Building a Circle of Care in Same-Sex Couple Relationships: A Socio-Emotional Relational Approach

Title

Building a Circle of Care in Same-Sex Couple Relationships: A Socio-Emotional Relational Approach

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Description

Comparison studies have long found that same-sex couples maintain more equal relationships than their heterosexual counterparts. In a previous study of committed same-sex couples, partners reported that their relationship processes emerged based on a desire for mutuality and attunement. Socio-Emotional Relationship Therapy (SERT) is a therapeutic practice model which posits that four conditions—shared relational responsibility, shared vulnerability, mutual influence, and mutual attunement—create a “Circle of Care” that counters harmful power differentials. Since gender differences generally do not influence power disparities in same-sex relationships, this chapter examines the dynamics of power and equality in committed same-sex relationships and considers how these may apply to clinical practice. We provide examples from qualitative research to illustrate how same-sex couple relationships enact the Circle of Care processes as partners create and maintain equality. We also identify unique socio-contextual issues affecting vulnerability among same-sex partners and use a case example to show how a SERT therapist helped a same-sex couple address power imbalances in the relationship.

ISBN

978-3-319-13397-3

Publication Date

2015

Publisher

Springer

City

Cham, Switzerland

Keywords

same-sex couples, relationships, relationship processes, gay marriage, Socio-Emotional Relationship Therapy

Disciplines

Marriage and Family Therapy and Counseling

Comments

In C. Knudson-Martin, M.A. Wells, and S.K. Samman (Eds.), Socio-Emotional Relationship Therapy: Bridging Emotion, Societal Context, and Couple Interaction. Dr. Jonathan's chapter begins on page 93.

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Peer Reviewed

1

Copyright

American Family Therapy Academy

Building a Circle of Care in Same-Sex Couple Relationships: A Socio-Emotional Relational Approach

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