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Lesbians and Gays in Couples and Families: A Handbook for Therapists / Edition 1

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The first book to focus on clinical work with lesbians and gays in family relationships

This groundbreaking resource provides you with a wealth of fascinating research and case examples, as well as recommAndations and suggestions for working with gay couples and families.

Joan Laird and Robert-Jay Green have gathered a distinguished panel of practitioners to create this comprehensive collection. The contributors address the experiences of lesbians and gay men as couples and as parents'and examine their relationships with the families in which they were raised.

Coming out & the mother-daughter bond/lesbian couples & childhood trauma/lesbian mothers & their children/boundaries

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The text is well written and very readable and readers do not need extensive training or knowledge in the area to gain a great deal from this book. Overall, this book can be an invaluable resource for both the practicing counselors and students." (Counseling Today)

"This book exemplifies a unique and valuable contribution to the field of of couples and family therapy for many reasons. To my knowledge, this handbook represents a first attempt at integrating personal accounts, clinical practice, theory, and empirical research in addressing the complexities of being gay or lesbian in couples and families. . . . Because it is informative and comprehensive, I highly recommAnd it to all therapists."

"Lesbians and Gays in Couples and Families is most effective in the way it unapologetically challenges the myths our society perpetuates about gays and lesbians, particularly the myth that places sex rather then relatedness at the center of our lives. The book challenges these myths with innovative feminist, relational theories of families and connections, and with sound research to back up most of their claims. This is a book that should be read not only by clinicians working with gay and lesbian clients, but by anyone who is worried about the effects of the patriarchy on future generations . . . gay, lesbian, straight, or bisexual."

"This book is a valuable contribution to the growing gay-friAndly literature on clinical work with gay men and lesbians and demonstrates how understanding gay and lesbian relationships adds to our understanding of heterosexual ones."

"Joan Laird and Robert-Jay Green are two of the brightest luminaries in our field....This book should be required reading for all family therapists...for educating ourselves, our trainees, and the field of family therapy in general."

"Scholarship and clinical wisdom both abound in this timely and important volume. Laird and Green's book will set the standard in this area for a long time to come." (Alan S. Gurman, Ph.D., coeditor of the Handbook of Family Therapy and professor, University of Wisconsin Medical School)

"No one who works with human beings can afford to be without this compelling and long-awaited book. The authors give us a profound new understanding of lesbian and gays, and with this, a fundamentally new and enriched view of the human condition." (Harriet Lerner, Ph.D., author of The Dance of Anger and The Dance of Intimacy)

"This profoundly moving collection of essays is more than a handbook for therapists. Everybody concerned about couples, families, mental health, love, support, community, and lives of dignity and decency will want to read this stirring book. Joan Laird and Robert-Jay Green have given us all a very great gift.? (Blanche Wiesen Cook, Ph.D., author of the acclaimed biography, Eleanor Roosevelt and professor of history and women's studies, City University of New York)

"This exceptionally powerful and important book is a major contribution to the helping professions. Despite the fact that I have worked all my professional life in multicultural psychology, I gained insights and new knowledge which I hope will make me a more sensitive and competent helping professional when working with lesbians/gays." (Derald Wing Sue, Ph.D., coauthor, Counseling the Culturally Different: Theory and Practice)

"Comprehensive and theoretically grounded... provides clinically useful approaches... A must for therapists working with lesbians and gay men." (Marshall Forstein, M.D., former president, Association of Gay & Lesbian Psychiatrists; medical director, Mental Health & Addiction Services, Fenway Community Health Center)

"Laird and Green have collected an impressive amalgam of clinical wisdom and empirical data...destroying stereotypes and shining light in dark corners.... A necessary companion to any couples and family therapist who wishes to have a new perspective on any family grouping, irrespective of sexual orientations." (Laura S. Brown, Ph.D., ABPP, author of Subversive Dialogues: Theory in Feminist Therapy; clinical professor of psychology, University of Washington; and psychologist in private practice, Seattle)

"A long overdue book that belongs on every therapist's bookshelf. In both subtle and obvious ways, we are given direction and guidance for addressing the problems faced by families of lesbians and gays." (Gail A. Rekers, Lesbian Review of Books, Altadena, California)

"[Laird and Green] have edited a remarkable book, ambitious in intent, comprehensive in scope, challenging in concept." (Volker Thomas, Book Review Editor, Journal of Marital and Family Therapy)

"Uniformly well-written, thoughtful and clinically useful."

"Joan Laird and Robert-Jay Green have compiled a much-needed collection of articles on couples and family therapy with gays and lesbians."

"They have edited a remarkable book, ambitious in intent, comprehensive in scope, challenging in concept." (Volker Thomas, Book Reviews Editor, Journal of Marital and Family Therapy)

"Clearly written and timely chapters provide information about gay fathers and lesbian mothers, lesbian and gay males in committed couple relationships as well as in their families of origin...Lesbians and Gays in Couples and Families helps us confront our ignorance and biases and increases our knowledge base at the same time." (Terrance Patterson, EdD, The Family Psychologist)

"[This book] shatters many myths that family therapists may hold about the nature of couple and family relationships...The editors have done a terrific job of pulling together a large amount of theory, research, and case examples into a cohesive body of work. This book challenges our assumptions about the nature of individuals, couples and families and, in doing so, should help wake up the mental health profession to the fact that lesbians and gays are family too."

"An excellent compilation of chapters designed to change this situation [of invisibility], bringing gay and lesbian family issues more into the public and professional eye ... In general, Laird and Green have created an extremely thoughtful and provoking forum for many discussions that surely will be continued in the coming years." (Jane Ariel, Ph.D., Journal of Feminist Family Therapy)

Charles Yarborough
In Laird and Green's groundbreaking book, the familial experiences of lesbian and gay people become a flashpoint for some of the liveliest, most impassioned discussions of gender you'll find anywhere.
Alternative Family
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780787902223
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 6/13/1996
  • Series: Psychology Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 480
  • Product dimensions: 7.09 (w) x 9.63 (h) x 1.32 (d)

Meet the Author

JOAN LAIRD is professor of social work at the Smith College School for Social Work, where she is chair of the Human Behavior in the Social Environment sequence. She is a co-founder of and for many years was on the staff of Ann Arbor Center for the Family, a family therapy clinical, training, and research institute. Co-author with Ann Hartman of Family-Centered Social Work Practice, she has written and presented widely on women's stories, rituals, and secrets. Her most recent book is titled Revisioning Social Work Education: A Social Constructionist Approach. In the last few years, her scholarship has focused on lesbian families. ROBERT-JAY GREEN is professor and coordinator of Family-Child Psychology at the California School of Professional Psychology, Berkeley/Alameda. He has published widely in the field of family therapy, including two co-authored books, Family Therapy: Major Contributions (1981) and Voices of Women Family Therapists (in press). Dr. Green is on the board of directors of the American Family Therapy Academy, is a fellow of APA and AAMFT, and serves on the editorial boards of Family Process, Journal of Marital and Family Therapy and Cultural Diversity and Mental Health.
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Table of Contents

Lesbians and Gays in Couples and Families: Central Issues.


Transgenerational Homophobia in the Family: A Personal Narrative (M. English).

Connections: Conversations Between a Gay Therapist and a Straight Therapist (S. Siegel & G. Walker).

Social Policy as a Context for Lesbian and Gay Families: The Political is Personal (A. Hartman).


Invisible Ties: Lesbians and Their Families of Origin (J. Laird).

Coming Out and the Mother-Daughter Bond: Two Case Examples (S. Iasenza, et al.).

Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Asian Americans and Their Families (P. Liu & C. Chan).

Self-Labeling and Disclosure Among Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Youth (R. Savin-Williams).


Are Lesbian Couples Fused and Gay Male Couples Disengaged?: Questioning GAnder Straightjackets (R. Green, et al.).

Creating and Maintaining Boundaries in Male Couples (T. Johnson & M. Keren).

African American Lesbians: Issues in Couples Therapy (B. Greene & N. Boyd-Franklin).

Gender Roles Among Latino Gay and Bisexual Men: Implications for Family and Couple Relationships (E. Morales).

Lesbian Couples and Childhood Trauma: Guidelines for Therapists (S. Kerewsky & D. Miller).

Assessing Heterosexist Bias in the Treatment of Lesbian Couples with Chemical Dependency (S. Anderson).


Two Moms: Contribution of the Planned Lesbian Family to the Deconstruction of GAndered Parenting (V. Mitchell).

Lesbians Choosing Children: Creating Families, Creating Narratives (C. Muzio).

Working with Gay Fathers: Developmental Postdivorce Parenting and Therapeutic Issues (J. Bigner).

Families Coping with HIV Disease in Gay Fathers: Dimensions of Treatment (S. Shuster).

Lesbian Mothers and Their Children: Findings from the Bay Area Families Study (C. Patterson).

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