Affirmative Psychotherapy for LGBTQ University and College Students: Awareness, Knowledge, and Action

[Speaker] Perez, Ruperto M:1
[Co-author] Lee Barber, Jill S:2
1:Georgia Institute of Technology (United States of America), 2:Georgia State University (United States of America)

Over one-third of students seeking counseling at U.S. counseling centers identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning (LGBTQ) (Center for Collegiate Mental Health; CCMH, 2014). A number of these students and LGBT college students in general may oftentimes experience difficulties in their adjustment to college as a result of LGBT bias and are at greater risk of being harassed or bullied on university campuses (Jurgens, Schwitzer, & Middleton, 2015; Chronicle of Higher Education, 2010). Therefore, it is critical for counseling center professionals to develop cultural competence through the provision of affirmative psychotherapy. This presentation will provide an overview of LGBTQ issues among U.S. college students and provide a model of affirmative psychotherapy. The presentation will also discuss a systemic collaboration between psychologists in an urban university counseling center, key university constituents and several LGBTQ student organizations in developing a program to provide systemic intervention to LGBTQ students.
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