Affirmative Psychotherapy and Counseling for Lesbians and Gay Men offers a broad base of research, practice, and advocacy information about the special counseling needs of gays and lesbians. Authors Jeffrey N. Chernin and Melissa R. Johnson discuss universal themes as they apply to lesbian and gay clients, as well as issues unique to lesbians and gay men, including the treatment of same-sex couples and families, ethnic minority issues, and living with HIV/AIDS. They present sensible information on how to provide a safe therapeutic environment and how to interpret and apply psychological assessments.

Terminology and Identity Development

Terminology and identity development

To provide a starting point for treating lesbians and gay men, certain terms require definition. People may debate the exact meanings of these terms, which should serve to spur additional reading and discussion. In this chapter, we devote sections to the following sets of definitions:

  • Sexual orientation
  • Lesbian, gay, homosexual, and bisexual
  • LGBT, MSM, and WSW
  • Coming out
  • Gender role, gender identity, and transgender
  • Heterosexism and homophobia

After becoming familiar with these definitions, the next step is to understand lesbian/gay identity development. To that end, we present three models. The first two models, the Cass model and the Troiden model, are considered the standards in gay literature because they are popular and widely accepted. The third model, a ...

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