Certificate in LGBT-Affirmative Psychology

MAP_LGBTCert_021015The Certificate in LGBT-Affirmative Psychology program was created to meet the growing demand for specialized training in the field of LGBT-affirmative psychotherapy. Developed from AULA’s graduate-level LGBT Specialization in Clinical Psychology (the first of its kind in the nation), the certificate program prepares mental health professionals to provide more effective and compassionate therapy for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender clients. Students gain a historical and cultural perspective on LGBT oppression and identity; study the impact of both external and internalized homophobia and heteronormativity; and learn LGBT-affirmative therapy techniques that validate and celebrate the special gifts of LGBT individuals.

Program Structure

The Certificate in LGBT-Affirmative Psychology program consists of two consecutive 10-week sessions that combine online learning with three in-person weekend residencies. During these residencies, students participate in classes, seminars, and workshops.

The residencies enable students to form personal and professional connections with the instructors, guest speakers, and each other. During the online portions of the program, students work from home to read required course material, write papers, and engage in robust online discussion. The three in-person residencies take place week 1, week 10, and week 20 of the program.

Four courses are offered at 3 credits each, for a total of 12 credits, which count toward Continuing Education Units.

Program Curriculum

The four courses in this 12-unit program provide students with a historical, cultural, and psychological perspective on issues of LGBT identity and mental health.

LGBT History and Mythology

This course will study ancient cultures worldwide, many of which appreciated and even celebrated same-sex and gender variant orientations for thousands of years. Students will also learn how homophobia and related oppression have affected the psychology of LGBT folks for just as long. The course moves on to the modern era when science, through the study of sexuality itself, helped create a greater understanding of sexual identities by taking human sexuality away from the realm of religious morality, while at the same time finally bringing much needed attention to LGBT sexual identity.

Affirmative Psychotherapy

This course introduces students to the principles of LGBT “affirmative” psychotherapy and practice. Learners focus on ethical attunement to their own biases and that of their LGBT clients, while becoming educated in the culture, family/kinship structure and ethos of queer people. Specific attention is given to gaining the intervention and treatment planning skills to address homo-negativity and heterosexism by using an integrative psychodynamic model in support of a greater lived potential for LGBT individuals.

LGBT-Affirmative Approaches to Treatment of Families

Students will explore the various ways in which people create LGBT couples and families within existing heterosexist societal conditions and the interventions needed to create the most affirmative psychological conditions. Students will learn to synthesize the object relations, Satirian, and Bowenian family systems models with LGBT-Affirmative Theory and Practice – a novel approach we will develop together – while taking cultural diversity into account. The LGBT-Affirmative depth psychological attention to archetypal matters, the soul, erotic issues and individuation as they relate to being in a couple or a family will also be woven into class learning.

Multicultural Mental Health

The goals of this class are to provide students with a sociocultural/historical/public policy perspective on LGBT multiculturalism, with emphasis on multiple forms of oppression/repression and the need for empowerment among our diverse LGBT clients. The course will examine the cultural contributions in contemporary and ancient times by LGBT people of color, along with the effects of multiple oppressions such as racism, sexism, ableism, ageism, and the intersection of religion/spirituality/family and other psychosocial concerns impacting LGBT clients.

Eligibility Requirements

The Certificate in LGBT-Affirmative Psychology was designed for:

  • Psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, and practitioners holding an LMFT, LPCC, LCSW, or related license
  • Non-licensed professionals who have earned a license-eligible, regionally accredited master’s degree in clinical or counseling psychology or a related field
  • School/pastoral counselors

If you do not meet these requirements but believe you are qualified for one of our certificate programs, please contact MA in Psychology Director of Weekend and Satellite Programs Grant Elliott to discuss why you are interested in enrolling and how you think it will benefit you. Note that all students must have a computer with Internet access.

How to Apply

For information on how to apply to the program, please click here. Space is limited.

Financial Aid and need-based $1,000 grants are available. Organization sponsorship $1,000 grants for two or more individuals from the same organization are also available.

Gainful Employment Disclosure Information
Antioch University provides certain information about certificate programs in order to comply with the new Gainful Employment regulations from the U.S. Department of Education. We hope the following information is helpful to you. If you have further questions about this certificate program, please do not hesitate to contact Grant Elliott.