Queer Youth in Family Therapy

Rebecca G. Harvey, Linda Stone Fish

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Trends in popular belief about same-sex relationships have undergone noteworthy change in the United States over the last decade. Yet this change has been marked by stark polarizations and has occurred at varying rates depending upon regional, community, racial, religious, and individual family context. For queer youth and their families, this cultural transformation has broadened opportunities and created a new set of risks and vulnerabilities. At the same time, youth's increasingly open and playful gender fluidity and sexual identity is complicated by unique intersections of class, race, religion, and immigration. Effective family therapy with queer youth requires practitioner's and treatment models that are sensitive to those who bear the burden of multiple oppressions and the hidden resilience embedded in their layered identities. We present case examples of our model of family therapy which addresses refuge, supports difficult dialogs, and nurtures queerness by looking for hidden resilience in the unique intersections of queer youths' lives. These intersections provide transformational potential for youth, their families and even for family therapists as we are all nurtured and challenged to think more complexly about intersectionality, sexuality, and gender.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)396-417
Number of pages22
JournalFamily Process
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015


  • Family therapy
  • Gay
  • Lesbian
  • Resilience
  • Transgendered youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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