June is LGBTQIA+ Pride Month! Let’s take this opportunity to discuss some important considerations for making our practices inclusive and welcoming for this community.
LGBTQIA+ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Pansexual, and Allies. While each letter in LGBTQIA+ represents a specific group of people, the term is intended to be inclusive of the entire spectrum of gender fluidity and sexual identities.
The LGBTQIA+ population has been recognized as a “health disparity population” by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, meaning this community has disproportionate access to healthcare and a higher incidence of certain physical and mental health conditions.
Contributing to this health disparity is the unfortunate reality that many members of this community don’t seek the help they need because they don’t feel comfortable or safe disclosing their sexual or gender identity with providers.
Mental healthcare providers can make their practices safer and more welcoming for sexual and gender minorities in the following ways:
1. Educate yourself
2. Make intake forms inclusive
Building trust with new clients is imperative to the success of treatment. Inclusive sex and gender terminology on demographic forms is an important part of that process.
Here is a template for an inclusive demographic survey:
What is your current gender identity?
- Transgender Male/Transgender Man/ Female-to-Male (FTM)
- Transgender Female/Transgender Woman/Male-to-Female (MTF)
- Genderqueer – neither exclusively male nor female
- Choose not to disclose
What sex were you assigned at birth on your original birth certificate?
- Choose not to disclose
3. Allow your clients the opportunity to specify their preferred pronouns and preferred name
Pronouns are how we refer to a person without using their name. Typically, we refer to a person’s gender (“he”/“she”) when we use pronouns. Being referred to with a pronoun that doesn’t fit can feel uncomfortable, cause anxiety, and diminish trust. Listen for how your client refers to themselves, or ask them directly for their preferred pronouns.
Attract Your Ideal Clients
Interested in serving the LGBTQ+ community?
Half the battle of attracting your ideal clients is making sure they can easily find your profile when they start searching for a therapist. Creating a website and learning the ins and outs of SEO (search engine optimization) is complicated, time-consuming, and requires constant upkeep in order to stay competitive on search engines.
Great Lakes Psychology Group offers competitive search rankings, which means we make it easier for your ideal clients to find you.
Thinking about applying? Check out our blog: Top 3 Reasons Therapists Join a Group Practice
Click here to learn more about how GLPG makes it easier to run your dream private practice.