So far this month, we've talked a lot about what is NOT LGBTQIA+ competent therapy - let's pivot a bit to talk about DOES constitute LGBTQIA+ competency!
Here are some steps therapists can take today and that clients can interview therapists about. You may not realize this but you absolutely have the right to ask potential therapists or your current therapist about the steps they're taking to provide competent care.
1. LGBTQ+ inclusive intake forms
Can you enter your pronouns, your sexuality, your gender identity? Are there multiple choices that fit strict, normative, or binary options only? Look for therapists whose forms reflect their understanding of the expansive nature of identity!
Therapists, identify your own pronouns!
When having a conversation about pronouns, does the therapist discuss this as if you are the only one with pronouns? They're not of course, and therapists that understand that reality and identify their own pronouns may have a better sense that what one can see =/= gender identity.
Therapists, don't fall into the education burdening trap by needing clients to explain things to you! Clients, if you find you have to explain a lot of LGBTQ+ terminology for your therapist, it may be time to either look for a new therapist or ask your current therapist to pursue training.
Treating each client as an individual - not an LGBTQ+ monolith!
Understanding that although there are important things to know about the LGBTQ+ community, each person is unique and has their own attitudes, beliefs, relationships to gender, sexuality, their bodies, and to their relationships.
Seeking continual training and consultation
This is a lifelong learning process and LGBTQ+ competence is an action NOT a destination.