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

By Dominic Davies; Charles Neal | Go to book overview

DOMINIC DAVIES


8
Working with young people

This chapter aims to help therapists better understand lesbian, gay and bisexual young people and will discuss some specific directives for working with homosexually oriented youth. The reader is also directed to Chapter 4 on coming out for information on what is often the central presenting issue.

Adolescence in our society is often seen as a time of great emotional upheaval, especially with regard to sex and sexuality. In this chapter, I aim not to paint a negative picture of 'troubled times ahead', but also to show some of the positive aspects and issues for young people.

There are a number of things that need to be made clear: first as usual, some definitions. Because a large percentage of adolescents have sexual experiences with others of the same sex, yet only about 5–10 per cent will continue during adulthood to self-identify as gay, it seems important to remind the reader of the differences between:

sexual orientation: 'a preponderance of sexual or erotic feelings,
thoughts, fantasies, and/or behaviours … It is present from an early
age – perhaps at conception'.

(Savin-Williams 1990: 3)

sexual identity: 'a consistent, enduring self-recognition of the mean-
ings that sexual orientation and sexual behaviour have for oneself.'

(Savin-Williams 1990: 3)

One of the most recent substantive research projects in this area was conducted by Savin-Williams (1990) where a more detailed discussion of prevalence can be found, and from which the following five important findings are taken. All quotations from young people in this chapter are

-131-

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

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Contents v
  • Notes on Contributors vii
  • Acknowledgements ix
  • Introduction 1
  • Part 1 - Fundamental Issues 9
  • 1: An Historical Overview of Homosexuality and Therapy 11
  • 2: Towards a Model of Gay Affirmative Therapy 24
  • 3: Homophobia and Heterosexism 41
  • 4: Working with People Coming Out 66
  • Part II - Working with Particular Issues 87
  • 5: Working with Single People 89
  • 6: Working with People in Relationships 101
  • 7: Lesbian and Gay Parenting Issues 116
  • 8: Working with Young People 131
  • 9: Working with Older Lesbians 149
  • 10: Working with Older Gay Men 159
  • 11: Alcohol and Substance Misuse 170
  • 12: Partner Abuse 188
  • 13: Religious and Spirituality Conflicts 199
  • Appendix I - Resources 209
  • Appendix 2 - Community Resources 213
  • Appendix 3 - Books for Clients and Counsellors 217
  • References 222
  • Index 235
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