The Reverend Dr. Isaac Ishmael Arthur, a Counselling Psychologist at the University of Energy and Natural Resources, has advised pastors to moderate the condemnation of LGBTQI+ persons in their pulpits.
He said: “Don’t allow your cultural interests to turn your voice into one of accusations, God’s intention is to transform every sinner”.
Rev. Dr. Arthur said: “We have drunkards, fornicators, adulterers, liars and a host of sinners sit in our congregation, what do we with them?”
“Be moderate enough to invite these people (sinners) into your counselling rooms,” he added.
Rev. Dr. Arthur was speaking at a training session for Counsellors on the theme: “Working Therapeutically with LGBTQI+ clients: What Counsellors need to do”
LGBTQI+ is the acronym for Lesbians, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, plus.
The training session organized by TUCEE Institute of Counselling and Technology brought together counsellors in various secondary schools, church counsellors and lay practitioners.
The Reverend Minister said the focus in dealing with persons who identify as LGBTQI+ should be to deal with the scars their have in their lives because of their sexuality.
Homosexuals are mostly subjected to judgement instead of empathy, he said, calling on society to show mature judgement and respect to persons who identify as such.
Dr Cecilia Tutu-Danquah, Lecturer and Counselling Psychologist at the University of Ghana, main speaker for the event, said the motives of counsellors in dealing with LGBTQI+ clients should not be to change them but to help them deal with their pressing issues.
“Learn to address the reason for which they approached you as a counsellor for help first and allow other issues that need to be dealt with to follow naturally.”
Dr Tutu-Danquah said most people in developing or poor countries get involved in LGBTQI because of economic reasons and thus the need to empathize with them.
She advised religious counsellors to endeavour to end their sermons with messages of restoration and hope instead of condemnation.
Leave room for these persons to be able to approach you for help, Dr Tutu-Danquah added.