Addictions in the Gay and Lesbian Community

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Jeffrey Guss, Jack Drescher
Taylor & Francis, 2000 - Medical - 191 pages
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Gain fresh insights into the social, psychological, and biochemical aspects of substance and sexual addictions!

Addictions in the Gay and Lesbian Community explores the unique clinical considerations involved in addiction treatment for gay and lesbian clients. Using approaches ranging from Jungian analysis to cognitive therapy to twelve-step programs, the researchers and clinicians represented here share their expertise in working clinically with drug and alcohol problems as well as compulsive sexual behaviors in gay men and lesbians.

Effectively treating addictions in gay men and lesbians requires the clinician to understand not only the basic patterns of use and abuse, but also to recognize and address the clients’special concerns. Gay and lesbian clients often face a variety of social and emotional barriers to overcoming addictive behaviors, including:
  • internalized homophobia leading to deep feelings of shame about their sexual needs
  • the need to stay closeted or face unacceptable consequences affecting work, friends, and family
  • the temptations of circuit parties and gay bars
  • feelings of social isolation and a desperate desire to fit in through use of drugs or alcohol
  • the interlocking role of drugs and sex, homophobia, shame, secrets, and loneliness
  • mainstream treatment options that fail to address gay- and lesbian-specific issues and identities

    Addictions in the Gay and Lesbian Community offers both personal experiences of addiction and recovery and insightful original research into the sources and treatment of addictions among gays and lesbians. It provides scholarly examinations of successful techniques for evaluating and treating gay and lesbian adolescents, professionals, and health-care workers, as well as a discussion of a treatment center geared to the needs of gays, lesbians, and bisexuals suffering from addiction. A perceptive study of Jungian techniques for treating sexual compulsions includes an appendix written by the client giving his point of view.
Addictions in the Gay and Lesbian Community offers well-written scholarly studies, moving personal testimony, and proven, practical ideas for successful evaluation and treatment of gay men and lesbians with addictive disorders.

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About the author (2000)

Guss is Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, New York University School of Medicine, New York City.

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