Kort's Korner Newsletter
In This Issue: January, 2009
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  1. About Joe's Psychotherapy and Coaching Practice
  2. Reflecting on the past 45 years of my life
  3. 2009 Workshop & Presentations Dates
  4. Book Review: Velvet Rage by Alan Downs
  5. Review of Gay Affirmative Therapy for the Straight Clinician by Tammy Nelson
  6. Joe's Books & Products (Recorded Teleclasses, Mp3's, Auto-Responders)

1. Joe Kort's Psychotherapy and Coaching Practice

Hello Kort's Korner Subscribers,

I have been sending out my e-newsletters for the past few years and always wonder what people think of them? I do get some feedback that they are informative and people enjoy them.

What would you like to hear about?

What types of issues would you like me to talk about?

What questions would you like me to answer inside the newsletters?

Any feedback would be great to hear. Respond to this by hitting reply or email me directly at joekort@joekort.com


Joe Kort, LMSW


JOE'S BLOGS and Other Websites:

Outside the Kort Room

An extension of my website where I periodically write about current events regarding the things I specialize in.

Straight Guise Blog

A resource about straight men who have sex with other men.

Gay Affirmative Therapy

A resource for therapists working with gays and lesbians.

Straight Guise

A website with information about straight men who have sex with other men


These blogs are about current events, books, workshops, articles, movies and anything related to my specialties within my private practice.


Individual, Group and Couple's Psychotherapy / Telephone Coaching and Consultation / Clinical Consulting and Supervision Services for Psychotherapists / Frequently Asked Questions about hiring Joe Kort for his services

2. Reflecting on the past 45 years of my life


Over the past year I have become more spiritual. I turned 45 and felt that as I came into midlife that I needed to start truly considering what I want to do with the rest of my life. I also started reflected I what I have already done.

I have achieved so much in the first 45 years.

When I reflect on the “10 Smart Things I Have Done To Improve My life” here is what I have done:

  1. I have a successful relationship with my partner for almost 16 years.

  2. I have two master’s degrees—one in Social Work and the other in Psychology

  3. I have one beautiful niece and three handsome nephews who I adore and spend every with.

  4. I have done some media promoting the things in which I support and work with such as mixed-orientation marriages, straight men who have sex with men and gay and lesbian issues.

(As an aside, one of the things I achieved in the media in 2006 was getting on the Tyra Banks show. When I received the call from her producers I had no idea who she was. I came to understand how beautiful of a person she is inside and out.
When I arrived at Television City in Hollywood, CA I got out of my limousine and immediately kissed the ground. Everyone around me was wondering what this guest expert psychotherapist was doing. I explained that I was in Holy Land as I recalled being a teenager watching Sonny and Cher and Tony Orlando and Dawn on this ground and I always wanted to be there. And there I was! I did not care how weird everyone thought I was I was 13-old-old in that moment!)

         5. I have a successful practice working with folks I like to work with and who want the help I have to give.

         6.  I have written three successful books. I never thought I would be an author and be known around the world. It still boggles my mind.

         7.  I have done some stand-up comedy and plan to do more as the world's first, THERAPEDIAN!

         8.  I have lived long enough to see an African-American become President of the United States and cannot begin to tell you how

              overwhelmed I am

              with pride and awe for him to have accomplished what most people never thought could become a reality.

         9.  Over the past year I have become more spiritual and consulted with Rabbis (both Orthodox and Reform) and have begun studying

              Kaballah. Kaballah is a discipline and school of thought discussing the mystical aspect of Judaism. I have also started putting on


Tefillin is to be put on each weekday morning (Sunday through Friday), Jewish men are required to wear Tefillin. One Tefillin Box (the "Head Tefillin") is placed upon the head, above the forehead, so as to rest upon the cerebrum. The other Tefillin box ("Hand Tefillin") is tied on the left arm so that it rests against the heart, and the suspended leather strap is wound around the left hand, and around the middle finger of that hand.

          10. And lastly I have decided to take ownership of my body and workout with a trainer who has helped me get healthy and take pride in

                being healthy and stronger.


I want to thank all of you for giving me a great 2008 by providing your trust and faith in my being the best therapist I can be. I strive to learn as much about my craft as I can. I continue learning through attending trainings, conferences and even going to my own personal therapy from time to time to ensure that I am not only providing the best therapy that I can to my clients, but that I am in psychological check as well.

Best to all of you for 2009!!


Joe Kort, MSW, LMSW




3. 2009 Workshops & Presentations




Heterosexual Couples

Weekend Workshop

JANUARY 24-25, 2009

Gay and Lesbian Couples

Weekend Workshop

April 4-5, 2009

Reclaiming the Man in the Mirror

A Workshop on sex, love and intimacy for gay/bisexual men

May 2-3, 2000

(Listen to a free audio about this workshop at http://www.joekortclasses.com/default.asp?id=3117)

To register click here






Gay Affirmative Therapy for the Straight Clinician

January 15, 2009

Sponsored by Jewish Family Services of Metropolitan Detroit

Cost: $65 (includes breakfast)
Thursday, January 15, 2009 9am–12pm,
3.0 CE Clock Hours/Contact Hours
Location: Glen Oaks 30500 West 13 Mile Road Farmington Hills, MI 48334

To register for a workshop, please contact Stephanie Appel at 248-592-2667 or sappel@jfsdetroit.org. Registration forms can be mailed to JFS at 6555 West Maple Road, West Bloomfield, MI 48322 or faxed to 248-592-2340.


I. Registration; Sign-In; Refreshments (8:30 am)
II. Program Begins (9:00 am)
III. Psychological Consequences of heterosexism and homophobia
IV. Trauma of growing up gay and lesbian
V. Treatment of gays and lesbians
VI. Program Ends




32nd Annual Networker Symposium

5135 MacArthur Blvd., N.W., Washington, DC 20016

March 26th - 29th, 2008


Sexual Disorientation: Finding a True Sexual Identity

Therapy with Sexually Abused Males

About one in six boys is sexually abused before age 16. Often, as adults, males who have been sexually traumatized or abused act out with affairs, experience sexual-identity confusion, display hypersexuality or sexual anorexia, and can’t emotionally commit to partners. In this workshop, you’ll learn how to differentiate between types of abuse and the problems of sexuality and intimacy they cause, as well as how to assess these issues in the therapy session. We’ll explore different categories and scenarios of sexual abuse, the issues related to whether the perpetrator was male or female, the distinctions between covert and overt sexual abuse, and the implications for these possibilities in therapy.

Learning Objectives

  • Discuss the long-term impact of mother-son incest on the male survivors by identifying the symptoms in male clients
  • List the various ways mothers sexually abuse their sons both covert and overt: those that are similar and different from the ways fathers sexually abuse
  • Recognizing the dysfunctional sexual symptoms and interpersonal problems in relationships to partners in marriages resulting from mother-son incest Learn at least 3 treatment modalities when working with this population. Also on this page would you remove the video of me too.



4. Review of Gay Affirmative Therapy for the Straight Clinician by Tammy Nelson

Review of “Gay Affirmative Therapy for the Straight Clinician: an Essential Guide” (WW Norton & Co., 2008) by author Joe Kort

Review of “Gay Affirmative Therapy for the Straight Clinician: an Essential Guide” (WW Norton & Co., 2008)

by author Joe Kort


December 2008 Vol 42, No. 12

Review by Tammy Nelson

In “Gay Affirmative Therapy For the Straight Clinician: An Essential Guide” (WW Norton & Co., 2008), author and psychotherapist Joe Kort would have us believe that most straight clinicians are contributing to the covert sexual abuse that pervades a society where gay and lesbians are traumatized by the expression of their own sexual identity.

And after reading this book, I can’t help but agree with him.

Clinicians working with gay and lesbian clients may be unaware of how they perpetuate these covert sexual abuse symptoms, practicing well meaning and perhaps even commonly taught psychotherapy practices. The author describes the difference between being “gay friendly,” where we as the practitioner believe we are free of homophobic views are open minded to “alternative lifestyles,” and “gay affirmative therapy” where he begins by listing the common therapeutic errors in therapy by straight clinicians, not the least of which is the use of the term “alternative lifestyle.” This, in fact, implies that the client has a choice about their sexual orientation.

Another common error among well meaning straight therapists is the belief that “a couple is a couple” and that being a good couples therapist means that all issues, including gay and lesbian issues, fall under the same therapeutic umbrella. The author goes on to assure us that in our naiveté on this subject we may not only be missing the point but may be overlooking the crucial elements in the lives of our gay and lesbian clients.

Mr. Kort’s theory encompasses the belief that the coming out process for gays and lesbians in our culture is so fraught with prejudice and hardship that it creates trauma, regardless of its reception. The fear instilled in young people around how our society views homosexuality creates anxiety and sometimes even terror around revealing one’s sexual orientation, to family, friends and society. This trauma can have long range psychological effects, including post traumatic stress disorder (ptsd) symptoms and developmental issues due to attachment disruptions in key relationships.

Therapists can ask clients about their coming out process to determine their developmental strengths and weaknesses. This process and history taking will give the therapist information about the client’s experience of the world as well as how they coped with the results of outing themselves.

Post traumatic stress disorder sympto9ms may result from coming out, as in the case history of Patricia (page 73) who grew up with a homophobic police officer for a father and had learned all her life that “queers” and “homos” got busted at rest stops to the amusement of her father and his colleagues.

Mr. Kort says “it is crucial for the therapist to identify and understand the trauma of growing up gay.” He defines this trauma as contributing to the long term cognitive distortions as in “pretending nothing is wrong” and “self perceptions are hopelessly flawed.”

This attachment disruption is experienced as a developmental insult.

The author believes that many of the difficulties that the straight therapist may face when working with gay and lesbians stems from their own homophobia, perhaps hidden or denied. Things like assuming that all couples should have “intercourse” is an assumption born of a straight world experience and does not accurately reflect many lesbian relationships, nor does it give a realistic picture of gay male sexuality.

Mr. Kort goes on later in the book to inform the straight therapist in his supervision description that their ideas about gay men and anal sex may be wrong. He educates his supervisee about “tops” and “bottoms” (p 180) and discredits the “straight” idea of sexual penetration as the ultimate sexual act, and describes it as a prejudice that straight therapists bring to their work with gay men.

Joe Kort’s book is a well written, well rounded and thoroughly researched text on how to treat gay couples. All therapists can benefit from this book. The case examples are perfect illustrations of the points he wants the reader to understand and the research is timely and up to date.

I would like to note that for the reader there is a slight tone of derision and almost a warning from the author to the straight clinician to humbly admit to ourselves that regardless of how good our intentions are we may, in actuality, have been doing this work all wrong.

For this, Joe, I thank you.

Keep up the good work.

TAMMY NELSON, a Certified Imago therapist, and certified Imago workshop presenter, and Advanced clinician, is the founder of "Passionate Partnerships” © counseling, which helpsmen and women re-charge their relationships, and brings passion into their lives.She is the author of “Getting the Sex You Want” using Imago therapy techniques to increase intimacy and sexual connection. (April 2008, Fair Winds Press).

You can order this book on my products page today!



5. Book Review: The Velvet Rage by Alan Downs

I had the pleasure of meeting the author of this book at his chemical addiction recovery center Michael's House after having been invited to speak to his staff on working with lesbians and gays.

I was inspired by what I saw Dr. Downs doing with this treatment center in terms of including lesbians and gays within the treatment milieu in addition to putting directly in the brochures that Michael's House treats gays and lesbians. No other treatment center that I know of as of this date puts GLBT in their literature or their brochures.

Michael's House believes in treating all people and has no problem being out about it. They have even said how beneficial it is for their patients to mix with each other--gay and straight--and how they all get so much out of it.

This is the first book which dedicates its entire thesis to the concept around the trauma of growing up gay and it is very well done. I have talked about the trauma in terms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in both my "10 Smart Things" books and Dr. Downs writes about it in every chapter.

Before healing can truly be complete for gay men and lesbians to fully experience the benefits of deprogramming ourselves from the heterosexist mindset that we are damaged goods, we must accept the trauma which exists from being told repeatedly we are damaged goods.

Great book!

I highly recommend this book as well as this treatment center for chemical addictions.



6. Joe's Books and Products

Joe's Products

Visit my new products website http://www.joekortclasses.com/default.asp?id=3040and you will find everything from workshops I am doing, classes I am facilitating as well as recorded mp3's and podcasts for you to listen to if you are unable to attedn any of my events live.

I hope you enjoy them and that they provide an educational resource for you from any of my specialties. I have been a therapist since 1985 and have had numerous trainings in each of my specialties along with having worked with hundreds of folks who have let me into their lives and learn with them what works and what doesn't. Hopefully these classes and recordings will do the same for you!

I am working on this page all the time and adding to so please return to it and see if there are things there you would like to order including some free things as well.

The newest product I have created is an autoresponder about straight men who have sex with men. After you email the address below you will recieve several emails telling you the top 5 reasons straight men choose to have sex with other men.


For a free and confidential report on the most common questions I receive about Straight Guise sign up here ---->




If you want to book a signing or workshop anywhere in your area please feel free to contact Joe: joekort@joekort.com or 248-399-7317.



10 Smart Things

Gay Men Can Do

To Improve their lives


Alyson Books, 2003



Foreign translations of 10 Smart Things Gay Men Can Do To Improve Their Lives

"In 2004 it was translated into German.

In 2005 it was translated into Spanish.

Order at Joe's Books

10 Smart Things

Gay Men Can Do

To Find Real Love


Alyson Books, 2006


Order at Joe's Books

Gay Affirmative Therapy

for the Straight Clinician:

The Essential Guide

WW Norton Books, 2008



Order at Joe's Books

A Gentle Press, 2008

Mending A Shattered Heart:

A Guide for Partners of Sex Addicts

This book contains a chapter by psychotherapist Joe Kort on straight men who have sex with men in heterosexual marriages.

Straight Guise: Is My Partner Gay?
By Joe Kort, LMSW

It offers the female partners and spouses a guide and insight into what to do and how to handle these types of situations.

For more information Click Here

Click on Joe's Library to purchase these books.

Autographed Books

You can purchase an autographed copy of Joe's books by using a credit card or sending a check, money order by clicking here.

If you want to book a signing or workshop anywhere in your area please feel free to contact Joe: joekort@joekort.com or 248-399-7317.

Would the small child you once were look up to the adult you have become?
Copyright Joe Kort & Associates, 2008.
Contact Joe at joekort@joekort.com
Notice of copyright: This newsletter is copyright in its entirety by Joe Kort & Associates, 2008, all rights reserved, and may not be reprinted in part or whole without the express permission of the author.
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Joe Kort & Associates
25600 Woodward, Suite 218
Royal Oak, MI 48067