Article2010

Undoing the Damage: Working with LGBT Clients in Post-Conversion Therapy


ABSTRACT

As a mecca of diversity, New York City is one of the epicenters for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender LGBT community. As such, LGBT identified clients present in New York’s counseling and mental health agencies with a cross section of issues unique to the LGBT community. One of these issues is the deleterious effects LGBT-individuals face after an experience with conversion therapy. Conversion therapy aims to alter a person’s sexual orientation away from homosexuality and into heterosexuality or celibacy. Clients seeking counseling after an experience with conversion therapy present distinct practice challenges that require special consideration in treatment. These clients may experience both sexual and spiritual identity crises, symptoms of depression and anxiety, hopelessness, sexual dysfunction, and symptoms of post-traumatic stress. Integrative solution therapies, grief work, community-based interventions, and trauma work offer healing strategies for treating LGBT clients after conversion therapy.

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