Pink Therapy: A Guide for Counsellors and Therapists Working with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Clients

Pink Therapy: A Guide for Counsellors and Therapists Working with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Clients

Pink Therapy: A Guide for Counsellors and Therapists Working with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Clients

Pink Therapy: A Guide for Counsellors and Therapists Working with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Clients


A comprehensive British volume on lesbian and gay affirmative psychotherapy has been a while coming. Pink Therapy, however, has arrived, amply fills this gap, and is well worth the wait. The literature reviews are masterful for scholars, and the book offers a comprehensive, thoughtful approach for clinicians. A deft editorial hand is evident in the unusual consistency across chapters, the uniformly crisp, helpful chapter summaries, and the practical appendices, generous resources lists and well organized bibliographies.

I particularly like the contributors subtle appreciation of theoretical nuance, genuine open-mindedness to diversity of ideas, and willingness to synthesize in a pragmatic and client-oriented manner.

John C. Gonsiorek, PhD., Minneapolis, MN USA; Diplomate in Clinical Psychology, American Board of Professional Psychology; Past President, Society for the Psychological Study of Lesbian and Gay Issues (Division 44 of the American Psychological Association).

Pink Therapy is the first British guide for counsellors and therapists working with people who are lesbian, gay or bisexual. It provides a much needed overview of lesbian, gay and bisexual psychology, and examines some of the differences between lesbians, gays and bisexuals, and heterosexuals. Pink Therapy proposes a model of gay affirmative therapy, which challenges the prevailing pathologizing models. It will help to provide answers to pressing questions such as:

• what is different about lesbian, gay and bisexual psychologies?

• how can I improve my work with lesbian, gay and bisexual clients?

• what are the key clinical issues that this work raises?

The contributors draw on their wide range of practical experience to provide - in an accessible style - information about the contemporary experience of living as a lesbian, gay or bisexual person, and to explore some of the common difficulties.

Pink Therapy will be important reading for students and practitioners of counselling and psychotherapy, and will also be of value to anyone involved in helping people with a lesbian, gay or bisexual orientation.


It is only a few years since homosexuality has been declassified as a mental illness in the UK (ICD 1992), although it was declassified two decades ago in the USA. There are still many professionals 'treating' people for homosexuality and many more who, whilst they 'know' there is no 'treatment' available, believe that homosexuality is in some way abnormal or disordered. There is also now a large group of professionals who feel sure same sex sexuality is not pathological but who lack the information they need to contradict prejudicial learning from their culture and their own psychological or therapeutic training.

Whilst issues in transcultural and multiracial counselling have recently begun to be addressed, little, if anything, has been done around lesbian and gay issues in therapy. Rarely are sexual minorities covered in training programmes and yet increasing numbers of lesbian, gay and bisexual clients are presenting for therapy. Some argue that lesbians, gay men and bisexuals are overrepresented in the client population of some services (see Ratigan this volume); others have found the experience of living with a stigmatized identity has contributed to lower levels of psychological well-being than the general population (Coyle 1993). There is therefore a pressing need for therapists and other helping professionals to respond more appropriately and in order to do this effectively, they need training.

The most accessible form of training in gay affirmative therapy issues at the present is likely to be through reading. This is the first British book to cover these issues. This book is for those who wish to learn more. It is also for all who wish to ensure that their work values clients of all sexual . . .

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