This course is based on a publication the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) and is designed to provide mental health and substance abuse counselors with a great deal of information regarding working with lesbian and gay (LG) individuals. The publication covers the special issues that need to be addressed in working with LG individuals in a substance abuse treatment setting.
The publication covers the wide range of diversity among women who self identify as lesbians or whose sexual, emotional or affectional feelings are primarily directed towards women. The myths and stereotypes about lesbian women are reviewed as are facts that dispute these myths. The social, cultural and development issues that specific to lesbians and gay men are reviewed. Clinical issues and concerns specific to lesbians and gay men are described with particular attention paid to issues that arise in substance abuse treatment settings.
Although the publication is written from the perspective of applications to substance abuse treatment, much of the information applies to LGBT clients in other treatment settings.
This course serves as an excellent resource for mental health professionals who work with substance abuse, or who would like to improve their clinical skills by learning more about how to work with lesbian and gay individuals. Given the prevalence of lesbian and gay individuals, this course provides much needed information to improve the cross cultural competencies of clinicians with an underserved population.
Psychologists, social workers, counselors, drug and alcohol counselors and marriage and family therapists can benefit from this course. This course may also be helpful for other practitioners, such as midwives and dieticians and nutritionists who work with substance abuse or lesbian or gay clients. This course is appropriate for beginning, intermediate and advanced level practitioners who wish to learn more about the LGBT population and or substance abuse treatment.
Learning Objectives: This course will provide a professional with a review of cultural and clinical issues that are significant for lesbians and gay males. Specifically, a professional will:
· Identify common myths and stereotypes about lesbians.
· Describe clinical issues that often arise when working with lesbian and gay male clients.
· Identify social, cultural and treatment considerations that should be included in the treatment of lesbians and gay men.
Citation: SAMSHA (2001). A Provider’s Introduction to Substance Abuse Treatment for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Individuals. Chapter 7 Clinical Issues with Lesbians and Chapter 8 Clinical Issues with Gay Male Clients. DHHS Publication No. (SMA) 01-3498.