(Photo:Flickr/ jglsongs)

The Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues in Counseling (ALGBTIC) Board has approved updates to the “ALGBTIC Competencies for Counseling Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Queer, Questioning, Intersex and Ally Individuals.”

The taskforce responsible for the updates has been working for the past three years to update these competencies.

The newly updated competencies expand upon the previous competencies, the association’s leaders say, and seek to bring to light current concerns and issues, integrate current literature and research findings, provide a more in-depth look at the concerns of identities covered in the original competencies, and include queer, questioning, intersex and ally individuals.

“We hope counselors, educators and advocates will consider these competencies when they teach and work with others in counseling,” says Pete Finnerty, president of ALGBTIC. “These competencies are a baseline for counseling with LGBQQIA persons, but there is the hope the counselor and educator will take steps to garner more knowledge through reading literature, participating in workshops and by continued clinical practice. There are particular elements that have not been commented upon before, such as the ally and intersex areas, two sources of burgeoning study we hope readers will then seek more information on. There are also quite a few comments on current issues in working with LGBQQIA persons in counseling where we utilize research and theory to decipher best practices. These issues seem to come up quite often on listservs, in the community as a whole and in agencies, schools and practice.”

The ALGBTIC Competencies for Counseling Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Queer, Questioning, Intersex and Ally Individuals can be accessed here. For more information, visit the ALGBTIC website. ALGBTIC has kept the original competencies up for counselors who would like to use or see them for historical purposes.

Heather Rudow is a staff writer for Counseling Today. Email her at hrudow@counseling.org.