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Guidelines differ from standards in that standards are mandatory and may be accompanied by an enforcement mechanism. They are intended to facilitate the continued systematic development of the profession and to help ensure a high level of professional practice by psychologists.These guidelines are not intended to be mandatory or exhaustive and may not be applicable to every clinical situation.

Practice guidelines essentially involve recommendations to professionals regarding their conduct and the issues to be considered in particular areas of psychological practice.

In addition, the quality of the data sets of studies has improved significantly with advent of population-based research.

Furthermore, the past decade has seen a revival of interest and activities on the part of political advocacy groups in attempting to re-pathologize homosexuality (Haldeman, 2002, 2004).

These policies include, but are not limited to, the resolution entitled (APA, 2009a).

The guidelines are also compatible with policies of other major mental health organizations (cf.

Guidelines grounded in methodologically sound research, the APA Ethics Code, and existing APA policy are vital to informing professional practice with lesbian, gay, and bisexual clients.

These guidelines have been used nationally and internationally in practice and training and to inform public policy.

In 1975, the APA adopted a resolution stating that “homosexuality per se implies no impairment in judgment, stability, reliability, or general social or vocational capabilities” and urging “all mental health professionals to take the lead in removing the stigma of mental illness that has long been associated with homosexual orientations” (Conger, 1975, p. In the years following the adoption of this important policy, the APA indeed has taken the lead in promoting the mental health and well-being of lesbian, gay, and bisexual people and in providing psychologists with affirmative tools for practice, education, and research with these populations.

In 2009, the association affirmed that “…same-sex sexual and romantic attractions, feelings, and behaviors are normal and positive variations of human sexuality regardless of sexual orientation identity” (APA, 2009a, p. Twenty-five years following APA’s 1975 resolution, a gap in APA policy and the practice of psychologists was identified in a study by Garnets, Hancock, Cochran, Goodchilds, and Peplau (1991) that documented a wide variation in the quality of psychotherapeutic care to lesbian and gay clients.

References Appendix A Internet Resources Appendix B Religious and Denominational LGBT Advocacy and Affinity Organizations and (2) basic information and further references in the areas of assessment, intervention, identity, relationships, diversity, education, training, and research.

These practice guidelines are built upon the (Division 44/Committee on Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity Joint Task Force on Guidelines for Psychotherapy with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Clients, 2000) and are consistent with the American Psychological Association (APA) refers to pronouncements, statements, or declarations that suggest or recommend specific professional behavior, endeavors, or conduct for psychologists.

In addition, the refers to a person’s biological status and is typically categorized as male, female, or intersex (i.e., atypical combinations of features that usually distinguish male from female).