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Counseling The Homosexual Population

             One of the biggest controversies in psychology today is that of gay and lesbian counseling. Although the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from their diagnostic manual, there are still many practitioners who believe that homosexuality is indeed an illness or to a lesser degree, a mental deficit. These practitioners believe that they can provide reparative or "conversion" therapy in which they sexually reorient their patients. While this therapy is not supported by most medical or psychological organizations, it is still pursued by those few determined individuals. In this paper, I will discuss the views of each side. Research tends to show that homosexuality is not a disease, and is in fact simply a sexual choice. In that respect, it is imperative that counselors who expect to treat the homosexual population must be prepared through training and understanding. In this paper, I will also expound upon the counselor's duties as a counselor of the gay and lesbian population. It is my speculation that homosexuality is not an illness or deficit, but rather a sexual preference and that it does not require treatment in itself, but rather it requires special counseling when dealing with issues that sometimes attach themselves to homosexuals. I believe that only certain specially trained counselors attempt counseling with the gay and lesbian population.
             Issues in the Counseling of Gays and Lesbians.
             Homosexual counseling is quite different in today's society then thirty years ago. Homosexual behavior used to be considered psychologically unhealthy, and thus was a diagnosed illness in the Diagnostic Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders. In fact, it was not until 1973 that homosexual men and women received a large amount of acceptance socially. This was mainly due to the fact that the American Psychiatric Association decided to remove homosexuality as an illness from their diagnostic manual.

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