Leone Centre Glossary

Discrimination in LGBTQI therapy


Discrimination against LGBTQI individuals in therapy can create significant barriers to accessing quality mental health support. Discrimination against LGBTQI people in therapy is a serious issue that can prevent individuals from seeking or continuing care. It’s essential to recognise and address these barriers to ensure equitable treatment for all clients.

Key challenges

Many LGBTQI individuals face unique challenges in therapy, including prejudice from therapists, lack of understanding of LGBTQI issues, and societal stigma. These factors can hinder their ability to receive appropriate and respectful care.

Exploring discrimination

Discrimination in therapy can manifest in various ways, such as:

  1. Microaggressions: Subtle, often unintentional, comments or actions that invalidate the LGBTQI experience.
  2. Biases: Conscious or unconscious prejudices that affect the quality of care.
  3. Lack of affirmation: Therapists not acknowledging or supporting the client’s LGBTQI identity.
  4. Pathologising: Misinterpreting LGBTQI identities as mental disorders.

Benefits of inclusive therapy

Inclusive therapy aims to:

  1. Provide a safe and welcoming space for LGBTQI clients.
  2. Validate and affirm clients’ identities and experiences.
  3. Address issues related to discrimination and its impact on mental health.
  4. Empower clients to overcome societal stigma and personal challenges.

How inclusive therapy helps

Inclusive therapy offers a supportive environment where LGBTQI individuals can feel safe and understood. It focuses on validating clients’ experiences and providing tools to cope with external discrimination and internalised stigma.

How inclusive therapy works

Inclusive therapists are trained to understand the unique challenges faced by LGBTQI clients. They employ affirmative practices and create a non-judgmental space, encouraging trust and open communication.

Convenience and flexibility

Therapists offering inclusive care can often provide:

  1. Online sessions for accessibility.
  2. Flexible scheduling to accommodate diverse needs.


What is discrimination in therapy?
Discrimination in therapy involves any prejudiced treatment or attitudes that negatively affect LGBTQI individuals seeking mental health support.
How can I find an inclusive therapist?
Look for therapists who explicitly state their experience and comfort with LGBTQI issues. Contact organisations like the Leone Centre for referrals to inclusive therapists.
What should I do if I face discrimination in therapy?
If you experience discrimination in therapy, consider addressing it directly with the therapist if you feel safe doing so. Alternatively, seek a new therapist and report the incident to relevant professional bodies.
Why is inclusive therapy important for LGBTQI individuals?
Inclusive therapy is important as it ensures that LGBTQI individuals receive respectful, understanding, and mental health care that acknowledges their unique experiences and challenges.


  1. Stonewall. (2020). LGBT in Britain: Health Report. Link
  2. American Psychological Association. (2021). Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming People. Link
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This glossary provides definitions of various counselling terms and approaches for informational purposes only, without implying endorsement or service provision