Full Course Description

LGBTQ+ Clients: Treatment Strategies for Sexual and Gender Identity Issues

With the variety of terms and ideas in today’s LGBTQ+ culture, it’s easy to feel lost in the complexity of sexual and gender identity, while also feeling overwhelmed by the fear of inadvertently offending your client somehow.

But it doesn’t have to be this way! Aaron Testard is here to bring you the latest research and trends in sexual and gender identity issues.

This training will give you:

  • Tools and knowledge to confidently work with clients on any part of the sexuality-gender spectrum
  • Clear strategies to comfortably engage clients around cultural norms, gender, sex, relationships, and terminology
  • A navigation map to tailor treatment approaches each step of the way in the client’s self-discovery process

Build trust and credibility with your LGBTQ+ clients by expanding your knowledge of this ever-evolving population.

Program Information


  1. Appraise current trends and perspectives in the LGBTQ+ community and the implications for clinical work.
  2. Build safety and trust effectively with LGBTQ clients in clinical practice.
  3. Analyze the main factors impacting treatment and the identity development process of LGBTQ+ clients.
  4. Differentiate the phases of identity development for LGBTQ+ clients to better inform treatment planning.
  5. Integrate LGBTQ+ history and knowledge into the clinical session.
  6. Apply treatment strategies to help clients in each phase of LGBTQ+ identity development.


What you Need to Know to Establish Safety, Trust, and Credibility with LGBTQ+ Clients

  • Understand LGBTQ+ history and its impact on present models of sexuality and gender
  • 2 key questions to ask during an intake session to establish safety and trust
  • Current trends in the ever-evolving dating and hook-up culture
  • Learn up-to-date terminology and genderaffirming language including SOGIE, GSM, and more!
Important Treatment Considerations
  • Trauma as a key factor for LGBTQ+ mental health
  • Covert cultural sexual abuse and other traumas
  • Gender dysphoria diagnosis – what does it mean and when to use it?
  • How attachment injury affects LGBTQ+ development
  • The phases of sexual and gender identity development
Clinical Interventions to Support Clients Through Each Phase of LGBTQ+ Identity Development
Phase 1: Pre-Coming Out and Confusion
  • Key Issues: Identify and defuse internal judgements about behavior, thoughts, desires
  • Treatment Strategies:
    • Educate on gender and body dysphoria
    • Sexual health assessment and education
Phase 2: Comparison and Consideration
  • Key Issues: Exploration of LGBTQ+ information and overcome barriers to coming out
  • Treatment Strategies:
    • Questions that effectively address barriers and potential loss
    • Inquire and challenge without pushing beyond client readiness
    • Psychoeducational tools to help clients consider their identity
Phase 3: Tolerance and Exploration
  • Key Issues: Address shame and deeper exploration of gender and/or sexual identity
  • Treatment Strategies:
    • Help clients build their unique support system
    • Apply ACT matrix and Functional Analytic Psychotherapy principles to address shame and internalized homophobia
    • Psychoeducation and information on gender transition steps
Phase 4: Acceptance and Deepening
  • Key Issues: Support coming out/transition process and address internalized homophobia
  • Treatment Strategies:
    • Utilize WPATH Standards of Care to support clients in transitioning
    • Guided visualizations for challenging coming out situations
    • Tools to build resilience with increased visibility
Phase 5: Pride and Commitment
  • Key Issues: Validation of anger, process trauma, grief, and loss related to being LGBTQ+
  • Treatment Strategies:
    • Manage anger about oppression, teach clients the 4 roles in social change
    • Trauma-informed techniques for processing traumatic memories
    • Release pain of grief and loss through EMDR, IFS, Sensorimotor, and other techniques
Phase 6: Synthesis and Integration
  • Key Issues: Continue emotional processing and revisit earlier phases as needed
  • Treatment Strategies:
    • Address continued minority stress
    • Know when to re-engage in earlier stages of development

Target Audience

  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Psychotherapists
  • Case Managers
  • Marriage & Family Therapists
  • Addiction Counselors
  • Educators
  • Nurses
  • Physicians
  • Other Mental Health Professionals

Copyright : 01/29/2021

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) Clients: Clinical Issues and Treatment Strategies

Are you making the biggest mistake treating your LGBTQ clients? Are you pushing them to “come out”? And if you are…you could be traumatizing your clients.

I made the same mistake early in my career of forcing my clients to name and claim their sexual identity.

I didn’t know how to ask them about their sexual practices. And when I tried, I offended them.

Watch my recording and I will equip you with the right tools and up-to-date information you need in this rapidly changing population to more effectively counsel your lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning clients, and couples.

You will learn specific strategies to better treat the unique challenges your client may be facing such as:

  • self-acceptance and internalized homophobia
  • non hetero-normative sexual behaviors and practices
  • trauma and abuse from growing up LGBTQ
  • the difficult process of coming out

Also, let me help you avoid the common mistake of believing, “a couple is a couple” and treating LGBTQ couples the same as their heterosexual counterparts.

Don’t be the straight therapist that is losing LGBTQ clients because of poor intake, assessment and treatment planning. Learn how to offer your clients a safe place for therapy.

Program Information


  1. Assess gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning clients for psychological trauma to assist in informing treatments interventions.
  2. Determine the six distinct stages of the coming out process to provide optimal amount of support to the client.
  3. Distinguish between mental health disorders that mimic the effects of the trauma from growing up LGBTQ.
  4. Utilize specific clinical interventions and assessment tools to more effectively treat LGBTQ clients.
  5. Employ adaptable clinical interventions to work more effectively with LGBTQ clients from different generations.
  6. Evaluate the dynamics of same gendered couple, including vulnerabilities and strengths, when working with LGB couples in session.


Do No Harm: Make Your LGBTQ Client Feel Safe & Respected in Therapy

  • Red-flag words: Offensive words you might use (without you knowing!)
  • Intake session: questions about developing identity
  • Strategies to establish rapport and comfort
  • Tips for discussing sex and sexuality

Talk About Sex!

  • Don’t miss out on key info by ignoring the sex talk
  • Top or bottom? And other important questions to ask: flexible, changing sexual preferences and attractions
  • Varieties of sexuality
  • Protect the client from your own biases and assumptions

Coming Out

  • Stigma and its impact on mental health from childhood to adulthood
  • 6 distinct stages with interventions
  • Navigate the 3 phases of coming out to avoid isolation and alienation
  • Fear, shame and rejection unique to this population
  • Relationship concerns: family, friends, school or workplace
  • Finding a sense of belonging in LGBTQ community
  • Harmful and dangerous effects of conversion therapy

LGBTQ Adolescence

  • Coming out issues
  • It gets better but not before coming out
  • Bullying and other safety issues contributing to PTSD
  • Harm reduction adult dating apps such as Grindr, Scruff, etc.
  • Risk assessment for substance abuse
  • Assess for suicidality
  • Finding support

Gay Male

  • Develop a treatment plan and goals for unique challenges growing up gay male
  • Accurate assessment of alcohol use with this high risk population
  • HIV & STI prevention strategies and risk and harm reduction
  • Generational differences informing different treatment plans
  • Internalized homophobia
  • Learn specific sexual terminology to avoid alienating your client


  • Develop a treatment plan and goals for unique challenges growing up lesbian
  • Specific terminology that is helpful and damaging in this population
  • Sex and sexuality: what to know, what to ask
  • Strategies to manage gender dynamics
  • Internalized homophobia manifests in development


  • Learn strategies to help the anxiety of bisexuals in dating and relationships
  • Internalized biphobia and bisexual development from childhood into adulthood
  • Compare and contrast male and female bisexuality


  • Overcome the knowledge barrier
  • Avoid using outdated treatment plans
  • Learn and differentiate correct terms such as gender queer, gender fluid and cisgender
  • Strategies to help your client tell their partner, families, friends and employers
  • Tips to discuss hormone treatments and surgical procedures
  • Crucial points for transgender teens medically and psychologically and how to create best treatment plan


  • Avoid mislabeling a client and leading them down the wrong sexual identity path
  • Differentiate between sexual fluidity from bisexuality, gay and lesbian identities
  • Differentiate between sexual identity, sexual behavior and sexual fantasies

Working with LGB Couples

  • Dynamics of a same gendered couple including vulnerabilities and strengths
  • Coming out discrepancy causing turbulence for couples
  • Recognize and identify how internalized homophobia creates conflicts
  • Open relationships in gay male couples
  • Sexual issues and strategies on compatibility, incompatibility, frequency and satisfaction

Working with Mixed Orientation Couples and Relationships

  • Specific stages of coming out as a mixed orientation couple
  • Specialized treatment programs for the straight spouses
  • Helping LGBTQ spouse integrate their identity into their mixed orientation relationships
  • Learn how to identify which couples will succeed and which won’t

Target Audience

  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Psychotherapists
  • Case Managers
  • Marriage & Family Therapists
  • Nurses
  • Addiction Counselors
  • Other Mental Health Professionals

Copyright : 01/20/2020

Welcome to the LGBTQIA2+ Rainbow Community: What you didn’t know and how to become an Ally to your clients

The first step to becoming an ally to LGBTQIA2+ transgender and nonbinary people is to learn more; It can be tough for LGBTQIA2+ transgender and nonbinary people to bear the burden of educating others about their lived experience. After this workshop you’ll be able to better support the LGBTQIA2+ trans and nonbinary folks in your lives, and help to create a safer, kinder and more accepting world. Being an LGBTQIA2+ ally, is the first step on how to support LGBTQIA2+ transgender and nonbinary people in your life, program, school, private practice, hospital, College, Detox, group home for youth, correctional facility, mental health or substance disorder treatment facility, home, sober living or any organization or facility. We will touch on the Basics of gender: gender identity, gender expression, and transitioning, LGBTQIA2+ terms and Definitions, Suicide prevention regarding the LGBTQIA2+ Community, Basics of sexual orientation: Tips and Techniques of helping with the Coming out process: planning ahead, testing the waters, environment, support systems, and safety, Healthy relationships, self-care, mental health, and warning signs of negative mental health outcomes such as seriously considering suicide. 

Program Information


  • Basics of gender:  
    • gender identity 
    • gender expression  
    • transitioning  
  • LGBTQIA2+ terms and Definitions 
    • Basics of sexual orientation  
  • Suicide prevention regarding the LGBTQIA2+ Community 
    • Self-care 
    • mental health 
    • warning signs of negative mental health outcomes such as seriously considering suicide. 
  • Tips and Techniques of helping with the Coming out process 
    • planning ahead  
    • testing the waters,  
    • environment,  
    • support systems 
    • safety  
    • healthy relationships  


  • Differentiate between sexual behavior and sexual orientation 
  • Distinguish the differences between sexual orientation, gender expression and gender identity experience 
  • Identify appropriate interventions for a range of special issues facing LGBTQ+ Individuals 

Copyright : 09/03/2020

The Millennial Lovelink

Many millennials are choosing to ditch gender identifiers like male and female, and shed labels like single, taken, gay, or straight. They’re shucking them in favor of fluidity—the belief that one’s deeply personal sense of gender, sexuality, or in-relationship identity can be more elusive and shifting than previous generations acknowledged. We’ll explore how working with fluid millennial clients can be both enlightening and challenging for older therapists, especially when helping them navigate issues of intimacy, love, and sex.

Program Information


  1. Analyze how millennials approach romantic love differently, including the challenge of committing to relationships despite the endless options of dating apps, and squaring desire for independence and self-discovery with commitment needs.
  2. Utilize the qualities that millennials most value in therapists, like directness and self-disclosure, and how to embody them.
  3. Utilize language used by millennials, which includes tinder, bumble, ghosting, benching, and breadcrumbing, to truly connect with clients.


Millennials approach love and sexuality differently compared to other age groups.

  • Understand the challenge of committing to relationships
  • Understand the challenge millenials face in the context of a desire for independence and commitment
Understand the how to build a therapeutic alliance with millennials
  • Explore the qualities that millennials value in a therapist such as self-disclosure and directness
  • Explore how to develop these qualities as a therapist
Learn the language of millennials
  • Understand the distinctive language millennials speak
  • Gain knowledge about the way millennials communicate in relationships

Target Audience

  • Psychologists
  • Physicians
  • Addiction Counselors
  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Marriage & Family Therapists
  • Nurses
  • Other Behavioral Health Professionals

Copyright : 03/24/2018