VIDEO: Doing Your Best Work with LGBTQ Clients

The Myth of Sex Addiction, Common Mistakes, and More

Joe Kort

The study of sexuality, sexual orientation, gender, and sexual dysfunction have been focuses in therapy for decades. But how much does your average therapist really know about navigating a session with a gay or lesbian client dealing with a sexual issue?

According to sex therapist Joe Kort, many therapists today are following outdated sex therapy models, including the concept of sex addiction as a diagnosis and a problem. What's more, he adds that very few therapists who call themselves addiction specialists get adequate training in sex therapy.

Here, Kort explains why we need to break free from old sexual health models and how to do so, why some straight men have sex with other men, and the difference between sexual orientation and gender identity.

Joe Kort, PhD, is a certified Imago therapist, licensed masters social worker, and author of LGBT Clients in Therapy: Clinical Issues and Treatment Strategies, and Is My Husband Gay, Straight, or Bi? A Guide for Women Concerned about Their Men.

As Kort explains, the science around sex addiction is "riddled with morality and religiosity and people's beliefs about what sex is or should be," and therapists should tread carefully when examining older literature on treating of sexual issues.

Therapists working with LGBTQ clients, he adds, should be neither a blank slate, nor consider themselves an expert in working with LGBTQ clients unless they've worked extensively with this population, have proper training, and remain nonjudgmental and open to new ideas and perspectives.

"Therapists who work with this population have to follow their clients' leads," Kort writes in his Networker article. "The work is as much about education as psychotherapy."


Did you enjoy this video? You might also like Kort's piece, "Depathologizing Porn: Why Can't It Be Just an Acceptable Diversion?" or his Case Study, "Is All Fair in Love and Sex? How Couples Can Embrace their Sexual Differences." Or, check out more from other sex therapists like Susan Johnson, Esther Perel, Ian Kerner, and Michele Weiner-Davis in our issue, "Speaking of Sex: Why is It Still So Difficult?"

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Topic: Couples | Sex & Sexuality

Tags: 2018 | being gay | consensual nonmonogamy | gay | gay clients | gay couples | gay marriage | gay men | lesbian couples | love | love and relationships | male sexuality | monogamy | Networker Symposium | same-sex couples | sex | Sex & Sexuality | sex therapist | sex therapy | sexual fantasies | sexual orientation | Symposium

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1 Comment

Sunday, January 26, 2020 10:58:02 AM | posted by Caroline Deschenes
Hi, This video caught my interest. Sex therapy seems to be sort of ‘mysterious’, taboo and stigma carrying; a highly specialized area of counseling mastered and offered only by few therapists. I heard about it through 2 speakers only. Both were men, and Kort is one of them. He was the only person that actually spoke more than 2 seconds about it. Seriously! It pained me to realize that the profession (I am a newly trained Registered Therapeutic Counselor in Canada) seems to avoid talking about sex. I think of sex as one important subject of investigation with our clients, but I am not well prepared for it. It was not mentioned in my training whatsoever, and my supervisor completely omitted it on our group supervision on Couple Therapy. This sort of offended me. How do you deal with couple issues if you are going to ignore sex!? Recently, a client with whom I did the “ value card activity” by Miller, and Rollnick (see Motivational Interviewing) picked up ‘sexuality’ as his top value from over 90 other value cards. I was able to deal with that but I realized I had no tools to address this with him adequately and I lost him as he became embarrassed and changed the subject. I don’t want to become a specialized sex therapist but I’d appreciate it if it could be normalized as a part of counseling training as it should be as a part of self!? Thank you.