Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Social work with gays, Gay military personnel-Mental health services, Cultural competence, Psychotherapists-Training of, Qualitative, Exploratory


This qualitative exploratory study was completed to investigate clinician's perceptions of working with LGBTQ military personnel in a therapeutic setting. Secondly, this study explored the concept of cultural competency as it relates to working with the LGBTQ military population. Using semi-structured interviews with clinicians currently in practice will military clients this study found that all nine participants felt competent in their work with LGBTQ clients. This study also found that although clinicians were aware of some specific issues LGBTQ military clients might face, there was a lack of more specific knowledge related to this population. This study also found a general consensus of lack of training regarding this population, denial of bias or homophobia with the population and absence of community changes since the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell and the Defense of Marriage Act. This study concluded that educational workshops or trainings are the key to developing more culturally competent work with LGBTQ military personnel. Therefore, this study suggests that further research regarding work with LGBTQ military personnel and cultural competency is critical so that graduate schools can enhance their curriculum, graduate students can feel more competent and prepared, clients can feel more connected and less stigmatized in therapy and clinicians can feel more prepared and educated regarding key issues of this population.




iii, 69 pages : color illustration. Thesis (M.S.W.)-Smith College School for Social Work, 2014. Includes bibliographical references (pages 54-59)

Limited Access until August 2019