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Chloe's book recommendations - Part 1

I am excited to highlight some of my favourite books that I use in my work as an LGBTQ counsellor and trainer. This is part of a series of blogs.

First up is a classic from 2013.

Sexuality and Gender for Mental Health Professionals

Who wrote it?

Christina Richards

Meg-John Barker

What the book is about?

"Questions of sexuality and gender affect everyone and therefore have an inevitable relevance in the consulting room. Yet with interpretations and manifestations of both varying greatly from person to person, understanding the inherent complexities of sexuality and gender can be a daunting task for the health professional. Breaking down these complexities this practical guide familiarises the reader with all of the common and many of the less common sexualities, genders and relationship forms, and explains experiences and issues relating to each."

This book description taken from its companion website.

What they cover?

This book has 3 sections:

Section 1 – Gender Practices and Identities

Section 2 – Sexuality Practices and Identities

Section 3 – Relationship Structures

Why, as a counsellor, I find it helpful?

I really like the way it is laid out with easy to read manageable chapters explaining different gender and sexual identities, such as transgender, intersex, bisexuality, lesbian and gay sexuality.

Not only does it cover all LGBTQ identities but it also looks at gender and sexuality as a whole and also has chapters on being cisgender (not trans) and heterosexual (straight).

I like also that it has a whole section on relationships and covers topics on both monogamy and non-monogamy.

The glossary at the end is very useful for finding a helpful short definition of words that you may be unfamiliar with. There is also a helpful shadow glossary, which lists terms not to use, or to use only with extreme caution.

Why I think clients will find it helpful?

Although the intended audience is mental health professionals, clients may still find this book very helpful as it does a good job of normalising the common concerns that people may face when going for counselling. It also includes lots of info about history and society that contribute to mental health difficulties in LGBTQ people.

Why I think counsellors will find it helpful?

This is an excellent go-to book for counsellors and mental health professionals who may be new to thinking about gender, sexual and relationship diversity but are looking for more than just a basic introduction. It delves deep, but without being overwhelming or too academic.

The pause for consideration reflections exercises may be particularly helpful in encouraging you to think about the images/messages you have about different sexual/gender identities or relationship structures and where they might have come from.

Where can I buy the book?

You can buy the book from all good bookshops

This is part of a series of blogs where I showcase books. Read more book blogs here.

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If you are a publisher, author or even a reader and have a book you recommend I read and showcase please get in touch on the email above.


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