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Countertransference issues in psychotherapy with lesbian and gay clients

Milton, M, Coyle, A and Legg, C (2005) Countertransference issues in psychotherapy with lesbian and gay clients European Journal of Psychotherapy, Counselling and Health, 7. 181 - 197.


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This article briefly reviews literature on responses towards same-sex (lesbian and gay) sexualities from psychoanalytic and ‘lesbian and gay affirmative' psychotherapeutic perspectives. An analysis is presented of reports of countertransferential reactions to lesbian and gay clients, obtained from interviews with fourteen psychotherapists who work in a lesbian and gay affirmative manner and eighteen clients who had received affirmative psychotherapy. Data were subjected to grounded analysis. Participants consistently attended to the thoughts, feelings and values that therapists held in relation to lesbian and gay clients and how these affected the meanings and practices available to them. These were linked with the therapist's sexual identity among other factors. Negative countertransferential reactions were regarded as potentially occurring among heterosexual and lesbian and gay therapists and were seen as arising from therapists' conscious and unconscious fears about same-sex sexualities. These findings indicate a need to continue debating these issues more widely in the professional arena.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Human Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: Mr Adam Field
Date Deposited: 27 May 2010 14:43
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2013 18:34

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