Defining Mental Health Practitioners’ LGBTIQ Cultural Competence in Thailand

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Timo Tapani Ojanen
Darunee Phukao
Pimpawun Boonmongkon
Somporn Rungreangkulkij


This study investigated what competencies are crucial for mental health practitioners’ culturally competent practice with LGBTIQ clients in Thailand. The study used two-round Delphi methodology to aggregate views of mental health practitioners with expertise on LGBTIQ issues (n = 14), and of LGBTIQ individuals who had used mental health services (n = 13). Participants proposed competencies in Round 1 through interviews or an online questionnaire, and rated these competencies’ importance in another online questionnaire in Round 2. Forty-one knowledge competencies, 35 awareness/attitude/belief competencies, 14 skill competencies and 35 action competencies were rated. Among key themes were understanding gender/sexual diversity as well as issues affecting LGBTIQ people and their families, and being able to assist on these issues; accepting gender/sexual diversity,  respecting clients’ self-determination, and communicating this to clients; being aware of the impact of one’s beliefs, attitudes, identities and values; recognizing and rejecting stereotypes; being open, humble, and willing to learn more; knowing how to use feminist counseling techniques and other specific techniques; refraining from offending actions; social justice action; and obtaining information sensitively. Developing these competencies is likely to improve mental health services’ appropriateness for LGBTIQ clients and should be included in mental health practitioners’ training in Thailand.


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Ojanen, T. T., Phukao, D., Boonmongkon, P., & Rungreangkulkij, S. (2020). Defining Mental Health Practitioners’ LGBTIQ Cultural Competence in Thailand . Journal of Population and Social Studies [JPSS], 29(-), 158 - 176. Retrieved from
Author Biography

Timo Tapani Ojanen, Department of Society and Health, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Mahidol University, Thailand

Corresponding author


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