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The guidelines are intended to inform the practice of psychologists and to provide information for the education and training of psychologists regarding LGB issues.The following links go to the page that includes the particular section, guideline or accompanying document: Introduction Attitudes Toward Homosexuality and Bisexuality Guideline 1.

While these categories continue to be widely used, research has suggested that sexual orientation does not always appear in such definable categories and instead occurs on a continuum (e.g., Kinsey, Pomeroy, Martin, & Gebhard, 1953; Klein, 1993; Klein, Sepekoff, & Wolff, 1985; Shiveley & De Cecco, 1977) In addition, some research indicates that sexual orientation is fluid for some people; this may be especially true for women (e.g., Diamond, 2007; Golden, 1987; Peplau & Garnets, 2000). Review of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people with developmental disabilities and mental retardation: Stories of the Rainbow Support Group. It is useful for psychologists to know how to acquire information about resources of various kinds, including therapeutic, educational, social and recreational, and family support.

It is also important to note that practice guidelines are superseded by federal and state law and must be consistent with the current APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct (APA, 2002b).

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.

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.

A revision of the guidelines is warranted at this point in time because there have been many changes in the field of lesbian, gay, and bisexual psychology.

Existing topics have evolved and the literature also has expanded into new areas of interest for those working with lesbian, gay, and bisexual clients.

In addition, the quality of the data sets of studies has improved significantly with advent of population-based research.

The Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Clients were adopted by the APA Council of Representatives, Feb.

18-20, 2011, and replace the original Guidelines for Psychotherapy with Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Clients adopted by the Council, Feb. Each of the 21 new guidelines provide an update of the psychological literature supporting them, include a section on "Rationale" and "Application," and expand upon the original guidelines to provide assistance to psychologists in areas such as religion and spirituality, the differentiation of gender identity and sexual orientation, socioeconomic and workplace issues, and the use and dissemination of research on LGB issues.

These guidelines build upon APA’s Ethics Code (APA, 2002b) and are consistent with pre-existing APA policy pertaining to lesbian, gay, and bisexual issues.

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