Steffen Gillom, Ph.D., is a 2022 graduate of the PhD Program in Marriage and Family Therapy at Antioch University, New England

Dissertation Committee:

  • Denzel Jones, PhD, Committee Chair
  • Kevin Lyness, PhD, Committee Member
  • Mary Gannon, EdD, Committee Member


Stigma, Bias, Religion, HIV, Self-determination

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The present study examines the experiences of five licensed clinicians as they attempted to integrate the family as a unit of treatment into the treatment of Black HIV-positive men who have sex with men (BHPMSM). A single 90-minute focus group study using an interpretive phenomenological approach (IPA) was conducted with five clinicians from diverse backgrounds. The results of the study show that clinicians attempting to integrate the family into the treatment of BHPMSM shared common experiences in the areas of building community through encouraging client self-determination, navigating religion, navigating HIV stigma, feelings of incompetence, and feelings of gratification after successful integration of the family into treatment. These five main themes were further nuanced by the Black and queer identities of BHPMSM and the gender of their family members. Overall, the results show that the family does play an essential role in the treatment of BHPMSM. Further results are discussed in association with existing research, as well as family systems theory and implications for future research are offered.


Steffen Gillom

ORCID Scholar ID# 0000-0002-9709-3762