, Volume 37, Issue 2, pp 305-316

Treatment of Gay Men for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Resulting from Social Ostracism and Ridicule: Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Approaches

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Abstract

This report describes the clinical treatment of a sample of four gay men suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) attributed to their repeated experiences with peer ridicule and ostracism throughout childhood and adolescence, caused by their gender variant appearance and behavior. All of the men in the sample shared the following features: (1) a childhood history of ridicule and ostracism from both peers and adults focused on their gender variant presentation designed to elicit gender norm compliance; (2) a lack of social support networks to assist them in coping with the stress; (3) self-destructive coping responses that began in childhood and continued into adulthood in an attempt to lessen the experience of shame; and (4) symptoms of PTSD. A treatment model utilizing cognitive-behavioral therapy and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing was discussed.