• June 2014
  • Vol. 15, No. 6

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Tips for Professionals Serving LGBTQ Youth

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network released a new factsheet designed to familiarize mental health professionals with the appropriate terminology when working with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. This resource also may be valuable to child welfare and other related professionals who work with LGBTQ children and youth and their families.

The publication includes a definition and description of the following terms:

  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender identity
  • Transgender
  • Gender expression
  • Queer
  • Questioning

Supported by diagrams and research findings, this resource illustrates the continuum of sex, gender, and sexual orientation and dispels myths and stereotypes about LGBTQ youth and sexual abuse. The factsheet also outlines key steps to creating a welcoming environment, maintaining confidentiality, and counseling clients after sexual abuse. 

Particular areas of concern related to the fear of disclosure, a lack of a safe arena to discuss one's sexual orientation, and the risk of self-harm are also addressed. Finally, the authors encourage professionals to follow local and national professional guidelines and policies for working with LGBTQ youth and individuals.

LGBTQ Youth and Sexual Abuse: Information for Mental Health Professionals is available on the National Child Traumatic Stress Network website:

http://www.nctsn.org/sites/default/files/assets/pdfs/lgbtq_tipsheet_for_professionals.pdf (1 MB)

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