Calendar of Events

The Psychology of the Closet

Austen Riggs Center

25 Main St Large Conference Room
StockbridgeStockbridge, Berkshire 01262
September 6, 2013 at 8:00 PM

Friday Night Guest Lecture

Jack Drescher, M.D.

Training and Supervising Analyst at the William Alanson White Institute; Past President of the Group for Advancement of Psychiatry; Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association; faculty at New York Medical College and New York University's Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis.


Being “in the closet” is a colloquialism used to describe hiding a gay, lesbian or bisexual (GLB) identity. The term is linked to the notion of “coming out of the closet.” which usually means revealing or accepting a GLB identity. Many people who identify as GLB go through a period of adapting to heterosexist assumptions and expectations by hiding their sexual orientation identity, both from themselves and from others. A GLB person may develop techniques for hiding that often persist into young adulthood, middle age, and sometimes even into later years. This lecture will explain how dissociative defenses are useful in clinically understanding and therapeutically working with GLB patients. It will broadly outline four types of homosexual identities and define some of the antihomosexual attitudes that lead to their formation. It will further demonstrate the impact of dissociative activities on an individual’s self-esteem, on attitudes toward other GLB people, and the quality of a GLB person’s interpersonal relationships.  


For more information contact Alicia Zaludova at 413-931-5230

2 hours
Intended Audience: