VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.
The Coming Out Journey: A Phenomenological Investigation of a Lifelong Process
This phenomenological study explored the coming out experiences of individuals
who identify as lesbian or gay. The phenomenon of coming out was examined in
an effort to better understand the complexity of the coming out process.
Participants shared their general experiences in addition to what was helpful and
unhelpful through their journey. The findings revealed a complex definition of
coming out that includes two major components: personal development
(intrapersonal) and layers of disclosure (interpersonal). The data included what
was helpful and difficult in the coming out process in addition to
recommendations for counselors and clients.
Keywords: coming out, counseling, phenomenology