Reconceptualizing Individual Psychotherapy with Gay Men and Lesbians

  • Carol J. Cohen
  • Terry S. Stein
Part of the Critical Issues in Psychiatry book series (CIPS)


The emergence in America of personal and cultural identities associated with being gay and lesbian has been well documented during the 1970s and 1980s (Altman, 1982; DeCecco, 1984; DeCecco & Shively, 1984; D’Emillio, 1983). The American Psychiatric Association’s removal of homosexuality as a diagnosis of mental disorder in 1973 both reflected and encouraged this phenomenon. The purpose of this chapter is to examine the effects of a patient’s being gay or lesbian on the conduct of psychotherapy. Although the psychiatric and psychoanalytic literature has been almost silent regarding this topic, many psychotherapists are undoubtedly beginning to understand some of the issues that are associated with being gay or lesbian as a result of their actual work with individual men and women. Some writers, notably Mitchell (1978) and Isay (Chapter 6, this volume), have also begun to address the void that exists within the therapeutic literature, but articles (Van den Aardweg, 1984; Socarides, 1979) that simply equate sexual variation with pathology continue to be published in prominent psychotherapy journals.


Sexual Orientation Gender Nonconformity Clinical Theme Homosexual Identity Individual Psychotherapy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carol J. Cohen
    • 1
  • Terry S. Stein
    • 2
  1. 1.Private practiceBerkeleyUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry, College of Osteopathic Medicine and College of Human MedicineMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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