LGBT Psychology and Mental Health

Emerging Research and Advances

by Richard Ruth and Erik Santacruz, Editors


Until the 1970s, homosexuality was considered a mental health disorder. Today, the professional concensus is much different, and there are burgeoning numbers of LGBT psychologists and mental health clinicians. As a result, LGBT communities have begun to see psychology as a key ally.

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Cover image for LGBT Psychology and Mental Health

October 2017


Pages 283
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Psychology/General
  Gay & Lesbian Studies/General

This cutting-edge guide spotlights some of the most exciting emerging discoveries, trends, and research areas in LGBT psychology, both in science and therapy.

LGBT Psychology and Mental Health: Emerging Research and Advances brings together concise, substantive reviews of what is new or on the horizon in science and in key areas of clinical practice. It will equip professionals at institutions with mental health programs that deal with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues with information and insight to help psychologists, mental health clinicians, and counselors better serve the LGBT populations that, increasingly, are seeking their services.

The book begins with introductory chapters that present an overview of the field, chronicle the relationship between the LGBT community and the field of psychology in past decades, and identify emerging issues covered in the volume. It then addresses subjects such as social psychology and LGBT populations, health disparities and LGBT populations, the evolution of developmental theory related to the LBGT populations, emerging policy issues in LGBT health and psychology, and recent efforts to make the field of psychology more trans-inclusive and affirmative. Chapters are also dedicated to examining contemporary, LGBT-affirmative psychoanalysis and treating addictions and substance abuse in the LGBT community.

The book concludes with chapters that address how the concept of intersectionality can serve as a way to better understand LGBT members who possess multiple cultural identities and the unique stressors they experience in daily life. The final chapter summarizes issues that bridge the contributions provided by the authors, and it highlights current issues of focal concern in order to project future directions for the field of LGBT psychology in the next two decades.


  • Presents a concise history of LGBT psychology as well as coverage of current LGBT psychology in various subfields, including social, developmental, psychoanalytical, minority psychology, and women's psychology
  • Addresses issues in the LGBT community ranging from health disparities (physical, biological, and psychological illnesses that disproportionately affect the LGBT community) to addictions and substance abuse, stressors, and emerging policy issues
  • Includes contributors who are well-known trailblazers and noted experts in the field
Author Info

Richard Ruth, PhD, is associate professor of clinical psychology and director of training at The George Washington University PsyD program, as well as Founding Core Faculty of the university's LGBT Health Graduate Certificate Program, where he teaches one of the first university courses in transgender health in the United States. A clinical psychologist, psychoanalyst, neuropsychologist, and family therapist, he is also on the faculty of the Washington School of Psychiatry, and in private practice. Ruth has authored dozens of journal articles on cross-cultural psychotherapy and psychological assessment, forensic psychology, disability issues, trauma, and mental health ethics, and their intersectionality with LGBT issues—most notably, deafness and AIDS, the need for a transgender-affirmative psychoanalysis, LGBT identities, and trauma in LGBT communities. His published work includes Sometimes You Just Want to Feel Like a Human Being: Case Studies in Empowering Psychotherapy with People with Disabilities and Healing after Parent Loss in Childhood and Adolescence: Therapeutic Interventions and Theoretical Considerations. He has been on the Board of Directors of Division 39/Psychoanalysis of the American Psychological Association and has represented Division 39 on the APA Council of Representatives. Ruth has taught and lectured throughout the United States and internationally.

Erik Santacruz, EdD, M.Psy, is a clinical psychologist in training at the Children's National Medical Center in Washington, DC, where he works with children, adolescents, and young adults infected with HIV perinatally. His work addresses inter-generational HIV-related trauma amongst families affected by the HIV virus and the unique challenges that arise in the efficacy of CBT interventions aimed at addressing depression, medication adherence, and health promotion amongst this population. He graduated from Teachers College, Columbia University, where he earned a doctorate in health education. Santacruz has trained with the renowned sex therapist and author Dr. Ruth Westheimer; with clinical psychologist, radio host, commentator, and author Judy Kuriansky; and with renowned minority psychology/addictions expert Barbara C. Wallace. He is an active member of Columbia University's Research Group on Disparities in Health (RGDH) and was named a Distinguished Fellow in May 2014. Santacruz earned a masters in psychology at The George Washington University's Professional Psychology Program.

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