Monday, August 27, 2012

Intersectionality, Sexuality and Psychological Therapies; dasNair and Butler eds.

Intersectionality, Sexuality and Psychological Therapies: Working with Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Diversity.  editors Catherine Baker and Rashan dasNair.   NewYork: Wiley, John & Sons, 2012.   approx. 288 pps., depending on format.

Yes, it is a very long and technical book.  Intersectionality, Sexuality and Psychological Therapies was designed with professional psychotherapists in mind.  At the bookstore the other day with e-reader in hand and the ability to read "for one hour free", I could not resist taking a long peek inside.  What I found was delightful and much improved over the usual doggerel about "being culturally sensitive and/or culturally competent."  For one thing, the GLBTIQ [gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, intersexed, queer] population is usually left out of any discussion regarding diversity within a psychiatric population.  Those discussions by and large usually revolve around race and ethnicity as related to heterosexual populations.

In direct contrast, I found Intersectionality, Sexuality and Psychological Therapies to be a very thorough and engaging book.  Issues addressed included gender, race and ethnicity but did not stop there.  The collected essays also noted issues of religion, spirituality, age, immigration, physical health and disability.  For example, a lesbian woman from a small town somewhere in Africa was denied political asylum when she migrated to Great Britain.  Her lover had been killed and she herself in fact had been hospitalized with injuries.  Because the British Immigration examiner didn't understand that as a  Muslim woman, she could not freely inquire about the fate of her lover, she was denied sanctuary.  She is presently in hiding, this time from a government that wishes to deport her back to her homeland.  It was also pointed out that there are no common nouns in use in some places for same-gendered love.  Immigrants from those locations would use words other than "gay" or "lesbian" or bisexual" or "lovers" to describe their situation.

sapphoq reviews says: I think back to one therapist in particular that I was exposed to.  She was vetted as "understanding bisexual culture" because she had seen "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" five or more times as a teen and young adult.  Intersectionality, Sexuality and Psychological Therapies is a work that is sorely needly in mental health professional circles.  The knowledge within is accurate, timely, and thorough.  Highly recommended.

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