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Tip: To review an author’s works published in PEP-Web…

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The Author Section is a useful way to review an author’s works published in PEP-Web. It is ordered alphabetically by the Author’s surname. After clicking the matching letter, search for the author’s full name.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Downey, J.I. (2006). Lesbian Identity And Contemporary Psychotherapy: A Framework For Clinical Practice, by Eda G. Goldstein and Lois Horowitz, Analytic Press, Hillsdale, NJ, 2003, 208 pp., $39.95.. J. Amer. Acad. Psychoanal., 34(3):561-563.

(2006). Journal of American Academy of Psychoanalysis, 34(3):561-563

Lesbian Identity And Contemporary Psychotherapy: A Framework For Clinical Practice, by Eda G. Goldstein and Lois Horowitz, Analytic Press, Hillsdale, NJ, 2003, 208 pp., $39.95.

Review by:
Jennifer I. Downey, M.D.

This is a well-organized and user-friendly book for gay-affirmative therapists who treat lesbian patients. The book begins with an introductory chapter which describes the developmental issues women encounter in the course of taking on a lesbian identity. Chapter two traces the history of psychoanalytic theory in its approach to homosexuality in women. Chapter three is the heart of the book and describes the authors' own theoretical framework for clinical practice. The approach they recommend is relational, non-authoritarian, and usually combines a mixture of exploratory and supportive techniques.

Chapters four through eight illustrate how these principles are applied to different aspects of clinical work with lesbians, using numerous interesting case vignettes. The final chapter (Chapter 9) concerns experiences of the lesbian therapist.

Of the many publications describing a gay-affirmative approach to the treatment of gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgendered (GLBT) individuals, this one is notable for its clarity, its effort to set out the principles of the work, and the excellent examples of its application. The authors are particularly helpful on the issue of self-disclosure of sexual orientation by the therapist. Like most gay-affirmative mental health professionals, they favor honesty in this regard and feel that it advances the therapeutic alliance, but they carefully consider when this should be done and describe many situations where self-disclosure is not advised because of the issues the patient is grappling with in the therapy at the time.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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