Discovering the Proper Method to Remedy with Identical-Intercourse Companions

Selecting which principle to make the most of when working with {couples} not solely must replicate the character and competence of the clinician, but it surely additionally must be of worth and serve the wants of the shopper. They should know their clinician vetted the idea. They wish to belief that the chosen interventions replicate the stressors, societal expectations, and inside pressures skilled of their lives.

The preferred theories of {couples} remedy have been developed with opposite-sex companions who hoped to keep away from divorce. As a result of a big portion of the purchasers I see determine as being lesbian or homosexual, I used to be conscious these purchasers didn’t have the best to marry, or due to this fact divorce, till the Supreme Court docket listening to of Obergefell v Hodges in 2015 (Obergefell V. Hodges, 2019). Thus, a clinician who works with homosexual and lesbian {couples} should be sure that the theories that they ask their purchasers to include into their relationship are applicable for the objectives and presenting points that always differ from heterosexual {couples}.

Variations in same-sex {couples} remedy

In my seek for the best principle for my same-sex purchasers, my first purpose was to contemplate whether or not the elements driving {couples} to remedy have been the identical for each same-sex and opposite-sex companions. Analysis confirmed that each same-sex and heterosexual {couples} share frequent objectives of wanting higher communication, wanting shared values, needing to navigate private variations to make them complementary, and wanting to really feel supported and dedicated to their companions (Riggle et al., 2016).

Nevertheless, competent {couples} therapists ought to concentrate on the frequent variations in regard to the problems that get layered into the connection experiences on account of their sexual identification. Due to the best way society has traditionally handled gays and lesbians, same-sex companions could also be extra weak to relationship misery. They face the challenges of coping with developmental levels of acceptance round their gender identification, societal discrimination, and worries of concealing relationships from family and friends (Macapagal, Greene, Rivera, & Mustanski, 2015). Moreover, points generally occurring in homosexual and lesbian relationships come up round problems with dedication levels, norms relating to monogamy, and differing ranges of HIV dangers that aren’t usually current for heterosexual {couples} (Macapagel et al., 2015).

Emotional intimacy is a purpose for all {couples} no matter gender orientation. Nevertheless, internalized disgrace and guilt on account of sexual orientation concealment tends to negatively affect many same-sex companions of their consolation stage of expressing emotional intimacy (Guschlbauer, Smith, DeStefano, & Soltis, 2019). For too many same-sex companions, the pressure of residing with uncertainty and inconsistent messages about societal acceptance about their proper to marry has taken a toll each socially and psychologically. These messages from society have typically led to confusion amongst homosexual and lesbian companions and struggles with whether or not to embrace the everyday symbols of heteronormative dedication (Holley, 2017).

The Gottman Technique and dealing with same-sex {couples}

The Gottman Technique identifies itself as a multidimensional therapeutic method to working with {couples} counseling that strikes companions from battle to comfy exchanges by enhancing primary social abilities. The strategy additionally units out to develop an consciousness of the interpersonal pitfalls related to the connection behaviors of criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling. A number of the objectives of the Gottman Technique are to exchange these recognized destructive behaviors, that are proven to undermine relationships, with extra civil methods of expressing disapproval, constructing a tradition of appreciation, acceptance, mutual duty for issues, and self-soothing (Lopez, Pedrotti, & Snyder, 2019).

An uncontrolled examine by The Gottman Institute printed in 2017 collected and measured relationship satisfaction at 5 separate time factors utilizing the Gottman Technique of {Couples} Remedy with homosexual and lesbian {couples}. The information confirmed vital enchancment following 11 classes of remedy for each homosexual male and lesbian feminine {couples}. The examine suggests the Gottman Technique was extremely efficient for same-sex {couples}. Homosexual and lesbian {couples} improved greater than twice as a lot as most heterosexual {couples} did in almost half as many classes as was typical for heterosexual {couples} utilizing the Gottman Technique (Garanzini et al., 2017).

A number of the causes have been primarily based on the assumption that same-sex {couples} usually operate higher than heterosexual {couples} due to smaller gender-role and inequality. For same-sex {couples}, they’re typically socialized equally regarding gender roles and will share extra related communication types than opposite-sex {couples}.  Variables such because the distribution of family chores, division of funds, a way of play, equality of help, and communication play a extra essential function in relationships of same-sex companions than heterosexual relationships (Garanzini et al., 2017).

The examine additionally recommended that, whereas the problems occurring for same-sex companions weren’t essentially simpler to handle than these of their reverse counterparts, the Gottman Technique platform created a means for {couples} to debate their distinctive preferences for equality within the relationship (Garanzini et al., 2017). Use of the Gottman Technique interventions supplied same-sex {couples} methods to enhance their relationships within the themes that have been recognized as contributing to relationship longevity and taught methods of speaking antidotes to criticism and defensiveness that may very well be utilized to their distinctive relationship challenges. Identical-sex {couples} additionally reported that on account of the brand new communication strategies taught within the Gottman Technique, they skilled help in constructing their friendship connection and have been capable of rekindle sexual sparks of their relationships. (Garanzini et al., 2017).

Takeaways and advisable analysis 

The problem introduced to all clinicians who work with {couples} is to put aside their very own assumptions or judgments about what’s greatest for his or her purchasers and meet them the place they’re at in reaching their desired relationship objectives. A number of the roadblocks {couples} therapists encounter working with similar sex-partners might require clinicians to judge if the “tried-and-true” theories they’ve been utilizing with their opposite-sex companions is legitimate for the entire populations they serve.

Ideally, analysis wants to handle whether it is warranted to develop separate {couples} theories that tackle the distinctive wants of homosexual versus lesbian companions. A lot of the analysis that’s presently accessible appears to clump same-sex companions collectively as one class. The concept “one dimension matches all” doesn’t apply to same-sex companions. Shoppers have gender variations, life experiences, and the communication sample types connected to being male or feminine. This creates a should be addressed individually. 

Are you presently searching for a Licensed Gottman {Couples} Therapist to make use of research-based approaches to assist your relationship? The Gottman Institute is looking for {couples} to take part in a world end result examine on Gottman Technique {Couples} Remedy. Be taught extra right here.


Garanzini, S., Yee, A., Gottman, J., Gottman, J., Cole, C., Preciado, M., & Jasculca, C. (2017). Outcomes of Gottman methodology {couples} remedy with homosexual and lesbian {couples}. Journal of Marital and Household Remedy, 43(4), 674-684. doi:

Guschlbauer, A., Smith, N. G., DeStefano, J., & Soltis, D. E. (2019). Minority stress and emotional intimacy amongst people in lesbian and homosexual {couples}: Implications for relationship satisfaction and well being. Journal of Social and Private Relationships, 36(3), 855-878. doi:

Holley, S. R. (2017). Views on up to date lesbian relationships. Journal of Lesbian Research, 21(1), 1-6. doi:

Lopez, S. J., Pedrotti, J. T., & Snyder, C. R. (2019). Optimistic psychology (Fourth ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.

Macapagal, Ok., Greene, G. J., Rivera, Z., & Mustanski, B. (2015). “One of the best is at all times but to return”: Relationship levels and processes amongst younger LGBT {couples}. Journal of Household Psychology, 29(3), 309-320. doi:

Obergefell V. Hodges. (2019). Oyez. Retrieved from

Riggle, E. D. B., Rothblum, E. D., Rostosky, S. S., Clark, J. B., & Balsam, Ok. F. (2016). “The key of our success”: Lengthy-term same-sex {couples}’ perceptions of their relationship longevity. Journal of GLBT Household Research, 12(4), 319-334. doi:

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