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Health Forum Online    The Psychologist's Source for C.E. Credits Online

Culturally-Competent Healthcare with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual (LGB) Individuals

by Amy Van Arsdale, PhD 5 CE Credits

Lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB)-identified individuals are currently estimated to represent approximately 2-8% of the U. S. population. Working with an LGB individual may present challenges for healthcare providers, particularly those who do not identify as LGB and/or lack prior experience with this population. This course is designed to improve cultural competence for healthcare providers working with LGB individuals. It provides a broad overview of the emotional and physical issues affecting this population; illustrates reasons why many LGB individuals do not seek treatment; and reviews the current research on treatment guidelines with an emphasis on mental health care. Additionally, models of lifespan identity development are described to provide a context within which clinicians can better conceptualize patients’ issues. Finally, this course provides practitioners with a variety of resources, including those to assist in the continued development of their skills with the LGB population.


Continuing education for this online course is offered through the following approvals:


  • HealthForum is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. HealthForum maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
  • HealthForum (ACE Provider #1156) is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) www.aswb.org, through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) Program. HealthForum maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: (6/20/2017 to 6/20/2020). Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval for continuing education credits. Social workers participating in this course will receive 5 Social and Cultural Competence continuing education clock hours.
  • HealthForumOnline, LLC, SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0355
  • HealthForum has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6216.  Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. HealthForum is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.


Course Sections/Outline:

  • Overview/Rationale
  • Definition of Terms
  • Development of Sexual Orientation and Sexual Identity
  • LGB Issues Across the Lifespan: Is Youth Wasted on the Young?
  • “Coming Out, Living Out”: What are the Benefits?
  • The Major Barriers and Facilitators to Seeking Health Care
  • Mental and Physical Health Issues: What’s Salient for Sexual Minorities?
  • A Closer Look at Some Important Subgroups: LGB Youth, Couples & Families
  • Empirically-supported Mental Health Treatment Guidelines for Working with LGB individuals
  • Resources
  • References

Learning Objectives:

After completing this course, health professionals will be able to:
  • Distinguish between the terms “lesbian,” “gay” and “bisexual” and comprehend the continuum of sexual orientation as well as the heterogeneity of the LGB population.
  • Describe LGB identity development across the lifespan — from the 6 phases of adolescent sexual identify to issues unique to later life.
  • Identify 3 major barriers for LGB individuals seeking culturally-sensitive mental and physical health care and 4 courses of action to overcome these barriers.
  • Utilize at least 2 empirically-supported mental health treatment guidelines/approaches for working with LGB individuals.