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By Linda Wilson, Ph.D. and Phyllis Robertson, Ph.D. Break By the Lake Presentation September 23, 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "By Linda Wilson, Ph.D. and Phyllis Robertson, Ph.D. Break By the Lake Presentation September 23, 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 by Linda Wilson, Ph.D. and Phyllis Robertson, Ph.D. Break By the Lake Presentation September 23, 2011

2  Improve understanding of ethical guidelines for working with LGBTQ youth.  Provide affirming counselors with an understanding of gay youth identity development models.  Increase our awareness of client perceived insensitivity and lack of knowledge on our parts.

3  Begin to understand what experiences, thoughts, and behaviors are normal for LGBTQ youth.  Predict future experiences for prevention and education purposes  Identify areas for concern or indications of pathology  Shorten the lens of our own blind spots.

4  Psychologists understand that homosexuality and bisexuality are not indicative of mental illness.  Psychologists strive to understand how a person's homosexual or bisexual orientation may have an impact on his or her family of origin and the relationship to that family of origin.

5  Psychologists strive to understand the special problems and risks that exist for lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth.  Psychologists make reasonable efforts to familiarize themselves with relevant mental health, educational, and community resources for lesbian, gay, and bisexual people. Guidelines for Psychotherapy

6 Counselors are aware of their own values, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors and avoid imposing values that are inconsistent with counseling goals. Counselors respect the diversity of clients, trainees, and research participants. (A. 4. b.) When appropriate, counselors advocate at individual, group, institutional, and societal levels to examine potential barriers and obstacles that inhibit access and/or the growth and development of clients. (A.6.a.)

7  Standard C.2.b. ("New Specialty Areas of Practice"), "Counselors practice in specialty areas new to them only after appropriate education, training and supervised experience. While developing skills in new specialty areas, counselors take steps to ensure the competence of their work and to protect others from possible harm." Therefore, any professional engaging in conversion therapy must have received appropriate training in such a treatment modality with the requisite supervision. There is, however, no professional training condoned by ACA or other prominent mental health associations that would prepare counselors to provide conversion therapy.

8 Professional school counselors promote affirmation, respect and equal opportunity for all individuals regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Professional school counselors also promote awareness of issues related to sexual orientation/gender identity among students, teachers, administrators, parents and the community. Professional school counselors work to eliminate barriers that impede student development and achievement and are committed to the academic, career and personal/social development of all students. Position Statement

9  Cass – stage process based on “coming out” experiences in life  Troiden stages that allow for options in social realities of disclosure  McCarn and Fassinger phases that distinguish between two processes: individual identity development and minority group identity membership

10 Sensitization Identity confusion Identity assumption Commitment Troiden, 1998

11  Sensitization  Usually occurs prior to puberty  Generalized feelings of marginality  Perception of being different from same-sex peers  More than 70% of adult homosexuals felt somewhat or very much different from same-sex peers in childhood  This difference was not usually labeled as sexual differentness or homosexuality Troiden, 1998

12  School culture conveys respect and enjoyment of diversity  Policies to prevent verbal/physical harassment  Harassment understood as hate-based and dealt with in same manner as hatred of gender, race, religion  Offender educated about how language is offensive  Homosexuality incorporated into school forums  Parents of students who are different from the “norm” are encouraged to accept and nurture their children’s unique self-identities  Individual counseling recommended Bellonci 1995

13  Identity confusion  Same-sex arousal or activity; absence of heterosexual arousal  Reflection on whether feelings or behavior could be considered homosexual  Dissonance from previously-held self-image  Identity confusion, inner turmoil, anxiety  Guilt, need for secrecy, social isolation  Self-labeling may be impeded by lack of role models or bizarre stereotypes Troiden, 1988

14  Creation of ‘safe spaces’ and role models within the school  Group counseling recommended  Gay/Straight alliances or school clubs  Counselors give youth the clear message they do not view homosexuality negatively or refer youth to a gay-affirmative agency for support if they are uninformed or uncomfortable with this subject  Counselor’s use of language is key. Assumption of heterosexuality may close the door to further discussion Bellonci 1995

15  Identity assumption  Homosexuality identity is established and shared with others  Self-definition as homosexual  Tolerance of a gay or lesbian identity  Association with other gays and lesbians  Sexual experimentation  Exploration of the homosexual subculture  Self-acceptance as gay or lesbian Troiden, 1988

16  Protection of school officials may be needed for students who ‘come out’ in the school setting  Knowledge of community resources and family support for gay/lesbian/bisexual youth  Assessment of what supports the youth has- family, friends? Who knows? Reaction of others?  Group counseling recommended  Youth at this stage need someone to listen, reassure, support, no overreaction  Confidentiality regarding sexual orientation Bellonci 1995

17  Commitment  Homosexuality adopted as a way of life  Integration of sexuality and emotionality  Commitment to a same-sex love relationships  Disclosure of homosexual identity to non- homosexuals  Shift to different types of stigma management  Homosexual identity considered valid and satisfying Troiden, 1988

18  School needs less of the focus as youth become more integrated into the gay culture  Individual counseling recommended  Community resources for gay/lesbian/bisexual youth and how to access them  If no community resources, counselor can help youth problem solve ways to appropriately meet others and integrate their sexual identity into their lives Bellonci 1995

19  Branches of model  Individual Sexual Identity  Group Member Sexual Identity Phases- Awareness Exploration Deepening/Commitment Internalization/Synthesis

20  Basic Assumptions of Model  Several phases simultaneously  Not every phase is experienced  Process can be lengthy  Can be applied to lesbian and gay male identity development  Table of Inclusive Model (handout)

21  Variations in perception of benefits of “coming out.” occupational environment geographical location racial/ethnic group membership family situation legal and economic realities support systems

22  “… disclosure is so profoundly affected by environmental oppression that to use it as an index of identity development directly forces an individual to take responsibility for her own victimization.” McCarn & Fassinger, 1996, p. 522

23 “Women and men are more likely to come out in the context of a relationship as opposed to an independent process of articulating and acting on sexual desire.” McCarn & Fassinger, 19196, p. 518 Movement in one area of identity may not be congruent with movement in the other. high individual/low group low individual/high group

24  In groups of 4-5 read the scenario and the three counselor responses.  Respond to the questions at the end of the page in your group.  Prepare to discuss your findings with the whole group.

25 Thank you and evaluations


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