Psychotherapy With Gay Lesbian and Bisexual Clients

This series is available for purchase at

Buendia Productions is proud to release its completely revised second edition of Psychotherapy With Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Clients, the most authoritative and comprehensive video series on the needs and treatment issues of gay, lesbian and bisexual individuals, couples and families. This groundbreaking series reflects the contributions of 27 of the most influential and respected scholars and practitioners in the field as well as over 30 GLB individuals who share their stories and perspectives.   

Research indicates that while most psychotherapists frequently treat same sex clients, most acknowledge that they have had inadequate education and training as required by professional ethics.  Studies have also revealed that there continues to be considerable prejudice and insensitivity in working with GLB clients.

This series was produced in association with  Dr. Ron Scott, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Chapman University.

Program 1
Historical Perspectives
The history of mental health practice with gay, lesbian and bisexual people is both complex and constantly evolving.  This introductory program to the series focuses on some of the most important historical developments from ancient times to the present.  Attention is given to early medical, psychoanalytic (interview with Dr. Charles Socarides), and behavioral  (Dr. Joseph Wolpe and Dr. Gerald Davison) attempts to pathologize and change homosexuality.  Next, the influences that led to the depathologizing of homosexuality are presented.  Research on contemporary bias in psychotherapy is reviewed by Dr. Kristin Hancock and illustrated by an intensely poignant account of therapy abuse by Robert Gentry, the nation’s first openly gay mayor.   Dr. Eli Coleman discusses research and ethical issues related to recent attempts by “conversion therapies” to repathologize homosexuality and Dr. Simon LeVay offers a biological perspective on attempts to change sexual orientation.  In the final segment more recent affirmative approaches are highlighted by Dr. Kathleen Mooney. Then Dr. Hancock introduces the current APA guidelines for working with GLB clients.  At the end of the program an actual client shares his testimony of affirmative psychotherapy after years of negative therapy experiences.  Archival film clips, used throughout to illustrate earlier treatment approaches and attitudes. (41 minutes)

Program 2                                                         
Individual Assessment and Psychotherapy
Gay, lesbian, and bisexual people utilize mental health services at a rate considerably higher than heterosexuals and over 95% of psychotherapists treat sexual minority clients in their practice.  This program focuses on some of the most salient assessment and treatment issues that clinicians should know.  Dr. Aaron T. Beck opens the program with his endorsement of the effectiveness of cognitive therapy with this population.  Implications of internalized homophobia and the importance of hypothesis testing in therapy are presented by Dr. Armand Cerbone.   Dr. Kathleen Mooney looks at the assessment of presenting problems/issues and stages of identity development that GLB clients typically bring to the therapist.  In a very important segment, Dr. Kathleen Ritter discusses heterosexist bias in diagnosis of several DSM-IV-TR disorders.  The last half of the program is comprised of an extraordinary simulation of two therapy sessions by Dr. Christine Padesky with “Greg” on his coming out issues.  Descriptions of therapy process issues and techniques being demonstrated appear on-screen.  This award-winning segment, highly rated by graduate school classes, is an outstanding training demonstration for both students and experienced psychotherapists.  (48 minutes)

Program 3
Relationships, Families and Couples Counseling
Gay, lesbian, and bisexual couples are both similar and different from heterosexual couples. The differences are primarily associated with the social context of their lives and societal stigmization. GLB parents also often have unique rewards and challenges.  Until recently, the couples and family therapy literature has ignored same-sex families.  Few clinicians have had training in this area.  In this groundbreaking program, Dr. Robert Jay Green, an innovative researcher and clinician, emphasizes key issues and new approaches in understanding and providing mental health services to GLB couples.   Some of the areas he addresses are relational ambiguity, sexual exclusivity, and development of social support networks.  Dr. Armand Cerbone joins Dr. Green in a discussion of how internalized homophobia affects relationships and Dr. Richard Rodriguez dramatically emphasizes the importance of families of choice for GLB couples.  The last third of the program focuses on GLB parenting.  Dr. Isiaah Crawford, a leading scholar on same-sex parenting, summarizes research-based characteristics and the diversity of GLB family constellations.  He also provides very helpful suggestions on how therapists can provide support to GLB families.  Throughout this program interview clips from several same-sex couples, parents and their children are used to illustrate and personalize the important material covered by the expert presenters.  (37 minutes)

4 The Coming Out Process

One of the most important aspect of every gay, lesbian and bisexual person’s identity and psychosocial adjustment is coming out, but no two individuals experience it in exactly the same way.  This program features three diverse personal coming out stories—a young African American woman who was institutionalized when she told her parents, a retired professional Latino man who came out to his wife and children later in life, and an affirming mother who shares the process her family went through when her teenage son came out to them.  Dr. Eli Coleman reviews the usefulness and limitations of his frequently cited coming out stages.  Dr. Sari Dworkin offers specific recommendations to therapists who are helping clients with their coming out issues.  In the last half of the program, Dr. Ritch Savin-Williams, a primary researcher in this field, discusses the process that parents go through when a GLB child comes out to them.   He reviews “stages” as typical developmental experiences, which may vary according circumstances, and closes the program with very helpful suggestions to parents, which can lead to fantastic growth for each member of the family. (40 minute)

Program 5
The Bisexual Experience

The emerging body of scientific evidence over the past 30 years suggests a new paradigm of sexual orientation that is multidimensional, sometimes fluid, and highly individual.  An elaboration of this approach allows for greater validation of bisexuality. This is the first educational program on the psychology of bisexuality and it features cutting-edge research presented by some of the leading scholars in the field.   Dr. Fritz Klein uses his famous grid to demonstrate the multivariable and fluid nature of sexual orientation.  Various definitions, models, and types of bisexuality are reviewed by Dr. Sari Dworkin and then Dr. Ron Fox profiles who bisexuals are using data from his largest-to-date demographic study.  The developmental challenges of bisexual identity and bisexual coming out issues are dramatically presented by Dr. Dworkin.  In the last segment Dr. Mary Bradford joins Dr. Fox in educating therapists on how to provide more effective and affirming mental health services to bisexual women and bisexual men.  Throughout the program a special feature, “My Bisexual Experience,” presents the insightful and sensitive personal journeys of three bisexual individuals—Greg, Susannah, and Scott. (48 minutes)

Program 6
Diversity and Multiple Identities

Lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals who are “people of color” must manage conflicting allegiances with divergent social worlds including their ethnic culture, the majority culture and the gay/bisexual community.  Psychosocial adjustment and positive identity formation are often sources for integration and balance of these life influences. This program highlights personal accounts by GLB individuals from diverse ethnic groups.  Dr. Beverly Greene, one of the most distinguished scholars in this field, offers perspective on the empirical and clinical challenges associated with multiple oppressions and positive identity development.  Culture-specific segments are then presented:  Dr. Oliva Espin and Dr. Richard Rodriguez on the Latino/a experience; Dr. Isiaah Crawford and Dr. Greene on the African American perspective; and Dr. Terry Gock on Asian American  issues.  Specific treatment recommendations for therapists who are working with GLB’s of color are summarized by Dr. Greene.  The final portion of the program is a compelling cross-cultural therapy session by Dr. Christine Padesky with a Korean lesbian client which demonstrates the assessment and treatment of culture-bound issues.  (50 minutes)

Program 7
Sexual Minority Adolescents

This program combines the voices of leading professionals with those of gay and lesbian youth to present an insightful look at several aspects of the GLB adolescent experience.  In the opening part of the program, Dr. Ritch Savin-Williams, the leading scholar on GLB development, reviews typical developmental milestones that adolescents may experience. He then proposes four key “differential developmental trajectories” as a comprehensive model for understanding healthy GLB identity development.  The middle part of the program features Dr. Karla Anhalt’s research-based discussion of several potentially stressful aspects of identifying as GLB during adolescence.  Topics include loss of social support, victimization/harassment, suicidality, high risk sexual behavior and substance abuse. The emphasis is on helping GLB youth become resistant to potential stressors.  In the last third of the program Dr. Teresa DeCrescenzo, one of the nation’s most recognized experts in working with GLB youth, focuses on a paradigm shift from a pathologizing model to a strength-based treatment approach.  She covers such areas as mentoring, trust/transference/disclosure, discovering “one’s path,” adjustment to social roles, resiliency against harassment, religious concerns, and bibiotherapy, She ends with her “recipe for a happy, healthy GLB adolescent.”  Throughout this program diverse GLB youth share their positive and negative experiences and perspectives.  (50 minutes)