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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The experience of settlement work with LGBTQ newcomers Suehn, Megan Rachel


The purpose of this research was to contribute to the literature on migration and settlement work for LGBTQ newcomers and the service providers who support them in Canada. The study employed a descriptive phenomenological research approach to answer the following question: “What are service provider’s perceptions and descriptions of their work in supporting LGBTQ immigrant clients?” Interviews were conducted with twelve service providers working in settlement, social work, and counselling psychology, with experience working with LGBTQ newcomers ranging from fourteen months to twenty five years. Participants represented nine languages and five ethnicities, and worked within the Metro Vancouver region of British Columbia, Canada. Utilising Giorgi’s (2009) descriptive psychological phenomenological method, data analysis uncovered three overarching structures that captured participants’ experiences of settlement work with LGBTQ newcomers. These structures included a) service providers’ perceptions of LGBTQ newcomers’ needs and experience, b) organizational issues, and c) personal impact. This study contributes to a greater understanding of the ways in which settlement work is done with LGBTQ newcomers, and sheds light on factors that are both challenging and beneficial to their service provision work. Recommendations for further research are made, as well as specific recommendations for training and counselling psychologists working with LGBTQ newcomers.

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