Beyond Tolerance: Affirmative Therapy with LGBTQ Individuals

Presented by Lisa Maurel, MFT on 09-23-2016 at 9 a.m. Pacific (noon Eastern) to 11 a.m. Pacific (2 p.m. Eastern)

LGBTQ individuals seek therapy at a higher rate than their non-LGBTQ counterparts. One of the greatest barriers that LGBTQ people experience in accessing mental health care is the anticipation of and experience of discrimination. Clients often find that a therapist’s lack of knowledge about diverse sexual and gender identities leaves the client with the burden of educating the therapist. 

Many therapists, trained in traditional developmental theories that often assign stigma or pathology to LGBTQ clients and in a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) that historically classified homosexuality as a mental illness, have absorbed the unconscious yet pervasive biases that continue to plague our societal struggle with sexuality and gender as an aspect of civil rights. Since cultural competency that includes non-heterosexual, gender-diverse people is a recent development in the mental health field, many clinicians simply have not had the opportunity to obtain this training. 

This course will introduce clinicians to the basics of affirmative therapy with LGBTQ client populations within a multi-cultural and intersectional context, and models of identity development for LGBTQ identities will be introduced. By reframing the identity development of gender and sexual minorities as a normative and healthy expression of humanity; we begin with the premise that LGBTQ individuals and families emerge within a cultural context that has long sought to pathologize and erase them.

This course will challenge clinicians to examine their personal and professional frameworks related to gender; sexuality; and the intersections of race, religion, and power in order to enhance their knowledge and skills when working with LGBTQ populations and their families. Participants will gain the requisite knowledge, skills, and attitudes associated with culturally competent services for lesbian; gay; bisexual; transgender; and queer adults, teens, couples, and family systems. Common countertransference and transference concerns will also be addressed. Application of terms, concepts, models, and affirmative interventions will be demonstrated with a case vignette.

Working effectively with LGBTQ clients and family systems requires a re-examination of heterosexually-centric assumptions and a commitment to a re-examination of these assumptions at the personal, professional, societal, and cultural levels in which we relate to one another. This course is designed to better prepare clinicians to assist LGBTQ clients and families to make changes beyond the consultation room by becoming a more conscious advocate in their circles of influence.

This introductory instructional level web conference is designed to help clinicians:

  1. Identify the differences between sexual orientation, assigned sex, gender identity, and gender expression.
  2. List the legal developments in the field of mental health that pertain to the therapeutic services that can lawfully be provided to LGBTQ minors.
  3. Define the concept of heteronormativity and describe its relationship to minority stress.
  4. Identify two forms of bias that can negatively impact a therapist’s treatment approach to LGBTQ clients.
  5. Use two models of LGBTQ identity development to identify appropriate therapeutic goals with clients who are coming out.

If you have any questions or concerns about this web conference, or would like more information, please contact us here.


Mikalson, P., Pardo, S., & Green, J. (2013). First do no harm: Reducing disparities for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning populations in California. Retrieved from

Event Reviews from Members

There was an amazing amount of practical info and resources which will be very useful in my practice; but even more so, there was a felt sense of acceptance that Lisa modeled beautifully.  I feel like Lisa and the presentation demonstrated wonderfully how to embody and transmit that sense of openness, advocacy, and acceptance. - Jennifer S.T. Blair, LCSW

I really appreciated the GENUINENESS of the presenter and her delivery of the material. I found the information about "minority stress" to be very helpful. - Joanna Singh, LMSW

​Her passion for her work undoubtedly inspires other therapists to work with this special population. - Karen L Waldman, PhD

Continuing Education (CE) Information

Two CE credits will be provided by for attending this web conference in its entirety. is an Approved Education Provider by NAADAC, The Association for Addiction Professionals (provider #135463). Of the eight counselor skill groups ascribed to by NAADAC, this course is classified within Counseling Services. is an NBCC-Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEPTM) and may offer NBCC-approved clock hours for events that meet NBCC requirements. is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. maintains responsibility for this program and its content., SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0395.

To receive CE credit hours for an archived event, you will need to complete a survey as well as a 12 or 15-question exam, verifying that you listened to or watched the event in its entirety. Archived CE events generally are considered "homestudy" by licensing boards.

Registration Information

Premium and Pro Membership with GoodTherapy includes access to this web conference at no additional cost, as well as other member benefits such as a profile listing in GoodTherapy's Therapist Directory. Not yet a member? Sign up for a Premium or Pro Membership, here.

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Mental health professionals who are not members can access the homestudy recording for $15.50. Sign up here to purchase this CE course and earn a CE certificate.

If the event is canceled by GoodTherapy, registrants who purchased the event will be notified and the charge for the event will be refunded

If you have any questions or would like information regarding disability accommodations, please contact us.


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Meet the Presenter

Lisa Maurel, MFT

Lisa Maurel, MFT

Lisa Maurel, MFT is a licensed therapist, consultant, lecturer, and media expert on relationship issues, mental health, and affirmative therapy for LGBTQ individuals. She has over 20 years of clinical training and professional experience in family systems, psychodynamic psychotherapy, mindfulness, and feminist systems of thought. Lisa is passionate about serving the LGBTQ community by providing therapy, education, and resources that empower LGBTQ people with a multicultural and affirming approach. She offers professional training, case consultation, and continuing education in LGBTQ affirmative therapy. 

Lisa has been especially active in promoting legislation and professional standards for mental health practitioners that affirm and support the well-being of LGBTQ families. With a background in theology and seminary education, her experience with the difficult road of coming out in the context of a religiously oriented culture and family is both personal and professional. She is actively engaged in community education, dialog, and spiritual inquiry in order to support queer people of faith in their coming-out journey. Lisa values the importance of inclusion and affirmation of queer people of faith within their spiritual communities.

To learn more about Lisa Maurel, MFT and her work, visit her websites and

Continuing Education Provider Approvals

  • is Approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
  • Logo has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6380. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.
  • Logo This course has been approved by, as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider, for educational credits. NAADAC Provider #135463. is responsible for all aspects of their programming.
  •, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0395.
  •, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed marriage and family therapists #MFT-0022 and for licensed mental health counselors #MHC-0031.

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