Leone Centre Glossary

Understanding intersectionality in LGBTQI therapy

Understanding intersectionality

Intersectionality in LGBTQI therapy recognises the complex identities of individuals and how these intersecting identities impact their experiences and mental health. This approach ensures a comprehensive understanding and support system that addresses the unique challenges faced by LGBTQI individuals, considering various social and personal factors.

Common challenges

  1. Discrimination from multiple sources (e.g., racism, sexism, homophobia)
  2. Mental health disparities due to overlapping identities
  3. Lack of personalised therapeutic approaches considering all aspects of identity

About intersectionality

Intersectionality refers to the interconnected nature of social categorisations such as race, class, and sexual orientation, which can create overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage.

Comprehensive support

Intersectionality in LGBTQI therapy aims to provide a nuanced understanding of each client’s unique experiences. This approach acknowledges the diversity within the LGBTQI community and addresses the compounded effects of various forms of discrimination and marginalisation.

Key features and benefits in therapy

  1. Inclusive care: Therapists consider all aspects of a person’s identity.
  2. Personalised approach: Therapy sessions are adapted to address multiple, overlapping issues.
  3. Enhanced understanding: Greater empathy and support for complex individual experiences.


How therapy can help

By acknowledging these intersecting identities, therapy becomes more impactful in addressing the unique needs of each individual, promoting a holistic therapy process.

How therapy works

Therapists integrate intersectional perspectives into their practice by continuously educating themselves on various forms of discrimination and understanding how these impact mental health.


What is intersectionality in therapy?
Intersectionality in therapy refers to the consideration of multiple, intersecting identities and how these affect an individual’s experiences and mental health.
Why is intersectionality important in LGBTQI therapy?
Intersectionality is important because it ensures that therapy addresses the complex and unique challenges faced by LGBTQI individuals, considering all aspects of their identity.
How does intersectionality improve therapeutic outcomes?
Intersectionality improves outcomes by providing more comprehensive and personalised care, which addresses the full spectrum of an individual’s experiences and challenges.


  1. Crenshaw, K. (1989). Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics. University of Chicago Legal Forum, 1989(1), Article 8.
  2. Bowleg, L. (2013). “Once You’ve Blended the Cake, You Can’t Take the Parts Back to the Main Ingredients”: Black Gay and Bisexual Men’s Descriptions and Experiences of Intersectionality. Sex Roles, 68, 754–767.
  3. Meyer, I. H. (2003). Prejudice, social stress, and mental health in lesbian, gay, and bisexual populations: Conceptual issues and research evidence. Psychological Bulletin, 129(5), 674–697.
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This glossary provides definitions of various counselling terms and approaches for informational purposes only, without implying endorsement or service provision