Helpful and unhelpful therapy experiences of LGBT clients

Tania Israel, Raya Gorcheva, Theodore R Burnes, William A Walther
Psychotherapy Research: Journal of the Society for Psychotherapy Research 2008, 18 (3): 294-305
The purpose of this study was to identify a broad range of variables that characterize the helpful and unhelpful therapy experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals. Interviews were completed with a diverse sample of 42 LGBT individuals who have been in therapy, and a content analysis was conducted. Results indicated that basic counseling skills and relationships were key determinants of the quality of LGBT clients' therapy experiences. Also important to the helpfulness of the therapy experience were therapist variables such as professional background and attitudes toward client sexual orientation/gender identity; client variables such as stage of identity development, health status, and social support; and environmental factors such as confidentiality of the therapy setting.

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