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 information regarding legal issues involved when working with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) individuals. The course begins with an overview for providers that includes some of the legal issues that are important for substance abuse treatment programs that treat LGBT individuals. The first legal issue of particular importance is protecting the confidentiality of LGBT individuals in substance abuse treatment. The course then details the discrimination against LGBT individuals as well as the legal protections that they may have. Most states do not include sexual orientation as a protected class, and as a result, there may be significant consequences, such as loss of visitation rights or custody of children, for a LGBT individual if their orientation is disclosed. The course ends with several recommendations for program administrators and therapists who work with LGBT individuals.
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, gay, bisexual or transgendered individuals. Given the prevalence of LGBT individuals, this course provides much needed information to improve the cross cultural competencies of clinicians.
Psychologists, social workers, mental health 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, gay, bisexual and transgendered individuals. This course is appropriate for beginning, intermediate and advanced level practitioners who wish to learn more about legal issues in programs serving LGBT clients.
Learning Objectives: This course will provide a professional with a review of cultural and clinical issues that are significant for LGBT individuals. Specifically, a professional will:
· Identify legal protections that LGBT individuals currently have.
· Describe methods for protecting the confidentiality of LGBT individuals in treatment.
· Identify recommendations for program improvement for programs serving LGBT clients.
Citation: SAMSHA (2001). A Provider’s Introduction to Substance Abuse Treatment for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Individuals. Chapter 3 Legal Issues for Programs Treating LGBT Clients. DHHS Publication No. (SMA) 01-3498. Reviewed by TM DiDona, PhD 2018 and found to be current. For a full list of current references, please Click Here