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Gay Affirmative Therapy for the Straight Clinician

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Review of GATFTST on the Edge

 “Awarded Honorable Mention by the 2009 AASECT Awards Committee.” —AASECT Awards

“[E]nlightening, instructive, and jam-packed with essential information for any straight clinician working with gay, lesbian, and transgendered clients. I am pleased to recommend it very highly.” — Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy

“This book, written in a highly accessible style, is suitable for both novice and experienced counsellors whose earlier training may have omitted lesbian and gay issues. It is essential reading for the straight therapist who has not explored his or her own prejudices and has little knowledge of the lesbian and gay world.” —Therapy Today

“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.” — Contemporary Sexuality

“It is hard not to be impressed by the author’s warmth, depth and almost evangelical enthusiasm for his subject….I would heartily recommend this text to any ‘straight clinicians’ working with gay or lesbian clients.” — Sexual and Relationship Therapy

“I encourage all therapists worth their salt to read this brilliant and important book, whether or not they treat gays and lesbians. While it is theoretically sound and clinically instructive, the chief value of this book is its humanization of therapy, challenging us all to face our demons and accept the fact of difference. It is essentially about therapeutic justice. I hope this book gets the visibility it deserves.”
Harville Hendrix, PhD, cofounder of Imago Relationship Therapy, and author of Receiving Love: Transform Your Relationship By Letting Yourself Be Loved

“This book is the essential guide for the straight therapist working with gay and lesbian clients. Avoiding politically correct sermonizing, Kort brings together clinically relevant research while challenging the attitudes and common myths that can get in the way of effective therapy. Refreshingly direct and clinically practical, this is one of the most readable and nuanced books about therapy I’ve seen in a long time.”
Jette Simon, Clinical Psychologist and Director, The Washington D.C. Training Institute for Couples Therapy

Joe Kort fills a huge gap in the training of clinicians.  In an informative and non-judgemental way he covers the wide range of therapeutic scenarios and guides the reader through the subtleties of treating Gays and Lesbians.  An important read for therapists-in-training as well as clinicians working with Gay and Lesbian clients.
Laura Berman, LCSW, PhD, author of Passion Prescription:  10 weeks to your best sex ever

From the WW Norton Books Website

It has been over three decades since the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality as a category of deviant behavior from the DSM. Same-sex marriage is recognized in certain states, gay-straight alliances are springing up in high schools across the country, and major religious denominations are embracing gay clergy. Yet despite the sea change of attitudes toward homosexuality, many well-meaning straight therapists are still at a loss as to how to effectively counsel their gay and lesbian clients.

This book will offer straight therapists the tools they need to counsel gay and lesbian clients effectively.

This book presents principles of gay affirmative therapy (GAT). GAT is not a specific system of doing therapy but rather a framework for clinicians to approach work with gay and lesbian clients. Some of the fundamental principles of GAT include: understanding and combating heterosexism; recognizing heterosexual privilege where it exists—institutionally, legally, and societally; and understanding and combating your own homophobia—and that of your clients. In general, GAT explores the trauma, shame, alienation, isolation, and neglect that occur to lesbians and gays as children.

This book also explains what GAT is not. GAT does not mean that therapists blame homophobia for everything and overlook mental and emotional problems. It does not de-emphasize emotional disorders and avoid examining any pathology. It does not explain and eradicate all the problems faced by gays and lesbians.

Does this seem confusing? Then you’re on the right track! As therapists, your responsibility is to be armed with all the up-to-date information. Knowing all the ways problems can arise, you can then assess with clients—and with their help—what applies and what doesn’t. This book provides concrete guidelines for getting to the heart of the matter with clients. It will help you examine your own imprinted heterosexism and develop comfortable, appreciative feelings about homosexuality so you can successfully work with gay clients. It will help you screen yourself for any covert homophobia and it will help you approach your work with gay and lesbian clients in a manner most likely to be successful.


1 Psychotherapy for Lesbians and Gays: Setting the Gay Record—Straight!

2. What Is Gay Affirmative Therapy?

3. Growing Up Lesbian or Gay

4. Covert Cultural Sexual Abuse

5. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder From Growing Up Lesbian or Gay

6. Developmental Insults

7. Coming Out

8. Helping Families of Lesbians and Gays

9. Lesbian and Gay Sexuality

10. Working With Today’s Lesbian and Gay Couples

11. The New Mixed Marriage: One Lesbian or Gay Spouse and One Straight

12. Gay Affirmative Therapy Principles in Clinical

13. Practice: Establishing a Differential Diagnosis

"Joe Kort has written a fine book. He writes well, grounds his insights in theory, appropriately shares his personal experience and provides clear guidance for gay men to accept themselves and learn how to create and sustain a durable and loving relationship. I recommend it to its intended audience and to the straight community who want to be better informed about gay relationships."
 Harville Hendrix, Ph. D. Author: Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples.

Joe Kort’s 10 Smart Things Gay Men Can Do To Find Real Love is a brave, intelligent, rich book. It invites and enables the reader to explore the knottier archetypal forces at work in all of us which make sex and love the exasperating joys they can be. If you want to think more productively not only about your love life, but the deeper meaning of your life as a gay man, read this book.
Guy Kettelhack, Dancing Around the Volcano


Once again, Joe Kort has emerged as our trusted guide in his wise new book 10 Smart Things Gay Men Can Do to Find Real Love. In it, he condenses years of research as a gay man, therapist, and personal growth workshop leader and provides trustworthy signposts to follow as we make our own journeys toward happiness and intimacy with ourselves and others. I found myself repeatedly saying “yes” to his observations and upon finishing the book, immediately wrote to two friends for whom I thought it was perfect. If you feel you’d like a little help in understanding what stops us from, and what would help us in experiencing emotional and sexual health as gay men, I recommend you give it a try.
Brian McNaught

If you want to schedule a book signing or a workshop anywhere in your area, please contact me at or 248-399-7317.


25600 Woodward Ave, Ste 218 · Royal Oak, MI 48067

Tel: (248) 399-7317 | Email Address:

©2009 by Joe Kort and Associates. If you would like to reference any information from my website on your website, please do so by linking to this page. You may NOT remove anything from this website and place it on yours; however, if you would like to place a link on your site that goes back to this page, please eMail me.

Disclaimer: Because each person's situation is unique, I cannot offer advice or suggestions beyond what is available in my books and articles and therefore cannot reply to personal psychological questions. If you wish to schedule an in-person or telephone consultation, please  eMail me or call (248) 399-7317.