Chris McLaughlin, MSW, LCSW, talks about the importance of counseling competencies when working with LGBTQ+ clients. Chris uses his knowledge and experience of the LGBTQ+ community to provide an in-depth look at common areas of concern for this client population, and where clinicians often fall short.
During the interview, Chris talks about the immense value of respecting whatever a client shares, and that bringing parents or guardians into the conversation can be “a delicate balance.” Ordinarily, Chris says that his “rule of thumb is to always follow the lead of the youth,” and that his role is to never out youth to their parents—even if safety issues are present. According to Chris, “regardless of the presenting concern,” he always asks questions about sexual orientation and gender identity with his clients. For some youth, they may have never encountered an adult who expressed interest in these issues; and for others, they may be waiting for a safe enough space to be vulnerable.