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Alternative Title

Emergence of LGBTQ affirmative psychotherapy & social services, 1960-1987: oral history study, Boston, MA

Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Study Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School for Social Work


Social work with sexual minorities, Psychotherapy, Sexual minorities-Services for, LGBTQ, LGBT, History, Social Work, Clinical activism, Boston, Homosexuality, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Oral history


This thesis reports on the preliminary oral history findings collected for a larger national study directed by David S. Byers and Stephen Vider. The findings reported here focus on the experiences of clinicians and social service providers in Boston, Massachusetts. Other student research assistants, Dexter Rose, José Hernandez, and Amelia Smith, conducted similar field research in Seattle, Washington, Los Angeles, California, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. All portions of the project undertaken by students for theses were under the supervision of the principal investigators for the purposes of the larger study.

This oral history study examines the perspective of clinicians and social services workers who endeavored to provide affirmative services to LGBTQ communities in the years between 1960-1987. I conducted twelve semi-structured interviews with clinicians and social service providers. Interviews were coded using thematic analysis. The findings generated from this research emphasize the significance of relationships, education, identity, and HIV/AIDS.




iii, 86 pages : color illustration. Includes bibliographical references (pages 72-76)