Determinants of lesbian and gay affirmative practice among heterosexual therapists

Edward J. Alessi, Frank R. Dillon, Hillary Mi Sung Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


The current study tested a conceptual model based on social- cognitive theory (Bandura, 1986), highlighting the influence of attitudes toward sexual minority individuals, training hours, affirmative counseling self-efficacy, and beliefs about affirmative practice on therapist engagement in lesbian and gay affirmative practice. We recruited via the Internet 443 heterosexual psychologists (n = 270), clinical social workers (n = 110), and marriage and family therapists (n = 63) residing in various parts of the United States. The majority of participants identified as female (70%) and White (88%). A path analysis indicated that beliefs and affirmative counseling self-efficacy mediated associations between attitudes and therapist engagement in affirmative practice. Furthermore, self-efficacy mediated the relation between training hours and engagement in affirmative practice. Results suggest that more affirmative attitudes are linked with higher levels of affirmative counseling self-efficacy and more positive beliefs, which in turn positively influences therapist engagement in affirmative practice. Additionally, more hours of training influence affirmative counseling self-efficacy, which in turn correlates with higher levels of therapist engagement in affirmative practice. The discussion includes implications for affirmative practice training.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)298-307
Number of pages10
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Affirmative practice
  • LGB-affirmative counseling self-efficacy
  • Lesbian and gay clients
  • Psychotherapy training
  • Social-cognitive theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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