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Digital Recording

LGBTQ+ Clients: Queer Affirmative Strategies to Address Sexual and Gender Identity

Average Rating:
Aaron Testard, LMFT, LPCC
6 Hours 16 Minutes
Feb 26, 2024
Product Code:
Media Type:
Digital Recording
Never expires.


With the variety of terms and ideas in today’s LGBTQ+ culture, it’s easy to feel lost in the complexity of sexual and gender identity, while also feeling overwhelmed by the fear of inadvertently offending your client somehow.

But it doesn’t have to be this way! Aaron Testard is here to bring you the latest research and trends in sexual and gender identity issues.

This training will give you:

  • Tools and knowledge to confidently work with clients on any part of the sexuality-gender spectrum
  • Clear strategies to comfortably engage clients around cultural norms, gender, sex, relationships, and terminology
  • A navigation map to tailor treatment approaches each step of the way in the client’s self-discovery process

Build trust and credibility with your LGBTQ+ clients by expanding your knowledge of this ever-evolving population.

Purchase today!


Planning Committee Disclosure - No relevant relationships

All members of the PESI, Inc. planning committee have provided disclosures of financial relationships with ineligible organizations and any relevant non-financial relationships prior to planning content for this activity. None of the committee members had relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies or other potentially biasing relationships to disclose to learners.  For speaker disclosures, please see the faculty biography.


This online program is worth 6.5 hours CPD.



Aaron Testard, LMFT, LPCC's Profile

Aaron Testard, LMFT, LPCC Related seminars and products

Aaron Testard, LMFT, LPCC, is a psychotherapist in private practice in Chicago, IL and the San Francisco Bay Area in California with over 20 years of experience. For 7 years, he served as director of clinical programs at the Pacific Center for Human Growth, an LGBTQ counseling and support center where he designed an implemented psychotherapy serves for individuals, couples, and families, 24 adult peer support groups, and an after-school youth program. He also has trained and supervised numerous interns over the years and has been an LGBTQ community mental health consultant for local clinics and organizations. Aaron has spent the majority of his career as an LGBTQ specialist. Including time as an addiction counselor, a high school counselor, and a consultant for a felon re-entry program. In his current practice, he focuses on sexual and gender identity. He works with adults, adolescents, and couples and consults with clinicians throughout the United States.

Aaron received his MA in counseling psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies. He is a trained drama therapist, sensorimotor therapist, and practitioner of the Gottman couple’s method, EMDR, and DBT-informed client work.

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Aaron Testard maintains a private practice. He receives a speaking honorarium and recording royalties from PESI, Inc. He has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Aaron Testard is a member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, the Gaylesta, the Bay Area Open Minds; Kink and Poly Aware Therapists Association, the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counseling, and the World Professional Association of Transgender Health.


Additional Info

Access for Self-Study (Non-Interactive)

Access never expires for this product.

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  1. Appraise current trends and perspectives in the LGBTQ+ community and the implications for clinical work.
  2. Build safety and trust effectively with LGBTQ clients in clinical practice.
  3. Analyze the main factors impacting treatment and the identity development process of LGBTQ+ clients.
  4. Differentiate the phases of identity development for LGBTQ+ clients to better inform treatment planning.
  5. Integrate LGBTQ+ history and knowledge into the clinical session.
  6. Apply treatment strategies to help clients in each phase of LGBTQ+ identity development.


What you Need to Know to Establish Safety, Trust, and Credibility with LGBTQ+ Clients
  • Understand LGBTQ+ history and its impact on present models of sexuality and gender
  • 2 key questions to ask during an intake session to establish safety and trust
  • Current trends in the ever-evolving dating and hook-up culture
  • Learn up-to-date terminology and genderaffirming language including SOGIE, GSM, and more!
Important Treatment Considerations
  • Trauma as a key factor for LGBTQ+ mental health
  • Covert cultural sexual abuse and other traumas
  • Gender dysphoria diagnosis – what does it mean and when to use it?
  • How attachment injury affects LGBTQ+ development
  • The phases of sexual and gender identity development

Clinical Interventions to Support Clients Through Each Phase of LGBTQ+ Identity Development

Phase 1: Pre-Coming Out and Confusion

  • Key Issues: Identify and defuse internal judgements about behavior, thoughts, desires
  • Treatment Strategies:
    • Educate on gender and body dysphoria
    • Sexual health assessment and education
Phase 2: Comparison and Consideration
  • Key Issues: Exploration of LGBTQ+ information and overcome barriers to coming out
  • Treatment Strategies:
    • Questions that effectively address barriers and potential loss
    • Inquire and challenge without pushing beyond client readiness
    • Psychoeducational tools to help clients consider their identity
Phase 3: Tolerance and Exploration
  • Key Issues: Address shame and deeper exploration of gender and/or sexual identity
  • Treatment Strategies:
    • Help clients build their unique support system
    • Apply ACT matrix and Functional Analytic Psychotherapy principles to address shame and internalized homophobia
    • Psychoeducation and information on gender transition steps
Phase 4: Acceptance and Deepening
  • Key Issues: Support coming out/transition process and address internalized homophobia
  • Treatment Strategies:
    • Utilize WPATH Standards of Care to support clients in transitioning
    • Guided visualizations for challenging coming out situations
    • Tools to build resilience with increased visibility
Phase 5: Pride and Commitment
  • Key Issues: Validation of anger, process trauma, grief, and loss related to being LGBTQ+
  • Treatment Strategies:
    • Manage anger about oppression, teach clients the 4 roles in social change
    • Trauma-informed techniques for processing traumatic memories
    • Release pain of grief and loss through EMDR, IFS, Sensorimotor, and other techniques
Phase 6: Synthesis and Integration
  • Key Issues: Continue emotional processing and revisit earlier phases as needed
  • Treatment Strategies:
    • Address continued minority stress
    • Know when to re-engage in earlier stages of development

Target Audience

  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Psychotherapists
  • Case Managers
  • Marriage & Family Therapists
  • Addiction Counselors
  • Educators
  • Nurses
  • Physicians
  • Other Mental Health Professionals



Overall:      5

Total Reviews: 6


Beatrice O

"Great training!"

Diane G

"This was an excellent seminar and well-worth my time. The presenter was very knowledgeable and well-spoken. I learned a great deal and am very satisfied with the experience."

Alma A

"Thank you for providing examples for each phase of identity development discussed. Thank you for using your real life experiences. "

Sara M

"Great presenter and much needed seminar on this topic"

Yan Ling R

"excellent presentation"

Aimee L

"Presenter was outstanding. I learned A LOT in the course."

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