Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice

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Volume 50 Issue 3 (September 1977), Pages 209-304

The differential diagnosis of homosexuality (pages 209-216)

The treatment of homosexuality presents serious difficulties owing to its multifactorial aetiology and variety of psychopathological views. It is suggested that the combined use of psychiatric and psychoanalytic models can contribute to the establishment of a satisfactory differential diagnosis. Out of the innumerable clinical types seen in practice and described in the literature, three major groups can be isolated. The homosexuality which occurs on the background of hysterical, obsessional and other neurotic personality types and related psychiatric conditions, tends to be linked with latent heterosexuality and responds well to all forms of psychotherapy. On the other hand, true homosexuality is often the major presenting symptom of borderline states, narcissistic disorders, psychopathy and the schizo‐affective psychoses and carries an unfavourable prognosis with any form of treatment. Cases of actual bisexuality form the third group with its own specific psychopathology. The homosexual solution is seen as a defence and is regarded as a matter of survival for many individuals. It should be treated with the utmost caution by anyone who attempts to remove it.

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