9.2.12

Gay and Lesbian Challenges in Therapy

Gay people face many societal challenges on a daily basis.  As a soon to be therapist I wondered what the stance was in my  own field about homosexuality. My intended focus will be on providing therapy for the GLBT population so  I took a look at some research.  The first article was from the late 90's and can be viewed below.  The second study took place in 2005.  I wont bore you with the research paper which is difficult for a lay person to absorb,  but what I will do is tell you the results from the second study.

IN this study, 437 responding members of the American Psychological Association took part in the research. Overall it appears that psychologist's attitudes and therapeutic approaches toward the GLBT community have continued to change. Psychologists today are more likely to view the GLBT lifestyle as acceptable and non pathological are are more likely to support and provide gay affirmative therapy (Kilgore et al, 2005). In the past psychology viewed homosexuality as mental disorder and were more apt to promote therapies to "turn a gay person straight".  These therapies were aversion based therapies which were proven not to work.  In fact the American Psychological Associated released a statement a few years back saying that it is considered unethical to provide those types of treatments and the DSM III removed homosexuality from its lists of pathologies. For those of you outside of the field, the DSM or Diagnostic and Statistical Manual is sort of the holy grail when it comes to psychology.  It is a catalog of pathologies deemed accurate by the APA and used as a major reference source for psychologists and psychiatrists world wide.  The American Medical Association is also in agreement and has removed homosexuality from its list of pathologies although it upheld its stance until very recently.  According to the Kilgore study, female psychologists are more likely to be accepting and to provide supportive therapy whereas their male counterparts tend to remain neutral in their stance. The authors recommend that future research should be done specifically on the GLBT community and stated that assuming that research done on heterosexuals can be applied to the GLBT population would be an error in thinking.  The also point out that little if any research has been done on the transgendered community and that more of a focus needs to be done on this segment of the GLBT population.


Please read the first study listed under a seperate post.



























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