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 needextensive training or knowledge in the area to gain a great dealfrom this book. Overall, this book can be an invaluable resourcefor both the practicing counselors and students." (CounselingToday)

"This book exemplifies a unique and valuable contribution to thefield of of couples and family therapy for many reasons. To myknowledge, this handbook represents a first attempt at integratingpersonal accounts, clinical practice, theory, and empiricalresearch in addressing the complexities of being gay or lesbian incouples and families. . . . Because it is informative andcomprehensive, I highly recommAnd it to all therapists."

"Lesbians and Gays in Couples and Families is most effective inthe way it unapologetically challenges the myths our societyperpetuates about gays and lesbians, particularly the myth thatplaces sex rather then relatedness at the center of our lives. Thebook challenges these myths with innovative feminist, relationaltheories of families and connections, and with sound research toback up most of their claims. This is a book that should be readnot only by clinicians working with gay and lesbian clients, but byanyone who is worried about the effects of the patriarchy on futuregenerations . . . gay, lesbian, straight, or bisexual."

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

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

"Scholarship and clinical wisdom both abound in this timely andimportant volume. Laird and Green's book will set the standard inthis 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 withoutthis compelling and long-awaited book. The authors give us aprofound new understanding of lesbian and gays, and with this, afundamentally new and enriched view of the human condition."(Harriet Lerner, Ph.D., author of The Dance of Anger and The Danceof Intimacy)

"This profoundly moving collection of essays is more than ahandbook for therapists. Everybody concerned about couples,families, mental health, love, support, community, and lives ofdignity and decency will want to read this stirring book. JoanLaird 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 majorcontribution to the helping professions. Despite the fact that Ihave worked all my professional life in multicultural psychology, Igained insights and new knowledge which I hope will make me a moresensitive and competent helping professional when working withlesbians/gays." (Derald Wing Sue, Ph.D., coauthor, Counseling theCulturally Different: Theory and Practice)

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

"Laird and Green have collected an impressive amalgam ofclinical wisdom and empirical data...destroying stereotypes andshining light in dark corners.... A necessary companion to anycouples and family therapist who wishes to have a new perspectiveon 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'sbookshelf. In both subtle and obvious ways, we are given directionand guidance for addressing the problems faced by families oflesbians and gays." (Gail A. Rekers, Lesbian Review of Books,Altadena, California)

"[Laird and Green] have edited a remarkable book, ambitious inintent, comprehensive in scope, challenging in concept." (VolkerThomas, Book Review Editor, Journal of Marital and FamilyTherapy)

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

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

"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 aboutgay fathers and lesbian mothers, lesbian and gay males in committedcouple relationships as well as in their families oforigin...Lesbians and Gays in Couples and Families helps usconfront our ignorance and biases and increases our knowledge baseat the same time." (Terrance Patterson, EdD, The FamilyPsychologist)

"[This book] shatters many myths that family therapists may holdabout the nature of couple and family relationships...The editorshave done a terrific job of pulling together a large amount oftheory, research, and case examples into a cohesive body of work.This book challenges our assumptions about the nature ofindividuals, couples and families and, in doing so, should helpwake up the mental health profession to the fact that lesbians andgays are family too."

"An excellent compilation of chapters designed to change thissituation [of invisibility], bringing gay and lesbian family issuesmore into the public and professional eye ... In general, Laird andGreen have created an extremely thoughtful and provoking forum formany discussions that surely will be continued in the comingyears." (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 StraightTherapist (S. Siegel & G. Walker).

Social Policy as a Context for Lesbian and Gay Families: ThePolitical 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 forFamily 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 Coupleswith Chemical Dependency (S. Anderson).


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

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

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

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

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

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