Clients’ Experience of LGBQ Affirmative and Nonaffirmative Practice in China: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis

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Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and questioning (LGBQ) affirmative therapy originated from an individualistic culture that emphasizes autonomy and personal independence, but it has become more commonly practiced in Mainland China. Given the influence of collectivistic culture, where Chinese people value interpersonal relationship and harmony more than personal interest, it is unclear whether Chinese sexual minority clients have different expectations and experiences of LGBQ affirmative practice. The purpose of this study is to explore Chinese LGBQ clients' perceived characteristics and impacts of LGBQ affirmative and nonaffirmative practice. A sample of 12 Chinese LGBQ individuals aged 20-35 were recruited to complete an in-depth semistructured interview. Using interpretative phenomenological analysis, two superordinate and nine subordinate themes emerged. Findings from the subordinate themes suggest that counselors working with Chinese LGBQ clients should demonstrate calm assurance rather than being effusive when communicating their affirming attitude, enrich their LGBQ-related knowledge and improve their capacity to provide guidance, and use LGBQ affirmative skills flexibly based on clients' sexual identity development and presenting problems. In addition, LGBQ affirmative practice might be a promising approach to facilitate the counseling process for Chinese LGBQ clients. Implications for these findings are discussed. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).


American Psychological Association (APA)


Social and Behavioral Sciences

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Open Access