Leone Centre Glossary

Family acceptance in LGBTQI therapy

Family acceptance

Family acceptance is a common aspect of LGBTQI therapy. It involves the process through which family members recognise, support, and affirm the identity of their LGBTQI loved ones. This acceptance can significantly influence the mental health and well-being of LGBTQI individuals.

Issues addressed: challenges faced

Lack of family acceptance can lead to a range of challenges for LGBTQI individuals, including:

  1. Emotional distress and mental health issues
  2. Increased risk of substance misuse
  3. Higher rates of homelessness among youth
  4. Strained family relationships and isolation

Importance and impact

Family acceptance plays a pivotal role in the therapy process for LGBTQI individuals. Key features and benefits include:

  1. Mental health benefits: Acceptance from family members has been shown to reduce depression, anxiety, and suicidal tendencies.
  2. Improved self-esteem: Supportive family environments help LGBTQI individuals develop a positive self-image.
  3. Stronger family bonds: Therapy can facilitate open communication and understanding, leading to healthier family dynamics.
  4. Social support: Accepted individuals are more likely to feel supported in their social circles, enhancing overall well-being.

About family acceptance

Family acceptance refers to the process of family members acknowledging and embracing the identity of their LGBTQI relatives. It is a journey that often involves education, open dialogue, and a shift in perspectives to create a supportive environment.

How therapy can help

Acceptance from family members can have profound effects on the mental and emotional health of LGBTQI individuals. It reduces the risk of mental health struggles and promotes a sense of belonging and security.

How therapy works

LGBTQI therapy often includes family sessions aimed at improving communication, addressing misconceptions, and building empathy. Therapists work with families to help them understand the importance of acceptance and provide them with tools to support their loved ones.


What is family acceptance in LGBTQI therapy?
Family acceptance involves family members recognising and supporting the identity of their LGBTQI loved ones, which is important for the individual’s mental and emotional well-being.
Why is family acceptance important?
Family acceptance is important because it significantly reduces mental health risks, enhances self-esteem, and strengthens family bonds for LGBTQI individuals.
How can therapy help with family acceptance?
Therapy can help by facilitating open communication, educating family members, and providing a safe space for discussing fears and concerns, ultimately leading to a more supportive family environment.
What if my family is not accepting?
If your family is not accepting, therapy can still provide you with support and coping mechanisms. Therapists can also work individually with family members to help them understand and embrace your identity.


  1. Ryan, C., et al. (2010). Family acceptance in adolescence and the health of LGBT young adults. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing, 23(4), 205-213.
  2. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2014). A practitioner’s resource guide: helping families to support their LGBT children.
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This glossary provides definitions of various counselling terms and approaches for informational purposes only, without implying endorsement or service provision