Leone Centre Glossary

Internalised homophobia in LGBTQI therapy

Internalised homophobia

Internalised homophobia is a significant issue within the LGBTQI community, affecting mental health and well-being. Internalised homophobia refers to the internalisation of society’s negative attitudes towards LGBTQI individuals, leading to self-directed stigma and discrimination.

Common challenges

  1. Self-acceptance difficulties
  2. Diminished self-perception
  3. Emotional and psychological distress

Defining this issue

Internalised homophobia is the process by which LGBTQI individuals absorb and internalise the negative messages and stigma directed at them by society. This can manifest as self-hatred, shame, and a denial of one’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

Therapeutic benefits

Therapy can play a vital role in helping individuals understand and dismantle these internalised beliefs. Through therapy, individuals can learn to recognise and challenge destructive thought patterns, develop a healthier self-image, and encourage greater self-acceptance.

Therapeutic approaches

Various therapeutic approaches can be helpful in addressing internalised homophobia. Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) can help individuals identify and change negative thought patterns. Affirmative therapy, which is specifically personalised to the needs of LGBTQI individuals, provides a supportive environment to explore and affirm one’s identity. Group therapy can also be beneficial, offering a sense of community and shared experience.


What is internalised homophobia?
Internalised homophobia is the internalisation of society’s negative attitudes towards LGBTQI individuals, resulting in self-directed stigma and discrimination.
How does internalised homophobia affect mental health?
It can lead to self-acceptance difficulties, diminished self-perception, and emotional and psychological distress.
How can therapy help with internalised homophobia?
Therapy can assist in overcoming internalised homophobia by improving mental health and encouraging self-acceptance.
What therapeutic approaches are used?
Various methods, including cognitive-behavioural therapy, affirmative therapy, and group therapy, are employed to address internalised homophobia.


  1. Stonewall: Internalised Homophobia and How to Overcome It
  2. Psychology Today: Internalized Homophobia
  3. NCBI: Internalized Homophobia and Its Impact on Mental Health
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This glossary provides definitions of various counselling terms and approaches for informational purposes only, without implying endorsement or service provision