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Gershman, H. (1975). The Effect of Group Therapy on Compulsive Homosexuality in Men and Women. Am. J. Psychoanal., 35(4):303-312.

(1975). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 35(4):303-312

The Effect of Group Therapy on Compulsive Homosexuality in Men and Women

Harry Gershman, M.D.

It is the consensus of nearly all therapists that effective treatment of homosexuality is difficult to accomplish, either in a one-to-one relationship or in a group setting. For the past fourteen years I have been conducting at the Karen Horney Clinic two groups of patients who have a homosexual problem. Each group consists of eight to ten people, with generally three times as many men as women. During this period, over 250 patients have been treated. It is my intent in writing this paper to show some of my experiences in the efficacy of the treatment of homosexuality.

Unlike a discussion of the treatment of other emotional problems that come under the purview of the practicing psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, in the contemporary scene homosexuality is difficult to deal with without arousing the ire of various movements that have come into being to protect the civil rights of people who have homosexual problems. Many scientific meetings have been interfered with by the members of these militant groups who feel that psychiatrists have hurt their ability to achieve equal political rights as other human beings in our society by virtue of being labeled as “sick” by the psychiatric profession.

It is therefore necessary to discuss this matter before going any further. Most psychiatrists have felt all along, particularly since the important discoveries of Freud, that homosexuality represents a deviation in the psychosexual development of human beings. Freud felt that homosexuality is a consequence of the unresolved Oedipal relationship that the child experiences with his mother and father.

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