The Lesbian Family Life Cycle

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9780029208953: The Lesbian Family Life Cycle

Despite the rapidly growing number of lesbian families in this country, until now little discussion has emerged of the particular developmental stages and common stresses that face lesbian couples. In this book, psychotherapist Suzanne Slater looks at the wide spectrum of lesbian families - one or two lesbian parents with children, newly lesbian mothers of adult children, the extended family of lesbian friends and ex-lovers. The book provides a five-stage model of the development of lesbian couple relationships, describing the tasks, challenges, and accomplishments particular to each developmental stage.

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About the Author:

Suzanne Slater earned her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Michigan in 1979. Since that time, she has specialized in working with lesbian individuals and families and maintains a private practice in Northampton, Massachusetts. Lecturing and writing on issues relevant to lesbian families' lives, Ms. Slater also serves as a member of The Stone Center at Wellesley College.

From Publishers Weekly:

Slater, a psychotherapist who specializes in work with lesbians, advocates what she considers gay women's "basic right to parent their own children." While conceding that many mainstream professionals and laypersons regard lesbian families as "inherently and fundamentally deviant," she emphatically disagrees. This scholarly yet accessible study sets forth a five-stage "life cycle model" of family experience for cohabiting lesbians, whether or not they have children. Stages 1-3 involve becoming a couple, solidifying the partnership through ongoing relational work, and the trials and deepening intimacy of the middle years. In stage 4, generativity, each partner achieves links to the future, whether through parenting, social activism or other pursuits. The final stage, the over-65 years, encompasses challenges such as retirement, increased togetherness, lack of income, health emergencies and "widowhood." Slater also discusses coping mechanisms by which lesbian couples deal with social rejection, homophobia and isolation.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Published by The Free Press (1995)
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