Lesbians and Lesbian Families: Reflections on Theory and Practice

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This cutting-edge collection of articles examines the sociocultural context of the lives of lesbians and lesbian families and reveals how new insights about lesbian identities, experiences, and relationships can be integrated into clinical theory and practice. A family therapist, Joan Laird presents several clinical approaches to working with lesbians as individuals and in couple and parenting relationships and to viewing sexual orientation in its full complexity of race, class, gender, and cultural identity.Rich with clinical case studies and research on the everyday lives of lesbian families, this book includes chapters on the strategic language of self-disclosure, the family lives of lesbian mothers, and lesbian mothers who "come out" to their adolescent children.
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Editorial Reviews

K. Jean Peterson
A wonderful collection of articles that will help to story and restory the lives of lesbians and their families. . . . I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in increasing their understanding of lesbians and lesbian families.
Expanded from a special issue of (June 1993), this text analyzes family permutations for what has been called the last invisible minority to be outed in national discourse. Offers 16 perspectives on: the social context of lesbians, lesbian couples, lesbian parenting, and special issues in theory and clinical practice (mutuality and boundaries, resilience, and application of control mastery theory). Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231102520
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 3/19/1999
  • Pages: 384

Meet the Author

Joan Laird is professor emerita of Smith College School for social work, where she chaired the Human Behavior in the Social Environment sequence. Her most recent book (coedited with Robert-Jay Green) isLesbians and Gays in Couples and Families: A Handbook for Therapists.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 Unconciousness-Raising: Hidden Dimensions of Heterosexism in Theory and Practice with Lesbians 11
2 Ascribing Master Status to Lesbians: Clinical Echoes of Identity Dilemmas 27
3 Gender and Sexuality in Lesbian Relationships: Feminist and Constructionist Perspectives 47
4 The Long Road to Equality: Lesbians and Social Policy 91
5 A Struggle for Language: Patterns of Self-Disclosure in Lesbian Couples 123
6 Therapy with a Lesbian Couple: The Art of Balancing Lenses 143
7 Object Relations Couples Therapy with Lesbians 179
8 Lesbian Co-Parenting: On Being/Being with the Invisible (M)Other 197
9 Lesbian Parents: Understanding Developmental Pathways 213
10 The Family Lives of Lesbian Mothers 243
11 Voices from the Heart: The Developmental Impact of a Mother's Lesbianism on Her Adolescent Children 261
12 A Relational Perspective on Mutuality and Boundaries in Clinical Practice with Lesbians 283
13 Resilience in Lesbians: An Exploratory Study 305
14 The Application of Control Mastery Theory in Clinical Practice with Lesbians 331
Contributors 345
Author Index 349
Subject Index 353
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