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What do Christian Clergy Say?: Advice from Christian Pastors to Family Therapists about Working with LGB Clients

  • Katelyn O. Coburn
  • Christi R. McGeorgeEmail author
Original Paper

Abstract

This qualitative study informed by queer theory explored Christian pastors’ advice for family therapists seeking to work more competently and affirmatively with LGB individuals and their families. Twenty-one pastors leading Christian congregations (e.g., Lutheran, Methodist, Episcopal, United Church of Christ, and Presbyterian), who identified as LGB affirmative to varying extents, were interviewed. Thematic analysis identified the following categories: (1) therapists holding a positive stance toward LGB clients, (2) therapists developing ethical boundaries around their religious beliefs, (3) therapists being open to spirituality as a resource for LGB clients, and (4) therapists gaining the necessary knowledge to work affirmatively with LGB Clients. Implications based on the findings of this study include a need for family therapists to engage in self-of-the-therapist work to address religious biases and heteronormative assumptions in order to provide competent therapy to religious LGB clients, as well as important insight for how therapists can collaborate with pastors to better serve their LGB clients.

Keywords

Collaboration between family therapists and christian pastors Queer theory LGB affirmative therapy Religion and spirituality 

Notes

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Kansas State UniversityManhattanUSA
  2. 2.Department of Human Development and Family Science, Dept. 2615North Dakota State UniversityFargoUSA

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