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LGBT: Psychological Realities and Culturally Competent Therapy with LGBT Clients and Their Families

5 CE Credits/Hours - Online Course - $49.00

Developed by Davina Kotulski, Ph.D.

This course includes materials consisting of:

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General Course Description

This is an introductory course designed to educate the clinician about the diversity of sexual and gender orientation and to familiarize the clinician with the appropriate terminology when working with LGBT clients and their family members. Participants in this course will learn how stigmatization associated with a non-heterosexual sexual orientation can negatively affect the mental health and well-being of lesbian, gay, and bisexual clients, as well as familiarizing the participant with the specific realities of second-class citizenship, prejudice, discrimination, and violence. In this course, participants will become well-versed in the twenty-one APA guidelines for conducting therapy with LGB clients. Participants in this course will learn about same-sex relationships and relationships where one or more members is transgendered, as well as other aspects of family structure and the unique challenges LGBT families face. Additionally, participants will learn about the challenges in life cycle development that an LGBT person faces with regard to adolescence, coupling, family development, generativity, and aging. Finally, this course will provide a brief historical overview of how homosexuality, bisexuality, and gender identity have been perceived in the mental health community, current acceptable practices, and residual impact on LGBT clients.

The first section of the course identifies important LGBT terminology, history and concerns for the LGBT population. The second section showcases recorded interviews with leaders and educators of specific LGBT populations, for example Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, LGBT Latinos and Transgender people. The third section of the course addresses current discrimination against LGBT people and the impact of denying same-sex couples the right to marry. The final section explores the role psychologists and the field of psychology has played in the lives of LGBT people. This section also looks at the current roles and expectations for psychologists working with LGBT people. Finally, we have a Resources Page for further information and study.

Educational Objectives

This course will teach psychotherapists to:

1.    Use the appropriate LGBT Terminology and understand the scale of sexual orientation and incorporate the APA Guidelines for Psychotherapy with LGBT clients into their clinical practice.

2.    Discuss the historical view and treatment of LGBT individuals by mental health professionals and the resulting effects of stigmatization on the mental health of LGBT individuals.

3.    Describe the unique challenges that same-sex couples, same-sex parents and their children, LGBT youth and LGBT seniors face.

4.    Understand the unique needs and coming out process of parents and family members of LGBT people.

5.    Discuss the multiple identity issues facing LGBT people of color and the unique issues facing transgender people.

Course Syllabus

LGBT Terminology

Defining Sexual Orientation

Homosexuality in History

  • Homosexuality in Psychological and Medical History
  • Evelyn Hooker's Research
  • APA 1973
  • Reparative Therapies and Ex-Gays
  • Where we are today

Stigma and the effects on Mental Health of LGBT people

Life Cycle Challenges

  • Coming Out Process and Sexual Identity Formation (Vivienne Cass)
  • Safe Schools
  • Substance Abuse and Suicide, esp. Adolescents
  • Same-sex couples (marriage inequality)
  • Same-sex families (parenting issues)
  • LGBT Seniors: Healthcare, Economic Disparity, and Retirement & Nursing Homes

LGBT Political History and Movement

Current LGBT Struggles

  • AIDS/HIV

LGBT Voices

  • Parents, Friends and Family Members of LGBT people
  • The Transgender Experience
  • The Latino LGBT Experience

Real Life Discrimination

  • Violence and Hate Crimes
  • Employment and Military Discrimination
  • Second-Class Citizenship (rights denied)
  • Religious Persecution

Psychology and the LGBT Individual

  • The Evolution of Psychology
  • APA Guidelines
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