Choosing a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual-Affirming Therapist

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LGBTQ Healing: Choosing a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual-Affirming Therapist

Adapted from Bernice Goodman, “Out of the Therapist Closet,” in Hilda Hidalgo & Travis Peterson (Eds).

NASW Resource Manual on Gay and Lesbian Issues

Updated to include trans* information

  • What extent of knowledge does the therapist have about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender culture?
  • How long has the therapist been working with LGBTQ clients? How many LGBTQ clients has the therapist worked with?
  • What type of training does the therapist have in working with LGBTQ clients?
  • How much understanding and knowledge does the therapist have about racism, sexism, and homophobia/biphobia/transphobia in society?
  • What is the therapist’s knowledge of and commitment to issues of diversity among LGBTQ persons and culture?
  • Can the therapist constructively challenge self-oppressive attitudes and internal biases with clients and also help to create and support new, healthy ways of being?
  • Is the therapist a visible part of the LGBTQ community?
  • What feelings do you have of this person? Is there a feeling of trust and safety? Would you feel comfortable in participating in therapy with this person?
  • Does this therapist understand the effects of institutional homophobia, biphobia, and heterosexism, trans* biases and ignorance upon LGBTQ people?
  • Can this therapist recognize the differences between appropriate behavioral responses related to societal oppression and the unique psychological difficulties that a LGBTQ person may be experiencing?
  • How well does the therapist acknowledge the impact of socially defined gender roles on an LGBTQ individual’s sense of self?

If you have additional questions about or feedback about this article, please feel free to contact me.

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Therapy4OCLesbians: Articles & Ezine – 2011 Archives

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lesbian therapy positive healing

Journeys Ezine: Every quarter I publish a unique online magazine filled with original articles, links to community news and events all of which are focused on Affirming LGBT identity.

My goal is to provide  informative, educational and inspiring information for the LGBT community that you can easily share with friends, family and professionals.

Past issues have addressed transitioning for families, coming out, minority stress and LGBT mental health.


Be The Change You Wish To See in The World!

You are uniquely gifted to contribute to the world and the people around you.

Want to Help Prevent the Bullying and Suicide of LGBT Youth: Start Here

How can we each make a difference in our own families, neighborhoods, churches, mosques, synagogues, schools and communities? You are each in a unique position to influence your world. In the same way a pebble sends the ripples through the water , your words, actions and attitudes shape those around you. And it can begin with something as simple as sharing a cup of coffee and starting a conversation. I hope what you find here will be inspiring and informative.

Queer Stories: How Knowing Our History Builds Identity

This issue of Journeys is dedicated to discovering how the Queer Stories of our history can enlighten  and empower us.

How Are You Handling Change in Your Life?

Take time to reflect on the way in which you are changing and growing. Consider where you feel stuck. This may be a good time to sow some seeds of change in your life.

Bringing Your Vision To Life!
One step at a time, you can create the vision for your life. I hope these tools will help you as you work towards your goals.

What Really Matters

The socially prescribed divisions that separate us are illusions at best. Despite all of our differences in appearance, race, culture, gender…our DNA is 99.9% the same. What really matters, is our common humanity.


The Comfort of a Good Book

In this issue I share Inspiring reads from my bookshelf.

Growth & Letting Go

The Grand Canyon

In this article, I share the principles that have guided me in my own journey and how to navigate change in your life.

When Pain Is Your Teacher

Mindfulness is the practice of being in the present, attending to our experience, sensation, emotion and thought-without judgement. The disciplines of meditation and yoga are  ways of developing this mindfulness.   I hope this article will inspire you to look again at your life with curiosity, wonder and possibility.

The Lessons of Lawrence King
If you know or love an LGBTQ child, tween or teen, your acceptance and support is vital, maybe even life saving.


How’s Your Health? The Impact of Minority Stress

Building Bridges
What all minorities have in common is the experience of oppression and marginalization by the majority culture. As minorities, we have all been “outside the circle” of the mainstream. We have all experienced being different. And we have all fled some form of persecution or discrimination, in search of our freedom. This article focuses on the common ground that all minorities share.

Now That You Know
What to expect when someone you love transitions.

The Color of Fear

What the battle of marriage equality looked like from my front door.

The Effects of Sunsets on Moment to Moment Mothering

Thoughts on mindful mothering.

*From any newsletter –you can click on the link to join the mailing list for future editions.

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