Gay and lesbian couples in therapy

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Since its inception in the early s, Emotionally Focused Therapy EFT has given therapists a fresh approach for couples counseling. Developed by Dr. Les Greenberg professor of psychology at York University, TorontoEFT focuses on the attachment bond between the couple and looks to understand how surface emotions expressed in conflict what Johnson describes as dreadful dances of negative interactions are often disguised cries for deeper understanding and a desire for greater intimacy.

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Same-sex couples are welcome to seek out a couples therapist if their relationship could use some work. However, it is important to know that not all couples therapists may be a good option. Here, several therapists explain how a couples therapist can help same-sex couples, and what you should look for if you are a same-sex couple looking for a couples therapist:.

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Gay relationships and lesbian relationships have unique strengths and challenges. One of the questions Dr. Gottman and his research team were curious about was whether or not there were significant differences in the patterns of relational success and failure between heterosexual and same-sex couples.

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But therapists Sam Garanzini and Alapaki Yee — themselves a married couple — have spent recent years filling in some of those gaps. One of their most intriguing findings is that gay and lesbian couples respond much more effectively to certain forms of couples therapy than heterosexuals do. They then compared those results to the outcomes of straight couples. Last year, they published a first-of-its-kind study on their methods in the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy.

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Further, gay and lesbian couples should expect that their therapists are knowledgeable about same-sex relationships and the challenges and concerns specific to them. However, it is often the case that therapists have had very little experience or training with working with LGBT individuals, couples, and families. This can result in a therapist generalizing their knowledge and experience working with heterosexual clients to therapy with LGBT persons.

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Download our free guide! Quickly restore trust as you heal old wounds and discover how to protect your relationship for good. Co-create your ideal relationship and become the happiest couple you know.

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In separate lines of research, Dr. John Gottman and Dr. Julie Schwartz Gottman have observed the strength and resilience of same-sex couples, even in the midst of the cultural and social stresses to which same-sex couples are uniquely vulnerable.

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Bigner, J. Handbook of LGBT-affirmative couple and family therapy. New York: Routledge. Bigner, Jerry J and Joseph L.

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Before beginning any treatment with a homosexual client, a therapist has the responsibility of making sure he or she is well versed on issues related to sexuality, has the skills necessary to create a positive and nonjudgmental environment, and will not feel uncomfortable discussing issues related to homosexuality. If a therapist believes homosexuality is wrong, sinful, immoral, or a mental illness, he or she should NOT work with gay clients. Refer this client to someone who is able to provide the necessary components of a therapeutic relationship.

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When a person comes out of the closet, it can throw people off leaving the person to wonder whether they did the right thing. Many people feel the effects of honesty in this context, as they are judged because of their sexual preferences and can sink into depression. Let us look at the workings of therapyand the construct it brings to the fore for the LGBTQ person.


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