Academic journal article Psychology, Community & Health


Academic journal article Psychology, Community & Health


Article excerpt

A Complex Intersection in Psychology Training: Students With Conservative Religious Beliefs and LGBT Affirmative Education

Markus P. Bidell a

Joy S. Whitman b

[a]Hunter College of the City University of New York and The Center for LGBT Social Science and Public Policy, UNITED STATES

[b]DePaul University, UNITED STATES

The history of treating LGBT people as mentally ill is juxtaposed with the current perspective that LGBT affirmative psychotherapy is the foundational and universally accepted standard of care for competent and ethical LGBT counselling services. Even though all major mental health professions endorse LGBT affirmative mental health services providers "have been socialized in a society that stigmatizes sexual and gender minorities, and this context inevitably affects their knowledge and perceptions of LGBT people". When counsellor and psychology trainees hold personal beliefs stigmatizing LGBT individuals, complex issues and conflicts can arise for students and educators. Moreover, if unresolved, these clashes can have detrimental effects on LGBT clients. Two recent landmark legal actions by counselling students against their graduate education programs highlight the problems that arise when personal religious beliefs conflict with ethical standards of care for LGBT clients. The purpose of this workshop is to provide an interactive examination of the often contentious and under discussed relationship between psychotherapists' religious conservatism and LGBT affirmative psychology and training. Specifically, the aim of the presenters is to: (1) provide a brief history and background regarding LGBT affirmative counselling, psychotherapy and training; (2) examine the two legal cases brought by graduate counselling students with conservative religious beliefs; (3) contextualize the conflict between religious conservatism and LGBT affirmative education utilizing both presenters' current research, theoretical papers, as well as extensive clinical and training expertise regarding LGBT affirmative psychotherapy and professional education; and, (4) employee discussion and activity groups to generate attendees' experiences and recommendations respective of the complex intersection between LGBT affirmative psychotherapy and conservative religious beliefs held by some mental health trainees and practitioners.

Affirming Psychotherapy With Bisexual Clients

Tania Israel a

[a]University of California, UNITED STATES

Description of workshop: The meanings of sexual orientation vary across cultures and historical periods. Consequently, people whose attractions or relationships are not limited to only women or men have a range of identities, communities, and emotional and sexual experiences. For the purposes of this proposal, I will refer to these individuals as "bisexual," while acknowledging that this label is limited in scope and may not be embraced by everyone. In some parts of the world, bisexuals are gaining greater visibility in the media, and youth are increasingly identifying as bisexual. Despite such indicators of apparent acceptance of bisexuality, societal stereotypes and individual biases are widespread. Furthermore, bisexuals are at risk for psychological and behavioural problems and encounter negative experiences with mental health service providers. This presentation will provide an overview of theory and research on bisexuality, including cultural contexts, attitudes, psychological patterns, life experiences, and mental health services. Participants will apply this material through engagement in discussion of case scenarios. Dr. Israel will help attendees increase their awareness of bisexuality and apply affirming practices in counselling and psychotherapy with bisexual clients. Learning Objectives: After attending this presentation, participants will be able to: Recognize cultural variation in perceptions and experiences of bisexual people; Identify societal and individual biases about bisexuality; Describe mental health experiences of bisexual people; Apply current theory and research on bisexuality to client conceptualization; Generate bi-affirming approaches to counselling and psychotherapy. …

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