Clinical Social Work Journal

, Volume 27, Issue 4, pp 355-370

First online:

Gay Affirmative Psychotherapy: A Phenomenological Study

  • Jonathan LeboltAffiliated with

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There is a need for gay and lesbian affirmative psychotherapy in a society in which gay men and lesbians endure prejudice and discrimination. Using a phenomenological model informed by feminist methodology, this study investigated the gay male client's experience of gay affirmative therapy. The participants shared their experiences in in-depth interviews. Phenomenological analysis revealed certain therapist qualities which were experienced as affirmative. Findings showed that with sensitivity, imagination, and experience, the heterosexual therapist can be gay affirmative; the gay therapist may more readily serve as a role model. Results are compared with other research, and recommendations are offered for future inquiry.

gay men psychotherapy qualitative feminist