Substance abuse counsellor's attitudes regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered clients

M J Eliason
Journal of Substance Abuse 2000, 12 (4): 311-28

PURPOSE: The attitudes of substance abuse counselors can have significant effects on their client's recovery. This study examined the attitudes and knowledge of substance abuse counselors regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) clients.

METHODS: 242 substance abuse counselors in Iowa completed mail-in questionnaires.

RESULTS: The counselors reported very little formal education regarding the needs of these clients, and nearly half had negative or ambivalent attitudes. Respondents had the greatest negativity regarding transgendered clients and reported knowing the least about this group. Counselors frequently lacked knowledge about the legal issues of these clients, the concepts of domestic partnership and internalized homophobia, and family issues.

IMPLICATIONS: Substance abuse counselors require more education about LGBT clients.

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