It is also important to note that practice guidelines are superseded by federal and state law and must be consistent with the current APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct (APA, 2002b).
In 1975, the APA adopted a resolution stating that “homosexuality per se implies no impairment in judgment, stability, reliability, or general social or vocational capabilities” and urging “all mental health professionals to take the lead in removing the stigma of mental illness that has long been associated with homosexual orientations” (Conger, 1975, p. In the years following the adoption of this important policy, the APA indeed has taken the lead in promoting the mental health and well-being of lesbian, gay, and bisexual people and in providing psychologists with affirmative tools for practice, education, and research with these populations.
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Practice guidelines are consistent with current APA policy.For this reason, the (Division 44/Committee on Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity Joint Task Force on Guidelines for Psychotherapy with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Clients, 2000) were developed.A revision of the guidelines is warranted at this point in time because there have been many changes in the field of lesbian, gay, and bisexual psychology.These guidelines build upon APA’s Ethics Code (APA, 2002b) and are consistent with pre-existing APA policy pertaining to lesbian, gay, and bisexual issues.These policies include, but are not limited to, the resolution entitled (APA, 2009a).Existing topics have evolved and the literature also has expanded into new areas of interest for those working with lesbian, gay, and bisexual clients.In addition, the quality of the data sets of studies has improved significantly with advent of population-based research.The Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Clients were adopted by the APA Council of Representatives, Feb.18-20, 2011, and replace the original Guidelines for Psychotherapy with Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Clients adopted by the Council, Feb. Each of the 21 new guidelines provide an update of the psychological literature supporting them, include a section on "Rationale" and "Application," and expand upon the original guidelines to provide assistance to psychologists in areas such as religion and spirituality, the differentiation of gender identity and sexual orientation, socioeconomic and workplace issues, and the use and dissemination of research on LGB issues.Psychologists strive to understand the effects of stigma (i.e., prejudice, discrimination, and violence) and its various contextual manifestations in the lives of lesbian, gay, and bisexual people. Psychologists understand that lesbian, gay, and bisexual orientations are not mental illnesses. Psychologists understand that same-sex attractions, feelings, and behavior are normal variants of human sexuality and that efforts to change sexual orientation have not been shown to be effective or safe. Psychologists are encouraged to recognize how their attitudes and knowledge about lesbian, gay, and bisexual issues may be relevant to assessment and treatment and seek consultation or make appropriate referrals when indicated. Psychologists strive to recognize the unique experiences of bisexual individuals. Psychologists strive to distinguish issues of sexual orientation from those of gender identity when working with lesbian, gay, and bisexual clients. Psychologists strive to be knowledgeable about and respect the importance of lesbian, gay, and bisexual relationships. Psychologists strive to understand the experiences and challenges faced by lesbian, gay, and bisexual parents. Psychologists recognize that the families of lesbian, gay, and bisexual people may include people who are not legally or biologically related. Psychologists strive to understand the ways in which a person's lesbian, gay, or bisexual orientation may have an impact on his or her family of origin and the relationship with that family of origin. Psychologists strive to recognize the challenges related to multiple and often conflicting norms, values, and beliefs faced by lesbian, gay, and bisexual members of racial and ethnic minority groups. Psychologists are encouraged to consider the influences of religion and spirituality in the lives of lesbian, gay, and bisexual persons. Psychologists strive to recognize cohort and age differences among lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals. Psychologists strive to understand the unique problems and risks that exist for lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth. Psychologists are encouraged to recognize the particular challenges that lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals with physical, sensory, and cognitive-emotional disabilities experience. Psychologists strive to understand the impact of HIV/AIDS on the lives of lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals and communities. Psychologists are encouraged to consider the impact of socioeconomic status on the psychological well being of lesbian, gay, and bisexual clients. Psychologists strive to understand the unique workplace issues that exist for lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals. Psychologists strive to include lesbian, gay, and bisexual issues in professional education and training. Psychologists are encouraged to increase their knowledge and understanding of homosexuality and bisexuality through continuing education, training, supervision, and consultation. In the use and dissemination of research on sexual orientation and related issues, psychologists strive to represent results fully and accurately and to be mindful of the potential misuse or misrepresentation of research findings.References Appendix A Internet Resources Appendix B Religious and Denominational LGBT Advocacy and Affinity Organizations and (2) basic information and further references in the areas of assessment, intervention, identity, relationships, diversity, education, training, and research.