A Qualitative Examination of the Heterosexual Influence on the Counseling Process

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Department or Administrative Unit


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Abstract Cultural self-awareness is the most basic dimension of the multicultural counseling competencies (MCC). With respect to sexual identity, learning about the “culturally different” has long been a focus of MCC education. Nonetheless, the current body of literature inadequately addresses heterosexual biases and the counseling process. This qualitative project examines the heterosexual identity development of ten professional counselors. Findings suggest that given the opportunity to reflect, participants increased in awareness of their own heterosexual identity development and related heterosexual bias. Participants were able to recognize the influence of heterosexual bias on the counseling process and how their biases, perceptions, and subsequent behaviors created attraction issues, bonds with same-sexed heterosexual clients, and privileged connections with heterosexual clients. A LGBTQ affirming service delivery model is provided helping readers construct positive attitudes towards culturally different persons based upon an awareness of one’s own sexual identity processes.


This article was originally published in International Journal of Humanities and Social Science. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.


International Journal of Humanities and Social Science


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