Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Mental health counselors-Education (Graduate), Mental health counselors-Education (Continuing education), Counseling in secondary education, Lesbian teenagers-Counseling of, Gay teenagers-Counseling of, Bisexual youth-Counseling of, Transgender youth-Counseling of, LGBT, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Queer youth, Intersex, Questioning, LGBTQI, School based mental health, School social work, At risk youth, Intersex people-Counseling of


This study examined school based mental health workers' pre and post-graduate training around working with LGBTQI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, Intersex) youth. This qualitative, exploratory study aimed to explore the gaps and barriers in existing training for those working with LGBTQI youth in schools and discuss the possible outcomes for creating change in historically heterosexist, homophobic, and transphobic learning environments where professionals are trained and where young people come learn. Twelve participants who have worked in high school settings were interviewed about their graduate training and their current work with meeting the needs of LGBTQI youth in schools. These school-based mental health workers mostly reported that they had minimal instructional training on LGBTQI populations during their time in graduate school. They also stated that unless specifically sought out, LGBTQI populations are not included in the professional development trainings available to practitioners. Implications for clinical training and supporting youth in schools are: to incorporate LGBTQI population topics into graduate level training and high school curriculums and to make such trainings consistent and required as part of professional requirements. Suggestions for further research include an expansion of the literature on the training needs of those working with LGBTQI youth in schools.




iv, 100 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2009. Includes bibliographical references (p. 90)