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A cogent, carefully crafted and comprehensive introduction to the complexities of genders, sexualities and relationships which challenges our assumptions about normality and difference, refreshingly including heterosexuality, asexuality and BDSM alongside LGB and T*.
Filling an enormous void in the literature, this book teaches health professionals the essentials of cultural sensitivity when working with issues of sexuality and gender.
A lucidly written "one stop shop" counselling primer on transgender, transvestism, intersex, gay and lesbian, bisexuality, asexuality, bondage, adult/baby role play, monogamy yes/no, and even heterosexuality. Although limited to 220 pages, it manages to convey a learned, sensible, empathic, client-oriented perspective for each group.
This book gives even-handed, clear-eyed and above all thoroughly practical advice to anyone seeking to better understand these client groups.
Richards and Barker provide a very readable and practitioner-friendly overview of practices and identities related to gender and sexuality. They also offer a separate section on relationship structures that includes monogamy and non-monogamy. By taking us through the key terms, common practices, major concerns, group norms and situating groups within a wider social context, each chapter offers a wealth of knowledge for the novice psychologist, the seasoned therapist, and the many of us in between.
This book is a courageous attempt at setting out a rational, sane, informative and reflective discourse in the otherwise highly charged and heated debates occupying gender and sexual minority patients, their communities, and the professionals working with them... It is to their credit that the authors have taken a bold step in the literature to update the field and to attempt a normalization of variant genders and sexualities, greying what was previously pathological pink or ragingly red protest.
I would urge any training organisation in counselling and psychotherapy to make this book compulsory reading for all their students and I would extend this invitation to anyone working with sexuality in their clinical practice. This is a timely and much needed exploration of sexuality, gender and relationship and their intersections.
Christina Richards and Meg Barker's book Sexuality and Gender is more than just an excellent practical guide, it is a social document of its time and as such its appeal will easily extend beyond the target audience of mental health professionals into other disciplines such as Sociology and Cultural studies along with those areas of therapeutic practice that may be resistant to the label of Mental Health Professional.
The book is written by Christina Richards and Meg Parker, both authors with solid and broad knowledge in the field. The book addresses a variety of professionals who come into contact with issues of sexuality, gender and identity in their practice as therapists, counselors or psychologists. However, they mention strangely not the book as a possible pedagogical element or for educators as a target audience. But it is with these eyes I mainly read it. And I rejoiced many times!
Recommended to our students on the diversity and inclusivity course for its applicability to practice.
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