TPC Journal-Vol 11-Issue-3 - FULL ISSUE

374 The Professional Counselor | Volume 11, Issue 3 To build further on these constructs, several researchers have provided a foundation for using RCT with older LGBTQ+ adults of color (Flores & Sheely-Moore, 2020; Mereish & Poteat, 2015; Singh & Moss, 2016). There are cultural, social, and political implications underlying the connection between RCT and older LGBTQ+ adults of color. For example, older LGBTQ+ adults of color are forced to contend with multiple points of disconnection from society through histories of racism, genderism, heterosexism, and ageism. Although multiple forms of oppression can disconnect historically marginalized communities, ageism is distinct because it focuses on marginalizing life transitions (Chaney &Whitman, 2020; Fullen, 2018). Consequently, older LGBTQ+ adults of color experience a heightened sense of disconnection due to grief and loss, isolation, and lack of social support. Older LGBTQ+ adults of color may likely encounter disconnections from a society that fails to affirm their identities, which precipitates a disconnection to self and underutilization of community resources (Kim et al., 2017; Seelman et al., 2017). Older LGBTQ+ adults of color may face a hierarchy of power and privilege that would impair an authentic connection and movement toward mutuality (Duffey & Somody, 2011; Hammer et al., 2016; Jordan, 2010). One outcome of this hierarchy is the notion of relational images, in which historically marginalized individuals feel forced to conform to a privileged identity. For instance, an older lesbian woman of color as a client may hold controlling relational images of help-seeking when interacting with a White male counselor possessing multiple privileged identities. In this instance, the client might internalize stereotypes and biases imposed by the counselor. Using RCT explicitly addresses these controlling relational images to challenge the dominant discourse, increase authenticity, and empower connection (Hammer et al., 2016; Haskins &Appling, 2017). RCT as a Lens for Conceptualization and Intervention The following hypothetical case example underscores the theoretical underpinnings of RCT and illustrates applications of RCT in clinical practice. This case example illustrates a variety of RCT principles to help counselors connect potential experiences of older LGBTQ+ adults of color and the complexity of intersecting forms of oppression. With the overall case study presented, Table 1 synthesizes key principles and applications, supplemental literature, and relevant portions of the case example. Case Formulation Chris, 72 years old, and Hector, 71 years old, have been partnered for 27 years. Chris is a Mexican American bisexual male born in the United States with the pronouns he, him, and his. Hector is a multi-heritage Asian American gay man of Filipino, Norwegian, and Colombian descent with the pronouns he, him, and his. Both Chris and Hector are Catholic and living without disabilities. Chris retired as a social worker when he reached 65 years of age while Hector chose to continue working as a university professor until the previous year at age 70. Chris and Hector recently relocated to live with Chris’s daughter from a previous marriage, Ella. Ella welcomed both Chris and Hector into her home as family. Upon the transition to their retirement phase, Chris and Hector began spending most of their time at home, and Ella has checked in with them regularly. They took on new hobbies, including painting, and focused more of their time on relaxation and leisure. Recently, Chris became increasingly concerned with Hector’s forgetfulness. Chris became worried about bringing him to social events, as Hector was “absentminded.” Although initially excited about the move, Chris realized Hector was struggling with all of the new issues that emerged from the transition. Chris thought about discussing the concerns with his daughter, but he did not want to worry her or embarrass Hector. Chris has felt conflicted about his own internal and external responses. Over the past few months, Chris has felt increasingly isolated and disconnected with Hector while recognizing a decreased lack of enjoyment.