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Recommended ACA Resources for Assisting LGBTQ+ Clients

LGBTQ+ Focused Hotlines

The Trevor Project
The Trevor Project offers accredited life-saving, life-affirming programs and services to LGBTQ youth that create safe, accepting and inclusive environments over the phone, online and through text.

Trevor Lifeline—The only national 24/7 crisis intervention and suicide prevention lifeline for LGBTQ young people under 25, available at 1-866-488-7386.
TrevorChat—A free, confidential, secure instant messaging service for LGBTQ youth that provides live help from trained volunteer counselors, open daily from 3–10pm ET / Noon–7pm PT.
TrevorText—A free, confidential, secure service in which LGBTQ young people can text a trained Trevor counselor for support and crisis intervention, available Monday–Friday from 3–10pm ET / Noon–7pm PT by texting START to 678678.

Trans Lifeline 
Trans Lifeline is a grassroots hotline and microgrants organization offering direct emotional and financial support to trans people in crisis - for the trans community, by the trans community.

Trans Lifeline’s Hotline is a peer support service run by trans people, for trans and questioning callers. If you are in crisis or just need someone to talk to, even if it’s just about whether or not you’re trans, please call us. US: 877-565-8860

Competencies, Practice Briefs, & Other Resources


ALGBTIC Competencies for Counseling LGBQIQA Individuals. June 2012
The aim of these competencies is to provide a framework for creating safe, supportive, and caring relationships with LGBQIQA individuals, groups, and communities that foster self-acceptance and personal, social, emotional, and relational development.

ALGBTIC Competencies for Counseling Transgender Clients. September 2009
This document contains suggested competencies for use in counseling with transgender clients. These competencies are geared toward professionally trained counselors who work with transgender individuals, families, groups, or communities.

Practice Briefs
Practice Briefs are research-based summaries of best practices, evidence-based practices, and research-based approaches covering a wide variety of client-presenting issues and counseling topics.

Practice Brief: LGBTQQ - Affirmative Counseling 12/2014

Other ACA Resources

Counseling LGBTQ Adults Throughout the Life Span is a training and conceptual guide that can supplement the literature and practice knowledge for those working with adults who identify as a member of the LGBTQ community. The guide is a compilation of experiences of many professional counselors, counselor educators, counseling supervisors, and leaders in the counseling profession, and it is hoped that the guide will illuminate the diverse views within the adult developmental process as it pertains to issues of mental health, life satisfaction, and a focus on the uniqueness of the LGBTQ adult population.
Roland, C. B., & Burlew, L. D. (Eds.). (2017). Counseling LGBTQ adults throughout the life span. Retrieved from

Online Courses 

Developing Competence in Working With LBGTQI+ Communities: Awareness, Knowledge, Skills, and Action
Speakers: Misty M. Ginicola, PhD, Joel M. Filmore, EdD, Cheri Smith, PhD, Professor

Serving the Needs of the LGBTQ Clients: The State of Civil Rights Protections in Schools and the Workplace; Advocating for LGBTQ Students and Clients
Speakers:Amy Zavadil, Ph.D., NCC

De Opresso Liber, Part II: Counseling and Advocating for Trans* Military Service Members During Uncertain Times
Speakers: Deanna N. Cor, PhD, Megan J. Doughty Shaine, PhD

Identity Development of South Asian Same-Sex Attracted Women: Implications for Counseling
Speaker: Surinder Bal, PhD, LPC, NCC

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Youth: Family Acceptance and Emotional Development
Speaker:Julie Basulto, MA in Marriage and Family Therapy

Transgender- Moving from Awareness to Advocacy
Speaker:Rebecca Smith, LPC, CPCS

Ethical and Legal Considerations: Complicated Issues in Challenging Times
Speaker: Stephanie F. Dailey, EdD

Resiliency Factors of Trans-College Students: Implications for Professional Counselors and Higher Education Professionals
Speakers:Jane E. Rheineck, PhD, Matthew Lonski

If You See Something, Say Something: Responding to Student and Supervisee Microaggressions
Speaker(s): Anita A. Neuer, PhD, John F. Marszalek, PhD, Kevin C. Snow, PhD, Mary Aab, LPC

An Affirmative Approach in Evaluating and Recommending Candidates for Gender Transition
Speaker: Varunee Faii Sangganjanavanich, PhD,

ACA Partner Resources

The 2018 LGBTQ Youth Report. The HRC Foundation and the University of Connecticut released the largest-of-its-kind survey of more than 12,000 LGBTQ teenagers across the nation, revealing in distressing detail the persistent challenges so many of them face going about their daily lives at home, at school, and in their communities.
Human Rights Campaign (2018). 2018 LGBTQ youth report. Retrieved from 



Affirmative Counseling with LGBTQI+ People
Misty M. Ginicola, Cheri Smith, and Joel M. Filmore
This current and comprehensive handbook will guide educators, students, and clinicians in developing the awareness, knowledge, and skills necessary to work effectively with LGBTQI+ populations. Twenty-five chapters written by experts provide direction for working with clients in an authentic, ethical, and affirmative manner that is tailored to their individual strengths, needs, and identity.

Group Counseling with LGBTQI Persons
Kristopher M. Goodrich and Melissa Luke
This unique resource provides strengths-based group counseling strategies designed to meet the needs of LGBTQI clients in a variety of settings. Drs. Goodrich and Luke capture the developmental concerns of LGBTQI individuals throughout the life cycle as they establish and maintain intimate relationships, create families, encounter career concerns, and navigate other milestones and transitions. Illustrative case examples and interventions throughout the text, as well as warnings and recommendations, make this an ideal resource for practice and group work courses.

Casebook for Counseling Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Persons and Their Families
Sari H. Dworkin and Mark Pope

This captivating book contains 31 case studies that focus on what is said and done in actual counseling sessions with LGBTQQI clients, including diagnosis; interventions, treatment goals, and outcomes; transference and countertransference issues; other multicultural considerations; and recommendations for further counseling or training.

Youth at Risk
David Capuzzi and Douglas R. Gross

In the latest edition of this best-selling text, David Capuzzi and Douglas Gross, along with 24 experts in the field provide a prevention–intervention paradigm to address contemporary issues facing today’s youth. Written from a systemic perspective, this book offers guidance in helping teens who are struggling with the complex challenges that can be brought on by peers, family members, and difficult social environments.

Ethical Standards Casebook
Barbara Herlihy and Gerald Corey

The seventh edition of this top-selling text is a comprehensive resource for understanding the 2014 ACA Code of Ethics and applying its principles to daily practice. Each individual standard of the Code is presented with an explanatory case vignette. A study and Discussion Guide is provided at the beginning of each major section of the Code to stimulate thought and discussion. Common ethical concerns, with instructive case studies, are then explored. Chapters new to this edition examine managing value conflicts and the issues surrounding new technology, social media, and online counseling.

A Counselor´s Guide to Working with Men
Matt Englar-Carlson, Marcheta P. Evans, and Thelma Duffey

This book examines a variety of critical issues pertaining to the psychology of men and masculinity and presents successful, evidence-based strategies for treatment. The editors and their contributing authors express an empathic understanding about male socialization and explore why men are often reluctant to seek counseling. Examples and vignettes throughout the text provide clinical relevance, and reflective questions in each chapter encourage readers to explore their own biases and ideas about working with men.



 ACA290 - Queer People of Color
Adrienne N. Erby, PhD, NCC and Christian D. Chan, MA, NCC

The presenters discuss Queer People of Color and Intersectionality Issues in Counseling. Dr. Erby and Mr. Chan explain the history of the term “queer people of color” and offer practical suggestions to help counselors better assist clients with unique experiences and cultural identities. Assessment, minority stress, suggestions to help clients and the concept of intersectionality are defined. Finally, the presenters offer suggestions to explore the cultural context as a way for counselors to understand the needs of their clients.

 ACA283 - Group Counseling with LGBTQI Persons
Kristopher M. Goodrich, PhD and Melissa Luke, PhD

Where does sexual/affectual identity and gender expression intersect? The authors discuss terms that may be new to some listeners. Group work appears to be a modality that is effective for LGBTQI persons. The authors discuss why that is the case. Ethical considerations are also discussed, along with the disclosure and "coming out."


Learning Modules

ACA and the HRC Foundation offer an educational initiative designed to empower counselors serving the LGBTQ community. This series of free online learning modules focuses on critical skills and insights in counseling LGBTQ youth and young adults on college-and-career readiness concerns.

The four available modules include:

  • LGBTQ Youth & Young Adults in School, College, and Careers
  • Preparing For Conversations with LGBTQ Youth
  • Transgender & Gender-Expansive Counseling Issues
  • LGBTQ College-and-Career-Readiness Case Studies
“The true success is seeing so many counselors committed to helping the LGBTQ community. We are thrilled counselors are taking advantage of this free resource,"  Lynn Linde, ACA Senior Director of the Center for Counseling Practice, Policy and Research said.

Click here to learn more or register.



Trauma Webinar Series
Clinical, school, and college counselors:
This is your chance to explore the increasingly complex topic of trauma across the spectrum of counseling. Learn how to complete a thorough, thoughtful assessment and then dive deeper into timely, specific topics.
  • ABCs of Trauma: Introductory Session with Stephen Lenz, PhD, LPC
  • Children and Trauma with Kimberly N. Frazier, PhD
  • Dissociation and Trauma Spectrum with Mike Dubi, EdD, LMHC
  • Counseling Refugees with Rachael D. Goodman, PhD, LPC
  • Human Trafficking with Jared S. Rose, MA, LPC/CR, NCC
  • Counseling School and College Students with Julie A. Cerrito, PhD, Richard Joseph Behun, PhD, and Eric W. Owens, PhD
  • Traumatic Stress and Marginalized Groups with Cercie A. West-Olatunji, PhD
Confronting the Darkness: Non-Suicidal Self-Injury, Suicide Assessment, and Counselor Self-Care After Client Suicide
As a professional counselor, you learn to conduct a suicide assessment in graduate school. How long has it been since you put that knowledge to use? If a suicidal client is sitting before you today, are you confident in your approach to suicide assessment and non-suicidal self-injury (i.e., "cutting")?








ACA Governing Council Resolutions and Statements 

In recent years ACA Governing Council has adopted a number of resolution and advocacy statements in support of the LGBTQ+ community.

Approved Advocacy Statement for Transgender and Nonbinary Issues and Concerns - March 25 -27, 2019

The American Counseling Association (ACA) is committed to nondiscrimination and prevention of harassment in all forms (verbal, physical, sexual, emotional, and psychological), including protections for all diverse groups including protections for transgender and nonbinary individuals. ACA recognizes the stress and psychological impact of discrimination and is committed to helping counselors advocate for nondiscrimination policies and practices in their schools, colleges/universities, clinical mental health settings, communities, and in the nation. ACA encourages counselors to utilize the American Counseling Association Competencies for Counseling with Transgender Clients, the ACA Advocacy Competencies and the Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development Multicultural and Social Justice Counseling Competencies when working with individuals, their families, and the organizational institutions that are impacted.

Resolution on Reparative Therapy/Conversion Therapy/Sexual Orientation Change Efforts (SOCE) as a Significant and Serious Violation of the ACA Code of Ethics - December 19, 2017

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