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Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Issues

Both the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association have adopted policies stating that homosexuality per se is not a mental illness. Further, there is no prescribed or suggested "treatment" for changing or "curing" homosexuality. In fact the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association have raised serious questions about the efficacy and ethics of so-called "conversion therapies" and have issued strong statements opposing such "reparative" therapies.

It is not unusual, however, for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people to seek counseling or psychotherapy services. Sometimes gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people need to talk about how discrimination and societal attitudes affect them. In addition, they experience concerns such as depression, anxiety, and relationship problems exactly like heterosexual people do. You may want to seek counseling for any of these reasons.

Regardless of the concern, however, it is very important that you work with a counselor or psychotherapist who will work with you from an affirming perspective. It is certainly acceptable to ask your counselor questions regarding her or his views on homosexuality and gender identity, whether or not she or he has worked with gay, lesbian, bisexual and/or transgender people in the past, and/or what type of training she or he has regarding counseling gay, lesbian, bisexual and/or transgender people. After all, you are the one seeking the counseling and you may want to know some things about the person with whom you are working.

You may also wish to ask a gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender friend, or someone you trust, for a referral to an affirming and supportive counselor. This may give you a start in selecting an appropriate counselor.

The counselors and psychologists at the Ball State Counseling Center work from an affirming and supportive perspective. Each has received, or is receiving specialized training on working appropriately with gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. If you wish to make an appointment with a counselor, call 285-1736.

For extensive information about Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender issues visit the SAFEZONE website. There are extensive resources for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual people or for those that are questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity as well as for those wishing to be informed allies.