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Critical Issues in the Lives of Gay and Lesbian Students: Implications for Counseling.

Burke, Richard R.

Abstract: Gay and lesbian students in high schools and colleges face special problems and may be the very people who receive the least help. It is estimated that one-third of all suicides among teenagers are committed by gay and lesbian students, and it is further estimated that gay people seek counseling at a rate two to four times greater than the non-gay population. Yet, many counselors bring ambivalent attitudes toward homosexual clients. Although each person is unique, commonalities exist among homosexual students. These are discussed as well as the process of coming out. Five implications for counseling are: (1) the counseling center environment should appear welcoming to homosexual students; (2) since gay and lesbian students have lived with fear, self-loathing, and often harassment, it is important for the counselor to witness this pain through slow, careful empathic feedback; (3) the client who is ready should be helped to find sources of friendship and association with other gay people; (4) conflicts and questions about coming out to others need to be addressed; and (5) gay and lesbian students may need help with grieving. Contains seven references. (JBJ)

Title: Critical Issues in the Lives of Gay and Lesbian Students: Implications for Counseling.
Author: Burke, Richard R.
Publication Year: Apr 1995
Document Type: Review Literature (070)
Target Audience: Parents
ERIC Identifier: ED386646
Clearinghouse Identifier: CG026466
This document is available from the ERIC Document Reproduction Service.

Descriptors: * College Students; * Counseling; Higher Education; High Schools; * High School Students; * Homosexuality; Lesbianism; Staff Development

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