Counseling Strategies for LGBTQ Families Analysis
Instructions: • Summarize 2 to 3 potential issues LGBTQ families may encounter.
• Describe the effects of these issues on the family.
• Explain how you would address these issues during a counseling session.
Counseling Strategies for LGBTQ Families Analysis
Lesbian, gay and transgender parented families go are very common in the current communities. In the United States alone, there are about 5 million lesbian and gay parents. These families live in a society that still does not appreciate the nature of their kind of family. This presents them with risks and issues. Since all people have grown with the mom-dad types of families, these families also have problems in understanding and explaining their family structures, which is a stress factor. This essay discusses some of these issues faced by the LGBTQ families, how they may affect them, and how they can be counseled.
The current structure of a family known in our society is the heterosexually-parented nuclear family. Every person expects that each family should have two parents, one male and another one female. It is also expected the two must have been intimate to bring forth their child. LGBTQ families go against this stereotype. Such families sometimes have more than two parents (Shelton, 2013). In some cases, only one or no parent has a biological relationship with the child. Whenever these families make it known to their friends, families and other people including caregivers and schools, they face the risk of stigmatization and rejection. This can lead to stress and depression for the family members and can make them feel they don’t belong in the society. To counsel them, it is important to explain to them that they are not the only family of that kind. They can also be advised to always be honest about their relationship. They should be made to understand that hiding will only make the situation worse (Perosa, Perosa, & Queener, 2008).
In many states and nations, LGBTQ families are still not recognized by law. Therefore, when only one parent has a biological relationship with the child, it is only that parent that is recognized. In case that parent dies or gets separated from the partner, the partner does not get custody of the child. In many cases, this may not be good for the child and may be stressful to the partner. The partner may have been the one providing for the family and taking care of the child and might have invested too much money, resources and time in their family. The parent that is not related to the child also has the burden of having to see their child call and relate to him or her as the aunt, uncle or mum/dad’s friend. This may make that individual to feel as an outsider, which is very stressful and can lead to separation. When the parents do not wish to reveal to the child their relationship, it becomes more complicated as the couple has to refrain from showing affection for each other in public. Their relationship can end up growing weaker and they may have to separate. This can affect them by leading to stress and desperation. The child also ends up being denied the chance of receiving parental love from his or her other parent. The parent with no biological relationship to the child can be counseled by being informed that there are legal procedures that can be carried out to make sure that he or she is listed as the child’s next of kin. Through consultation and agreement with the child’s biological parent, it is possible. But most importantly, the couple can be advised to be open to the child and ask him or her to treat both of them as his or her parents (Perosa, Perosa, & Queener, 2008).
the children interact with their peers from heterosexually parented families,
they also encounter challenges in explaining why they have same gender parents
while their friends have parents of different gender. Research has shown that
the children’s only defense is silence and solitude (Shelton,
2013). This may in turn harm the development of the children (Church,
Hegde, Averett, & Ballard, 2016). This is especially so in the case that
the truth is hidden from the children as they grow up and they only learn later
that their parents are gay or lesbian. The children may lose concentration in
their studies and may separate themselves from their friends and their parents’
relatives. The children can be counseled by explaining to them that they are
not unique and are just like the other children. Their parents can then be told
that they must explain to their children the truth about their families. With
this knowledge, they will be able to defend themselves in case they are
confronted by the other children (Shelton, 2013).
Church, J., Hegde, A., Averett, P., & Ballard, S. (2016). Early childhood administrators’ attitudes and experiences in working with gay- and lesbian-parented families. Early Child Development And Care, 1-17. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03004430.2016.1213725
Perosa, L., Perosa, S., & Queener, J. (2008). Assessing Competencies for Counseling Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Individuals, Couples, and Families. Journal Of LGBT Issues In Counseling, 2(2), 159-169. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15538600802125613
Shelton, M. (2013). Family pride (1st ed.). Boston: Beacon Press.