Relationship therapy with lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans clients.

Langdridge, Darren and Barker, Meg (2013). Relationship therapy with lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans clients. In: Iacovou, Susan and Van Deurzen, Emmy eds. Existential Perspectives on Relationship Therapy. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 148–160.



The history of the psychotherapeutic professions and lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) clients is a deeply troubled one (Davies and Neal, 1996). Thankfully most of the negative attitudes of the past seem to be changing with all of the major UK therapy associations (BACP, UKCP, BPS) providing guidance on working ethically with clients from sexual and gender minorities and making statements critical of conversion/reparative therapy (which is designed to change someone's sexual orientation). In spite of such changes, pathologizing stances concerning LGBT clients still exist amongst some therapists, particularly those from a psychoanalytic perspective and some religiously informed therapists. The earliest school of existential therapy – Daseinsanalysis – does not escape charges of homonegativity and heteronormativity either. Medard Boss, the founder of Daseinsanalysis wrote in his book The Meaning and Content of Sexual Perversions (1947/1949) about homosexuality as a sexual perversion and, even as recently as 1987, thought that the healthiest state for a woman was to have children in a loving relationship with a man (Boss & Kenny, 1987).

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