comprehensive strategies that include staff, residents, and family are discussed.
- Sex and Couple Therapy with Survivors of Childhood Trauma