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Free Content Systemic barriers in mental health care for LGBTQI and gender nonconforming drama therapists and clients

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Survey research was conducted to assess drama therapists’ attitudes and actions regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex (LGBTQI) and gender nonconforming (GNC) communities. The article reports on institutional attitudes and actions as revealed through workplace documentation, available training and resources, and institutional environments experienced by drama therapists in training and in the field across the United States and Canada. Results indicate that drama therapists continue to work in predominantly heteronormative and cisgender normative spaces. They confront specific barriers to implementing supportive and affirming care for LGBTQI and GNC individuals which are especially pronounced in K-12 schools, geriatric centres and inpatient mental health settings. This also has a negative impact on LGBTQI and GNC identified drama therapists working in these environments. Mechanisms through which these realities are given a voice remain a priority and may be facilitated through ongoing research, continuing education and courageous advocacy.
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Keywords: Drama Therapy education; LGBTQ; gender nonconforming; intersex; systemic violence; transgender

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: New York Creative Arts Therapists, PLLC 2: Cornerstones of Care, The University of Kansas Hospital 3: Drama Therapy Center, Allina Health 4: New York University

Publication date: October 1, 2017

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  • Drama Therapy Review (DTR) is committed to documenting and disseminating drama therapy research, promoting scholarship about drama therapy theory and practice, encouraging interdisciplinary dialogue, and providing a forum for lively debate in the field. DTR profiles and critically reflects upon current and emerging practices involving the intentional and therapeutic uses of drama and performance in clinical, educational, community, organizational, and research contexts.
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