clients presenting problems?

Myrna and Rosa are lesbians in a relationship. They are looking for family counseling because of excessive arguing and communication problems. They have identified several issues that they want to address, but believe that their sexual orientation is not an issue.

They chose a male counselor because they believe he will be more objective and less biased. They expressed feeling comfortable with their sexual orientation and wanting to focus on improving their communication. The counselor recognized their communication problem and expressed his willingness to help them, but expressed his belief that their sexual identity is the source of their problems. He believes that in compatible relationships, there must be indisputable gender roles with a male and a female.


  • Do you think that sexual orientation is the couple’s primary counseling issue? Explain your rationale.
  • What evidence of counselor bias exists in the case study?
  • What AMCD competencies might be useful to consider when deciding if the counselor can still be effective in dealing with the clients?
  • What ethical guidelines might the counselor’s supervisor refer to when providing feedback on the counselor’s assumptions about his clients presenting problems?