About the book
Blurbs about Gay Affirmative Therapy for the Straight Clinician
“I encourage all therapists worth their salt to read this brilliant and important book, whether or not they treat gays and lesbians. While it is theoretically sound and clinically instructive, the chief value of this book is its humanization of therapy, challenging us all to face our demons and accept the fact of difference. It is essentially about therapeutic justice. I hope this book gets the visibility it deserves.”
Harville Hendrix, PhD, cofounder of Imago Relationship Therapy, and author of Receiving Love: Transform Your Relationship By Letting Yourself Be Loved
“This book is the essential guide for the straight therapist working with gay and lesbian clients. Avoiding politically correct sermonizing, Kort brings together clinically relevant research while challenging the attitudes and common myths that can get in the way of effective therapy. Refreshingly direct and clinically practical, this is one of the most readable and nuanced books about therapy I’ve seen in a long time.”
Jette Simon, Clinical Psychologist and Director, The Washington D.C. Training Institute for Couples Therapy
“Joe Kort fills a huge gap in the training of clinicians. In an informative and non-judgemental way he covers the wide range of therapeutic scenarios and guides the reader through the subtleties of treating Gays and Lesbians. An important read for therapists-in-training as well as clinicians working with Gay and Lesbian clients.”
Laura Berman, LCSW, PhD, author of Passion Prescription: 10 weeks to your best sex ever.
From WW Norton Books Website:
It has been over three decades since the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality as a category of deviant behavior from the DSM. Same-sex marriage is recognized in certain states, gay-straight alliances are springing up in high schools across the country, and major religious denominations are embracing gay clergy. Yet despite the sea change of attitudes toward homosexuality, many well-meaning straight therapists are still at a loss as to how to effectively counsel their gay and lesbian clients.
This book will offer straight therapists the tools they need to counsel gay and lesbian clients effectively.
This book presents principles of gay affirmative therapy (GAT). GAT is not a specific system of doing therapy but rather a framework for clinicians to approach work with gay and lesbian clients. Some of the fundamental principles of GAT include: understanding and combating heterosexism; recognizing heterosexual privilege where it exists—institutionally, legally, and societally; and understanding and combating your own homophobia—and that of your clients. In general, GAT explores the trauma, shame, alienation, isolation, and neglect that occur to lesbians and gays as children.
This book also explains what GAT is not. GAT does not mean that therapists blame homophobia for everything and overlook mental and emotional problems. It does not de-emphasize emotional disorders and avoid examining any pathology. It does not explain and eradicate all the problems faced by gays and lesbians.
Does this seem confusing? Then you’re on the right track! As therapists, your responsibility is to be armed with all the up-to-date information. Knowing all the ways problems can arise, you can then assess with clients—and with their help—what applies and what doesn’t. This book provides concrete guidelines for getting to the heart of the matter with clients. It will help you examine your own imprinted heterosexism and develop comfortable, appreciative feelings about homosexuality so you can successfully work with gay clients. It will help you screen yourself for any covert homophobia and it will help you approach your work with gay and lesbian clients in a manner most likely to be successful.