Casebook for Counseling Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Persons and Their Families

By St-Louis, François Sallafranque | Canadian Psychology, November 2012 | Go to article overview

Casebook for Counseling Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Persons and Their Families


St-Louis, François Sallafranque, Canadian Psychology


Casebook for counseling lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons and their families, by Dworkin, Sari H, and Pope Mark (Eds.), Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association, 2012, 368 pp. ISBN 978-1-55620-306-0

DOl: 10.l()37/a0030216

In their volume Casebook for Counseling Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Persons and Their Families, Sari H. Dworkin and Mark Pope present, in collaboration with a number of colleagues, a unique work that will help clinicians familiarize themselves with an appreciable number of themes that pertain to the reality of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals. The editors of the book and the authors of the different chapters highlight interventions aimed at fostering the growth of an LGBT subculture within a heterosexually dominated culture that is sometimes heterosexist, even heteronegative. They favour a client-centered, affirmative, and empowering approach. This book is a useful tool for therapists who wish to leam more about the challenges that LGBT individuals face.

The volume invites the reader to explore different clinical cases conceptualised through the lenses of various approaches. Each case helps the reader understand the issues that confront LGBT individuals on a regular basis, along with the interventions that may be best suited to their needs. The case studies (more than 3 1 of them) are organized into overarching themes associated with the LGBT clientele. Each case study is written by one or more authors with extensive research, teaching, and clinical experience in the field. A particular strength of this volume is the manner in which each case study brings to light difficulties typical of an array of LGBT clients. The authors present their case conceptualisations in an orderly fashion according to their clinical orientations; they include references about clinical practice from their different theoretical perspectives that are likely to be of interest to the reader. Descriptions of their interventions and their in-session results lay the groundwork for some useful recommendations for clinicians working with clients in similar situations.

The first section of the book is essential reading for anyone interested in working with the LGBT population. In it, the authors delineate the issues surrounding the development of an LGBT identity across the life span. This section will help acquaint therapists with the essentials of working with young members of the LGBT population, with the role and importance of revealing one's sexual orientation, with aspects of intersexuality among LGBT individuals, and with intervention techniques for aging LGBT persons who might be in need of skilled nursing. The latter topic is cutting edge; researchers and clinicians are paying increasingly more attention to it.

The second portion of the book deals primarily with the different types of love relationships among people of the same sex. Polyamorous relationships and the elements of LGBT intervention with people from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds comprise the bulk of this section. There is also information on the romantic relationships of transgender individuals.

The third and final section of the book consists of a number of subjects related to the well-being of LGBT individuals. There is material on sexuality and sexual satisfaction in this population, sexual addiction, domestic violence, HIV, substance abuse, the myths of conversion therapy, test utilization and assessment with LGBT individuals, and the competencies required for effective work with LGBT clients. …

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