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Int Rev Psychiatry. 2015;27(5):396-404. doi: 10.3109/09540261.2015.1094033. Epub 2015 Nov 9.

Attitudes of therapists and other health professionals towards their LGB patients.

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a Division of Psychiatry, Faculty of Brain Sciences , University College London , UK.


Lesbian, gay and bisexual people continue to suffer minority stress around the world, but particularly in Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. This anti-homosexual prejudice can enter into the therapist-client relationship and seriously damage the outcome of psychotherapy, particularly in instances where therapists regard their clients' sexuality as contributing to their psychological difficulties. This paper takes an historical perspective to research on the attitudes of a range of professionals who provide talking therapies or other types of psychological support to their clients who are lesbian, gay or bisexual. The nature and origins of prejudice, its effects on LGB clients, and how it might best be addressed are considered. Challenging the ethics and evidence base for treatments that purport to change sexual orientation, as well as asking heterosexual therapists to reflect on their own heteronormative assumptions, are crucial to effecting change and ensuring LGB people are treated equally to their heterosexual counterparts.


Psychotherapy; ethics; homophobia; homosexuality; therapists' attitudes

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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