Student Population<br />Counselors in the school system must be aware of the many types of students and issues that will be dealt with<br />Gay<br />Straight<br />Lesbian<br />Bisexual<br />Transgender <br />
Counseling Approach<br />Know where the client is in terms of acceptance with their sexual orientation<br />With this knowledge, counselors can better identify with the problems the client might be facing<br />Treatment for homosexual clients should be the same as any other client<br />Become aware of the social and developmental norms students are facing<br />
Counseling Approach<br />Depending on the stage the client is in, they will be going through different struggles<br />Counselors should focus on the strength these individuals possess and reiterate their worthiness of acceptance, rather than focusing on the negative<br />
Common Disruptions<br />Become aware of the social and developmental norms students are facing, as well as the common disruptions they may be dealing with:<br />Identity confusion<br />Anxiety and depression<br />suicidal ideation and behavior<br />Academic failure<br />Substance abuse<br />Physical, sexual, and verbal abuse<br />Homelessness<br />Prostitution<br />STD/HIV infection<br />
Stages of Acceptance<br />Six stages through which homosexuals go progress when dealing with their orientation:<br />Identity awareness<br />Identity comparison <br />Identity tolerance<br />Identity acceptance<br />Identity pride<br />Identity synthesis<br />
Institutional Changes<br />Responsibility of the counselor to ensure appropriate institutional changes are being made to accommodate LGBT students’ needs and provide a safer environment<br />Familiarize themselves with the needs and counseling issues of LGBT clients and use non-stigmatizing and affirming mental health, educational, and community resources<br />
Positive Interventions and Support<br />Furthering education for teachers<br />Bulletin board with resources for students<br />Implement a comprehensive no bullying policy<br />Organizing awareness groups or programs<br />Gay-Straight Alliance<br />Support Groups<br />
Resources<br />Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues in Counseling (ALGBTIC)<br />Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN)<br />Gay-Straight Alliance Network<br />
References<br />Association of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues in Counseling. (2009). Competencies for counseling with transgender clients. Alexandria, VA: Author.<br />Diaz, E. and Kosciw, J. (2009). Shared Differences: The Experiences of Lesbian, Gay Bisexual, and Transgender Students of Color in Our Nation’s Schools. New York: GLSEN.<br />GLSEN. (2011). School Climate in Texas (Research Brief). New York: GLSEN.<br />GLSEN. (2010). 2009 National School Climate Survey: Nearly 9 out of 10 LGBT Students Experience Harassment in School.<br />Heffner, L. Christopher (2003). Counseling the gay and lesbian client: treatment issues and conversation therapy. AllPsyc Journal, 1-5.<br />
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