Writing from the perspective of heterosexual therapists treating lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) individuals, Eubanks-Carter, Burckell, and Goldfried (this issue) provide important information on how to enhance therapeutic effectiveness with this population. Their manuscript is an example of a refreshing departure from historical views of homosexuality as a pathological psychological condition and from work that supports using therapy to change sexual orientation. Eubanks-Carter et al. document significant improvements both in the provision of psychotherapy, the view of LGB individuals from the mental health field, and the view of LGB individuals from the community. Despite these improvements, continued progress is still needed. The present commentary points to several areas where the science and practice of clinical psychology can further progress regarding the care of LGB clients. This includes improving systems in training and institutions that employ psychologists where bias or discrimination may exist and reducing biased language in psychological research that implies pathology towards homosexual sexual orientations when homosexuality is not a pathological condition. It also includes reducing or eliminating psychological harm that can be caused by psychological interventions that attempt to change sexual orientation by further restricting these practices.
- Gay, lesbian and bisexual issues
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Psychology