Growth and Intimacy for Gay Men: A Workbook

Written by John Dececco, PhD. and Christopher J. Alexander, PhD. Harrington Park Press. 1997.

Growth and Intimacy for Gay Men: A Workbook
is an educational workbook for gay men that covers a variety of topics, including family of origin, addiction, self-image, dating and relationships, AIDS and multiple loss, and spirituality. Each chapter provides an overview of the mental health concerns of gay men, as well as exercises the reader can do to facilitate his personal understanding of the issues covered. While the book is written in nontechnical language, making it useful to the general public, its wide selection of workbook exercises makes it useful for psychotherapists and counselors working with gay men. 

Growth and Intimacy for Gay Men is written to the reader--with brief examples from the author’s work as a clinical psychologist helping gay men. A central goal of the book is to normalize the feelings and experiences the reader has, as many gay men feel like they’re the only ones with their feelings or experiences. The book’s problem-solving approach addresses:

  • family of origin--provides exercises to identify and examine gay men’s role in the family, examine their childhood perceptions of being different, and help them map out family patterns and dynamics
  • self-image--includes self-image assessment questionnaires and written exercises that challenge the reader to look at how they’re affected by societal perceptions
  • addiction--explores why gay men are vulnerable to addictive behavior and offers strategies for change and self-assessment exercises
  • dating and relationships--covers the unique challenges faced by gay men, with exercises for single as well as coupled men
  • AIDS and mental health--provides exercises to help the reader examine the impact of AIDS on his own life and to assess the impact of multiple loss and prolonged grief

    Readers can do the workbook exercises on their own, or therapists can assign chapters and exercises as homework, with clients bringing the completed assignment to therapy for more in-depth exploration and discussion. By providing informative chapters and useful exercises, Growth and Intimacy for Gay Men becomes an avenue through which gay men can understand their identity, experiences, and goals.

It's Your Hour: A Guide to Queer Psychotherapy

By Michael Bettinger

Chapter 1 Psychotherapy and Being Queer

Chapter 2 What is Psychotherapy?

Chapter 3 Psychotherapy: Who is That For?

Chapter 4 Why a Queer Person might want to see a Psychotherapist

Chapter 5 Models of Mental Health

Chapter 6 Treatment Approaches

Chapter 7 The How and Where of Psychotherapy Conversations

Chapter 8 Who are Psychotherapists?

Chapter 9 Locating and Choosing the right Clinician for you

Chapter 10 Settings Where Psychotherapists Work

Chapter 11 Paying for Psychotherapy

Chapter 12 Beginning Therapy

Chapter 13 Aspects of Psychotherapy

Chapter 14 Diagnosis

Chapter 15 Psychopharmacology

Chapter 16 Boundaries

Chapter 17 Alternatives to Psychotherapy

The Adonis Complex: the secret crisis of male body obession

By: Harrison G Pope; Katharine A Phillips and Roberto Olivardia

Not specifically a gay book, but it explores what can happen when a desire for a better body gets out of hand. The Adonis Complex is a new form of body dysphoria - akin to anorexia and bulimia.

Reclaiming Your Life. The Gay Men's Guide to Love, Self Acceptance, and Trust

Rik Isensee. Alyson Books, 1991, 1997

Key Elements: Provides the readers with a deep understanding of all of the topics covered, this includes definitions and background information on everything covered in the text. Many of the chapters at the end have 'Relating These Ideas to Your Own Experience' which invites the reader to integrate and contrast with their own belief system. There are very good notes and references. Some of the issues mentioned have changed so what it refers to can feel dated, one example is the lack of recognition of gay relationships.

Part One: Homophobia and Trauma
The first part includes six different sections:
Chapter One, Growing Up Gay in a Homophobic Culture which details Homophobia and Heterosexism, How Homophobia Becomes Internalised, Establishing a Gay Identity, Phases in Self -Acceptance.
Chapter Two, Dysfunctional and Abusive Families contains information on the Origins of Positive Self Image, Dysfunctional Families Defined, the Intergenerational Cycle, Types of Abuse, and the Particular Abuse of Gay Boys.
Chapter Three, Effects of Abuse on Gay Sexuality outlines Child Molestation and Homophobia, Age Consent and Youthful Curiosity, a Definition of Sexual Abuse, Reactions to Sexual Abuse, Disclosing the Abuse, and The Effects of Intimate Relationships.
Chapter Four, Posttraumatic Stress explains the Effects of Trauma, AIDs as a Source of Trauma, Internalised Homophobia as a Form of Post-Traumatic Stress.
Chapter Five, Self-Blame and Shame shares information on Guilt and Shame , Abuse and Self-Blame, Homophobia and Shame, Religious Shame , and the Development of a False Self.
Chapter Six, Origins of Self-Destructive Behaviour, breaks down the Cycle of Shame, Alcohol and Substance Abuse Compulsive Behaviour, Sexual Compulsion, Relapse into Unsafe Sex, Overwork and Overachieving ,Food, Debt and Other Compulsions, Self- Deprivation, Co-Dependency in Gay Relationships, Repetition Compulsion and Revictimisation, and Domestic Violence.

Part Two: Reclaiming Your Life
The second part includes six different chapters
Chapter Seven, Understanding the Process of Healing, a walk through the stages of Healing
Chapter Eight, Recovery from Addictions and Compulsions covers the Reluctance to Seek Help, the Strategic Use of Will, Support for Recovery, Gaining Control over Compulsive Behaviour, Explaining the Moment between Impulse and Action, the Higher Power and the Nurturing Self, Spirituality and the Search for Meaning, Relating These Ideas to your Own Experience
Chapter Nine, Working Through Feelings helps the reader with How Feelings Work, Grieving for Your Lost Childhood, Gaining Access to Sadness, Feeling Overwhelmed, Depression, and Mobilizing Anger for Positive Change, Pacing Yourself, Awareness of Feeling Exercise.
Chapter Ten, Self-Nurturing focuses on Distortions in Thinking, How Thoughts Influence Feelings, Feelings versus Conclusions, Suicidal Impulses, Nurturing Your Own Child Self, The Cycle of Healing from Internalised Shame,
Chapter Eleven: All the information needed to increase the support around you points out Self Help, Friends and Lovers, Individual Psychotherapy, and What to Expect in Group Therapy
Chapter Twelve: Self Empowerment , How to empower one's self through Countering Co-Dependency, Confrontation, The Issue of Forgiveness, Combating Homophobia, Creating Your Own Life.


Psychotherapy and minority sexualities - Moving together into a New Century

(free booklet to download)











Ethnic and Cultural Diversity among Lesbians and Gay Men

Beverly Greene
Sage Publications. 1997.

A broad range of culture-related topics specific to the lesbian and gay community are explored in this volume. Along with empirical, clinical and theoretical discussions, personal narrative offers poignant insight into additional complexities, pressures and losses that lesbians and gay men must cope with in a world that often handles diversity with bigotry.

Web Resources

The Quest 

Weekend Exploration Workshop for Gay Men - May 2012

Ade Adeniji & Darren Brady return with their Weekend Exploration workshop for gay men inspired by

'The Velvet Rage - overcoming the pain of growing up Gay in a Straight man's world'.

By attending this interactive and engaging workshop, participants will:

  • Gain a deeper understanding of how their upbringing has impacted their emotional development
  • Develop an increased awareness of their behaviour and emotions
  • Be engaged in a healing process
  • Identify tools to improve their sense of self and their relationships
  • Gain clarity on next steps for themselves, their relationships, and the world they live in
  • Experience the support and intimacy of a group of gay men
  • Create a positive and supportive new network
  • Gain a greater sense of living as a gay man in 2012 and beyond
The workshop processes will include discussions in small and large group, storytelling, journalling, psychological exploration, coaching, book work and self-reflection. 

Contact us by: Email: | Telephone: 07971 205323 | Post: Pink Therapy, BCM 5159, London WC1N 3XX