K-State CFT Program Values Stance on Working with Gender & Sexual Minoritized Clients

We believe that holding an affirming stance toward gender and sexual minoritized individuals is a prerequisite to working with gender and sexual minoritized clients at the Family Center. An affirming stance “takes the position that there is nothing inherently wrong with a gender or sexual minoritized identity (Kort, 2018, p. 21).” An affirming stance includes the belief that gender and sexualities exist on a continuum, that they are part of normal human development, and that gender and sexual minoritized identities and relationships are inherently healthy.

We believe therapists who work with gender and sexual minoritized clients must exhibit unconditional regard and such regard can only flow from an affirming stance.

We believe that we can never be free of heterosexism and cissexism, therefore, an affirming stance includes ongoing critical self-exploration of one’s heterosexism and cissexism.*

We believe that we have a duty to address heterosexism and cissexism in the therapy room, in our classrooms, and in each of our familial and community spheres of influence.

We do not believe that a stance of love and acceptance despite a person’s gender or sexual minoritized identity or relationship is compatible with an affirming stance. We do not believe you can hold an affirming stance and also hold a stance that a gender or sexual minoritized identity or relationships are inherently sinful, unhealthy, or not “normative”.

*Resources on Becoming an Affirmative Therapist:

McGeorge, C., & Stone Carlson, T. (2011). Deconstructing heterosexism: Becoming an LGB affirmative heterosexual couple and family therapy. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 37, 14-26.

McGeorge, C. R., Coburn, K. O., & Walsdorf, A. A. (in press). Deconstructing cissexism: The journey of becoming an affirmative family therapist for transgender and nonbinary clients. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy