The 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.
The first session of the Certificate in LGBT-Affirmative Psychology program launched in January 2013 at AULA, and will be offered in other large cities throughout the United States in the future.
The program consists of two consecutive 10-week sessions that combine online learning with three in-person weekend residencies. Four courses are offered at 3 credits each, for a total of 12 credits, which count toward Continuing Education Units.
The in-person weekend residencies take place on the AULA campus during Week 1, Week 10/11, and Week 20 of the program. 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 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.
This course explores critical psychosocial issues in the development and maintenance of a healthy gay or lesbian identity. Emphasis is placed on the role of the counselor in assisting clients to process emotional, sexual, and spiritual issues related to being gay or lesbian in today’s society. Specific attention will be given to counseling of gay and lesbian youth, seniors, and people of color. Eroticizing safer sex, lesbian health issues, and sex therapy with same-sex couples are also considered.
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. While much of the course will focus on the cultural contributions in contemporary and ancient times by LGBT people of color, additional time will be spent on understanding issues faced by LGBT persons with disabilities as well as those LGBT persons dealing with aging.
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.
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.