While there is growing support in contemporary society for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBQ+) identities, LGBTQ+ youth continue to experience disproportionate risk for myriad mental and behavioral health outcomes. Disparate health risk among LGBTQ+ youth is linked to stressors associated with their sexual and/or gender minority identities. As a result, successfully navigating adolescence can be challenging and painful process for many LGBTQ+ youth. Mental health professionals can play a key role in supporting LGBTQ+ client health and well-being through the use of affirmative practice approaches. LGBTQ+ affirmative practice acknowledges the multidimensional spectrum sexual and gender identities as equally healthy and valuable, validating the identities, strengths and experiences of LGBTQ+ youth. Affirmative practitioners provide a clinical context which counters oppressive and unethical reparative approaches, challenging social and cultural factors that contribute to minority stress and oppression in the lives of LGBTQ+ youth.
This webinar will focus on AFFIRM, a LGBTQ+ youth-specific version of Cognitive Behavior Therapy that has been adapted to ensure (a) an affirming stance toward LGBTQ+ identities, (b) recognition and awareness of LGBTQ+-specific sources of stress, and (c) the delivery of CBT content within an affirming, developmentally relevant and trauma-informed framework. AFFIRM helps clients to identify and challenge internalized stigma and negative core beliefs in a safe and supportive clinical context. Participants will be introduced to the skills associated with several core components of AFFIRM including Case Conceptualization, Psychoeducation, Modifying Thinking, and Behavioral Activation, LGBTQ+ youth learn to counter stress, develop support, and engage in healthy coping.
At the end of this session, participants will be able to:
- Assess the role and impact of homo/transphobic stigma, bullying, and discrimination on LGBTQ+ youths’ presenting mental health concerns.
- Articulate an affirmative stance toward LGBTQ+ diversity among youth
- Develop skills associated with effectively implementing CBT strategies within an affirmative context which challenges external and internal stigma, and attends to LGBTQ+ youths’ specific needs.
Presentation Level: Intermediate/Advanced