What is it about?

The researchers analyzed self-reported strengths of therapy clients who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, or Non-Binary (LGBT/NB). They found six main themes: "connection," or the sense that they have compassion, kindness, and value relationships with others; "interpersonal skills," or things like listening to others, sense of humor, easy to talk to; "abilities and achievements," which includes creativity, athletic ability, and intelligence; "role-oriented," such as being a good friend or a great parent; "self-efficacy and resilience," which refers to things like not giving up and bouncing back; and "reported no strengths," in which case clients could not or did not actually name any of their own strengths. The authors talk about why it is important for therapists to ask about strengths and utilize them in therapy.

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Why is it important?

It is important to not just focus on barriers or challenges that LGBT/NB people face, but also to focus on their strengths and sources of pride. These positive aspects can help combat effects of stigma, discrimination, and oppression. The authors encourage therapists to ask clients about their strengths at intake and reflect on their strengths throughout therapy.


We are really excited about being able to share our findings and help people who identify as queer, LGBTQ+, or LGBT/NB name, own, and celebrate their strengths! Therapy should include building positive sources of resilience, confidence, and self-worth, so we hope therapists will understand the importance of focusing on strengths in their work with these clients.

Julie Koch
University of Iowa

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: A qualitative analysis of queer strengths., The Humanistic Psychologist, December 2022, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/hum0000309.
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