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Combating discrimination and depathologization

Combating discrimination and depathologization

At the core of our scientific approach are internationally recognized best practices in providing mental health services to LGBTQ+ individuals. These practices are based on the diagnostic manuals of the World Health Organization (ICD-11) and the American Psychiatric Association (DSM-5, pending its alignment with ICD-11), the official guidelines of the American Psychological Association (2012 & 2015), and the official positions of the American Psychiatric Association (2012 & 2013). Additionally, we adhere to the principles of health service provision for transgender individuals outlined by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) and the principles of LGBT affirmative therapy. Regarding the combatting of discrimination and depathologization, we reference the Joint Statement of 12 United Nations agencies (2015), condemning conversion therapies and highlighting the corrosive impact of discrimination.


We understand that sexual orientation and gender identity are distinct concepts that do not necessarily need to be linked, and we separate them when working with LGBTQ+ individuals.
We recognize that gender is a non-binary construct that allows for a range of gender identities and that an individual's gender identity may not align with the gender assigned at birth.
We understand that stigma, prejudice, discrimination, and violence affect the health and well-being of LGBTQ+ individuals.
We clearly perceive the impact of institutional barriers on the lives of LGBTQ+ individuals and strive to develop conditions positive for LGBTQ+ individuals.
We recognize that diversity in sexual orientation and gender identity is normal and does not constitute a mental illness.
We create supportive environments where individuals can explore their sexual orientation and gender identity.
We accept and acknowledge our attitudes, perceptions, and biases, and how they affect the quality of services provided to LGBTQ+ individuals and their families, seeking consultation or making appropriate referrals when needed.
We strive to understand that mental health issues may or may not be related to a transgender person's gender identity and the psychological effects of stress experienced as a minority group.
We understand and respect the relationships of LGBTQ+ individuals and their significance, whether legally recognized or not.
We recognize the effects of gender identity and expression changes on the romantic and sexual relationships of transgender individuals.
We understand the experiences and challenges faced by LGBTQ+ individuals as parents.
We recognize that LGBTQ+ families may include individuals who are not legally or biologically connected and that parenting and family formation can take many forms.
We strive to understand the complexity of non-heterosexual sexual orientation or gender identity in relation to the family of origin, regardless of whether the individual has come out.
We address the challenges associated with multiple and often conflicting regulatory values and beliefs faced by LGBTQ+ individuals belonging to racial and ethnic minority groups.
We understand the influences of religion and spirituality on the lives of LGBTQ+ individuals.
We recognize differences between different generations and ages of LGBTQ+ individuals, the particular challenges faced by older individuals, and the psychological resilience they may develop.
We understand the specific problems and risk factors experienced by young LGBTQ+ individuals (e.g., the extent and consequences of homophobic bullying).
We take seriously the special challenges faced by LGBTQ+ individuals with physical, sensory, and cognitive-emotional disabilities.
We inform ourselves about and understand the consequences of HIV/AIDS on the lives and communities of LGBTQ+ individuals.
We understand the impact of socio-economic status on the mental health of LGBTQ+ individuals.
We recognize the special workplace issues faced by LGBTQ+ individuals.
We increase knowledge and understanding of sexual orientation and gender identity through ongoing education, supervision, and professional counseling.
In the use and dissemination of research on sexual orientation and gender identity, we present the results fully and accurately, taking into account the potential misuse of research findings.
We accept the strong benefits of an interdisciplinary approach to serving transgender individuals and strive to work collaboratively.
We understand that transgender individuals are more likely to achieve positive outcomes in their lives when they have social support and services that affirm their gender identity.
We promote social change that reduces the negative effects of stigma on the mental health and well-being of transgender individuals.


We do not attempt to change a person's sexual orientation or gender identity.
We do not consider bisexuality as a sign of indecision or as a transitional stage.
We do not assume that we know better than the individual themselves about their sexual orientation or gender identity.
We do not assume that we know the pronouns they use.
We do not assume or ask for information about an individual's anatomy (biological sex characteristics).
We do not interpret or seek out evidence to "justify" a person's sexual orientation or gender identity.
We do not consider a person's gender identity to fit exclusively within the gender binary.
We do not assume a person's sexual orientation and/or gender identity based on their outward appearance or gender expression.
We do not treat gender dysphoria as a mental disorder and do not believe it is expressed or experienced in the same way by all transgender individuals.
We do not advise intersex individuals to undergo unnecessary interventions or other medical procedures if they do not desire it.
We do not advise transgender individuals to undergo gender-affirming medical interventions if they do not desire it. Similarly, we do not discourage them from doing so if they do desire it.
We do not use any name or pronouns other than those indicated by a transgender individual through self-identification.
We do not interpret the structure and form of LGBTQ+ individuals' interpersonal relationships based on heteronormative and cisnormative stereotypes.
We do not deny or overlook the parental role of any of the same-sex parents of a child, regardless of whether they have a legally recognized relationship with the child.