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The Theory of Microaffirmation as Applied to the Rainbow Community

[Speaker] Koch, Julie M:1,2
[Co-author] Knutson, Douglas:2, Lee, Hang-shim:2, Lee, Fallyn:2, Glon, Brendon:2
1:American Psychological Association, Oklahoma State University (United States of America), 2:Oklahoma State University (United States of America)

Scholars have explored the harmful effects of microaggressions that members of the Rainbow Community (LGBTQI+ or SOGI populations) experience in their daily lives and in therapeutic environments (Nadal, 2013; Shelton & Delgado-Romero, 2011). What is less understood is how to move in a more positive direction. This poster focuses on the theory of microaffirmation, which focuses on what people are doing right. Microaffirmation is defined as "subtle or apparently small acknowledgements of a person's value, culture, identity, and personhood" (Koch, Knutson, Loche, & Loche, 2015). If we have a better understanding of validating and affirming behaviors by psychologists, we may be able to provide Rainbow Community Clients with a more positive therapeutic experience by drawing attention to and increasing these behaviors.
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