Mental health professionals' attitudes, knowledge, and expertise in providing services for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered individuals

2005 2005

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Abstract (summary)

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered (GLBT) individuals are a stigmatized group of people. As a group, these individuals are often the target of discrimination and hatred by many people in society. Moreover, many GLBT individuals have even been subject to physical and verbal assaults for no other reason than the individuals' sexual orientation. They often experience various psychiatric disorders as a result of their marginalized status. In addition, many GLBT individuals experience problems with self-acceptance and internalized homophobia. As a group, they are more likely to seek mental health services than those in the heterosexual population. Unfortunately, mental health providers are often undereducated about the needs of this population. Graduate programs in the human services field are failing to provide the education that will properly prepare clinicians to provide mental health services to the GLBT population. Additionally, internalized homophobia and archaic beliefs often hinder clinicians' ability to be develop an adequate therapeutic alliance with GLBT clients, thereby limiting their ability to effectively work with this population.

This study focuses on the needs of GLBT clients and the problems inherent in seeking mental health services from unprepared and biased therapists. Surveys were distributed to a variety of mental health providers and graduate students in an effort to understand how age, gender, educational background, theoretical orientation, and exposure to the GLBT population has impacted clinicians' understanding of the therapeutic needs of this population.

Results of this study confirmed that there is continued need for additional training in diversity, especially as it relates to sexual orientation. The inadequate training that mental health professionals receive often results in GLBT clients receiving less than optimal or even harmful mental health treatment.

Indexing (details)

Social psychology;
Mental health
0622: Psychotherapy
0451: Social psychology
0347: Mental health
Identifier / keyword
Health and environmental sciences; Psychology; Bisexual; Expertise; Gay; Lesbian; Mental health professionals; Service provision; Transgendered
Mental health professionals' attitudes, knowledge, and expertise in providing services for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered individuals
Estensen, Bonnie
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-B 66/02, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
9780542017988, 0542017989
Cox, Cristina
Adler School of Professional Psychology
University location
United States -- Illinois
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
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