Professional Psychology: Research and Practice
Vittorio Lingiardi, Nicola Nardelli, Emiliano Tripodi (2015)

Reparative attitudes of Italian psychologists toward lesbian and gay clients: Theoretical, clinical, and social implications

Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 46(2), 132–139. doi:10.1037/pro0000016
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Abstract. Many mental health professionals still consider homosexuality to be a mental disturbance. These professionals often practice interventions that aim to change or “repair” homosexuality. Even when these “reparative” interventions are required by the client her/himself, the interventions minimize the role of internalized homophobia and promote ineffective and harmful therapeutic practices. This report aims to study this “reparative attitude” (RA) through the use of an Internet-based questionnaire that was administered anonymously to Italian licensed psychologists (n = 3,135). The analysis of the frequencies showed that RA affected 58% of the participants. In addition, RA was predicted by variables representing demographic, sociocultural and professional characteristics, as well as by some theoretical assumptions about homosexuality. This study highlighted the need to improve the theoretical preparation of mental health professionals. The study also contributed to the development of the first Italian guidelines for providing counseling and psychotherapy to lesbian, gay, and bisexual clients.

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