The Therapist’s Stance
Psychotherapeutic work with gay men draws attention to aspects of the therapy process sometimes overlooked in doing psychotherapy with nongay patients. In fact, just as Freud found the category of homosexuality
to be a useful construct in illuminating his theories of bisexual libido, psychosexual development, and identification, so too, psychotherapeutic work with gay men offers insights into some general principles of psychoanalysis, as well as basic psychoanalytic beliefs and practices. These include but are not limited to: the nature of the psychotherapeutic frame; the values and risks of therapist self-disclosure; the limitations of psychoanalytic data to support theories of etiology; how adherence to theoretical preconceptions will restrict or inhibit a therapist’s clinical listening; experiencenear versus experience-distant responsiveness from the therapist; the therapist’s embeddedness in cultural preconceptions and how they have an impact upon treatment; the role of the patient’s and the therapist’s subcultural identities and how they co-construct narratives in treatment; and the meanings and therapeutic uses of countertransference.