Examining case studies helps counselors to explore factors that challenge our prior knowledge of the boundaries of human sexuality and to better understand the complexity of working with diverse clients.
Imagine that a client presents themselves to you during intake with a self-description that includes at least 1 of the following variables:
- transgender or intersex
- agender or genderless
- gender fluid, nonbinary, genderqueer, two-spirit, or other gender non-conforming label
- lesbian or gay
- bisexual, pansexual, omnisexual, or polysexual
- queer, questioning, or undecided
- asexual, demisexual, graysexual, or closeted
- other type of sexuality unfamiliar to you
Additionally, this client describes their romantic orientation to you as not really standard, based on what most people expect, and discloses to you that their attraction type is one of the following (pick 1):
- Single; does not engage in sex, but participates in regular encounters involving casual and consensual touch with strangers
- Single; highly uncomfortable with dating and discussing bodies and sexuality; practices a solo fetish in private
- Single and dating; engages in regular casual sex with new individuals and groups; history of positive STI test but uses preventative precautions to reduce risk of transmission
- Married long-term; functions as the primary caretaker for a spouse with disabilities; has a sexual relationship with a non-romantic mutual friend once a month
- Partnered with several individuals simultaneously in an ethically non-monogamous relationship (open, polyamorous, polycules, metamours/paramours, triads/quads/etc.)
- Other type of relationship arrangement unfamiliar to you
Describe your fictional client case and the situation that you chose for this discussion.
As you prepare to create a treatment plan for your client, what are 3 considerations that you would make when working with this client (ethical, physiological, environmental, cultural, developmental, spiritual, etc.) to best meet this client s needs? What can you do in your clinical practice to reduce the potential discrimination that this client may face when they pursue treatment from other care providers who might be less compassionate of their identity and/or sexuality?
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