Sexual Orientation Dynamics in Psychotherapy

Sexual orientation is one’s romantic and sexual attraction to another person or persons. From the frames of intersectionality and covert bias, whether one is conscious of it or not, sexual orientation affects one’s view of the world and how the world interacts with them. Sexual orientation influences concepts related to family, relationships, sense of self, self-esteem, and self-expression. From this perspective, regardless of the personal saliency of one’s sexual orientation, sexual orientation dynamics are ever present and impactful on all stages of psychotherapy. This entry examines how sexual orientation affects assessment and case conceptualization, interventions, and therapeutic relationships, including terminations.

Assessment and Case Conceptualization

Given the heteronormative nature of U.S. culture and psychological literature, many psychotherapy assessment procedures are constructed from a heterosexual lens and have been ...

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