- A youth becomes aware of being "different,"
- confusion occurs as he begins to feel same-sex attractions;
- the youth assumes the new identity, and
- commits to it as a "way of life."
The counselor of a GLBTQ client should remain neutral to the "coming out" process, and, when the client decides to go forward with it, should not hurry it. The client's family should be included (Orecchia, 2008), as family reactions may go to fear, guilt, shock, anger, and denial (Riley, 2010). Cultural and religious beliefs may have to be modified, and there are often embedded misconceptions of the causes of homosexuality that need to be dispelled (Orecchia, 2008).
Finally, the client needs to encouraged to empathically embrace the changes his family is going through.
Coleman, E. (1987). Assessment of sexual orientation. Journal of Homosexuality, 14(1/2), 9-24. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database.
Orecchia, A (2008). Working with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth: Role and function of the community counselor. Graduate Journal of Counseling Psychology, 1(1), 66‐77.
Riley, B. (2010). GLB Adolescent's “Coming out”. Journal of Child & Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing, 23(1), 3-10. doi:10.1111/j.1744-6171.2009.00210.x.