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Sex Roles [sers] PP023-290881 November 28, 2000 16:35 Style ﬁle version Nov. 19th, 1999
Sex Roles, Vol. 43, Nos. 5/6, 2000
Gender and Sex in Counseling and Psychotherapy. Lucia A. Gilbert and
Murray Scher, Allyn & Bacon, Boston, 1999, 206 pp., $29.00
Becoming effective counselors and therapists is both challenging and
rewarding. Students of counseling/therapy are expected to learn much new
information and many new skills simultaneously (e.g., theories, research,
interventions, assessment, and diagnosis). Increasingly, professional associ-
ations and graduate training programs are recognizing the importance of
gender issues to therapy and mental health. Hence, helping students gain
an understanding and appreciation of the contribution of gender and sex to
clients’ issues and to the psychotherapeutic process is a vital component of
effective training. Fortunately, the task of both students and educators has
become a bit easier with the publication of this book.
The authors note three goals of helping readers to (p. xiv):
Understand gender theory and the complexity of gender processes;
Grasp the centrality of gender in clients’ lives and in the psychother-
apeutic/counseling process; and
Obtain sufﬁcient knowledge to work therapeutically to enhance, and
not further limit or diminish, the lives of individuals who seek help.
To advance these goals, the book is organized in three main parts: Theory,
Fundamentals, and Applications. The book provides an excellent orientation
to gender socialization, the implications of gender issues for mental health,
and gender issues in counseling practice.
As one might imagine, engaging readers who begin with widely dis-
parate knowledge of and appreciation for gender/sex is a critical challenge.
This is a challenge that authors of virtually all introductory diversity-related
books typically face. An important strength of this book is that it very ef-
fectively introduces these concepts to readers with little previous exposure
to gender issues. In other words, it begins at a level that welcomes neophyte
readers. Simultaneously, the book offers sufﬁcient breadth and depth that
it will be effective in increasing the sophistication by which more advanced
readers examine gender issues in their therapeutic work.
2000 Plenum Publishing Corporation