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Guidelines differ from standards in that standards are mandatory and may be accompanied by an enforcement mechanism. They are intended to facilitate the continued systematic development of the profession and to help ensure a high level of professional practice by psychologists.

These guidelines are not intended to be mandatory or exhaustive and may not be applicable to every clinical situation.

Practice guidelines are consistent with current APA policy.

It is also important to note that practice guidelines are superseded by federal and state law and must be consistent with the current APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct (APA, 2002b).

These authors and others (e.g., Fox, 1996; Greene, 1994b; Nystrom, 1997; Pilkington & Cantor, 1996) suggested that there was a need for better education and training in working with lesbian, gay, and bisexual clients.

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.

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.

Practice guidelines essentially involve recommendations to professionals regarding their conduct and the issues to be considered in particular areas of psychological practice.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.In 2009, the association affirmed that “…same-sex sexual and romantic attractions, feelings, and behaviors are normal and positive variations of human sexuality regardless of sexual orientation identity” (APA, 2009a, p. Twenty-five years following APA’s 1975 resolution, a gap in APA policy and the practice of psychologists was identified in a study by Garnets, Hancock, Cochran, Goodchilds, and Peplau (1991) that documented a wide variation in the quality of psychotherapeutic care to lesbian and gay clients.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.These practice guidelines are built upon the (Division 44/Committee on Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity Joint Task Force on Guidelines for Psychotherapy with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Clients, 2000) and are consistent with the American Psychological Association (APA) refers to pronouncements, statements, or declarations that suggest or recommend specific professional behavior, endeavors, or conduct for psychologists.

Practice guidelines essentially involve recommendations to professionals regarding their conduct and the issues to be considered in particular areas of psychological practice.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.In 2009, the association affirmed that “…same-sex sexual and romantic attractions, feelings, and behaviors are normal and positive variations of human sexuality regardless of sexual orientation identity” (APA, 2009a, p. Twenty-five years following APA’s 1975 resolution, a gap in APA policy and the practice of psychologists was identified in a study by Garnets, Hancock, Cochran, Goodchilds, and Peplau (1991) that documented a wide variation in the quality of psychotherapeutic care to lesbian and gay clients.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.These practice guidelines are built upon the (Division 44/Committee on Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity Joint Task Force on Guidelines for Psychotherapy with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Clients, 2000) and are consistent with the American Psychological Association (APA) refers to pronouncements, statements, or declarations that suggest or recommend specific professional behavior, endeavors, or conduct for psychologists.The guidelines are intended to inform the practice of psychologists and to provide information for the education and training of psychologists regarding LGB issues.