Same-Sex Couples Therapy for the Straight Therapist

Psychotherapy Networker

Joe Kort on Learning to Forget Your Relational Stance

Couples therapists don’t pretend to know everything about their clients. But as objective as we’d like to be, we ultimately use our own notions of romance, boundaries, and sexuality as reference points. And sometimes, this gets in the way.

According to renowned sex therapist Joe Kort, the most important lesson straight therapists should follow when treating same-sex couples is simple: forget everything you thought you knew about heteronormative sexuality.

While love and romance are universal, Joe explains in this brief video clip how gay couples tend to think differently about romantic issues than straight couples do. Personal boundaries and frequency of sex are specially negotiated, he says, even varying between gays and lesbians.

Joe Kort explains why understanding same-sex couples means abandoning your preconceived notions about sexuality.


Joe Kort is a certified sex addiction therapist, a doctor of clinical sexology, and the author of Gay Affirmative Therapy for the Straight Clinician: The Essential Guide. This clip is taken from his session in our marriage video course:

The Changing Face of Marriage
Explore the forces shaping intimate partnerships today and the best-practice approaches for helping your clients—some of whom may hold ideas about partnership, commitment, gender roles, personal autonomy, and sexuality that are different from yours. Find out how you can:

  • Develop a clear, nonjudgmental understanding of contemporary approaches to relationships and sexual behavior that may challenge your own values and beliefs

  • Help couples balance their need for commitment and safety with their desire for more spontaneity, playfulness, and eroticism

  • Address the centrality of economic issues and financial stress on couples, including helping them "right size" their lives

  • Explore the wide range of meanings that emotional intimacy and sexual compatibility have in gay, lesbian, and straight relationships

  • Understand the different patterns found among Boomer, Gen X, and Millennial couples, including how traditional gender roles and conceptions of masculinity and femininity are being redefined

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You can view more free videos here. Or check out our free articles on couples.

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Topic: Couples

Tags: addiction | boundaries | couples therapists | divorce | Esther Perel | gay couples | intimacy | learning | personal boundaries | same-sex couples | sex | sex therapist | sexuality | Terry Real | therapist | therapists | therapy | William Doherty

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Monday, November 17, 2014 10:33:29 PM | posted by Bryce Thompson
"Why do you feel that way client?" Therapy 101! "...forget everything you thought you knew about heteronormative sexuality." No need to, nor should you throw the baby out w/the bath water... Doing something right to market himself to have been chosen to be on this "training" series. Good for him!

Monday, November 17, 2014 9:00:20 PM | posted by cdufond
$219 is rather expensive for a 6 ceu online workshop. Therapists aren't making as much money these days as they used to. We can all do our own research online and by reading all of the great books that are out there.

Christine Dufond, LMFT