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*Note* This scheduling program was not designed by folks who do a lot with APA Style and unfortunately it defaults to listing authors in alphabetical order. We cannot fix this for this online schedule, but the author orders are posted in the order submitted in the printed program available via pdf here.
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Saturday, March 7 • 10:45am - 12:00pm
LGB Experiences in Cross-Orientation Therapeutic Dyads: Discussion & Recommendations for Practice

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Despite some indications that treatment experiences have been improving (Liddle, 1999), lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) clients still receive discriminatory and inadequate treatment (Bieschke, Paul, & Blasko, 2007). Because of the continued prejudice and discrimination that LGB individuals experience, facilitation of safe and affirming therapeutic encounters is among key social actions that can be undertaken by feminist psychologists. However, little continues to be known about how LGB individuals themselves perceive their experiences of therapy, and ways that they themselves define their therapeutic encounters. This presentation will highlight results of a study regarding experiences in therapy from the perspective of LGB clients. Specifically, I focus on therapeutic dyads that represented divergent sexual orientations, although experiences in therapy with shared-orientation dyads have also been also examined. Therefore, this paper presentation will provide suggestions for facilitating effective therapeutic work with sexual minorities, regardless of the clinician’s sexual orientation. Key factors discussed in this presentation will be (1) reflections on the impact of categorical views of sexual identity, (2) the influence of heterosexism on expectations in the therapy, and (3) ways in which clients tend to assess the safety and acceptance of their practitioners. Furthermore, underlying principles of competent cross-cultural therapy with LGB clients will be shared, emphasizing the importance self-reflective work on the part of the clinician in order to provide nonjudgmental acceptance, discuss sexuality with ease, value different ways of approaching relationship, and decrease therapeutic defensiveness. This presentation will also introduce the notion of the reparative potential embedded in cross-orientation therapeutic dyads. Participants who described transformative therapeutic experiences with heterosexual therapists discussed the benefit of experiencing an accepting member of the dominant culture. This experience provided a counterbalance to internalized homophobia and a corrective emotional experience to familial rejection based on sexuality. Thus, therapeutic dyad work will be viewed as holding potential for restorative justice in the microcosm of the therapy room through witnessing and acceptance.


Saturday March 7, 2015 10:45am - 12:00pm
Washington