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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.


This online course is approved for APA CE credit, NBCC CE clock hours, ASWB CE clock hours (Cultural Competency/Diversity​), and NYSED CE credit.


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.