Category: Gay / Lesbian / Bisexual / Transgender Issues

Symposium

Changes in Anxiety and Depression Through Treatment Among Sexual and Gender Minorities

Sunday, November 19
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Sapphire Ballroom K & L, Level 4, Sapphire Level

Keywords: L / G / B / T | Psychotherapy Outcome
Presentation Type: Symposium

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, questioning (LGBQQ) and transgender and gender non-conforming (TGNC) individuals evidence higher rates of psychological disorders including anxiety and depression relative to heterosexual and cisgender individuals (Effrig, Bietshke, & Locke, 2011; Meyer, 2003). Consequently, LGBQQ and TGNC individuals may be more likely to seek psychotherapy to address these symptoms. Although the efficacy of LGBQQ-specific interventions has been documented (Pachankis et al., 2015), little is known about how LGBQQ and TGNC clients fare in therapy relative to heterosexual and cisgender individuals. I seek to fill this gap through analysis of data from the Center for Collegiate Mental Health 2012-2014 database, which includes over 100,000 unique clients at college counseling centers across the United States. Results from hierarchical linear modelling indicate higher baseline anxiety and depression among LGBQQ clients but no differences in rates of change of anxiety and depression between heterosexual and LGBQQ clients. TGNC clients indicated significantly higher baseline anxiety and depression than cisgender clients. Taken together, these results indicate a significant gap in baseline distress that may be attributable to the effects of minority stress (Meyer, 2003). Further, results may indicate that LGBQQ and TGNC clients are able to navigate therapeutic resources to achieve similar symptom reduction to heterosexual and cisgender individuals, which may reflect positively on psychotherapy’s reputation as a “safe space” for clients of all identities. Therapists are encouraged to maintain a reflective stance on the influence of LGBQQ and TGNC clients’ identities on their worldview and experience in therapy.

Tyler Lefevor

Stanford University

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Changes in Anxiety and Depression Through Treatment Among Sexual and Gender Minorities



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