Riggle and Rostosky suggest that for heterosexual therapists, if you would be uncomfortable seeing a GLBT couples therapist for your own relationship then you’re probably not ready to see gay and lesbian couples for therapy for their relationships. They also mentioned the American Psychological Association Guidelines for Psychotherapy with the Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Clients as a good resource to guide your work.
Every lesbian couple is unique and each individual brings with them their own particular set of expectations, strengths and wounds. Learning how to negotiate differences is an essential skill for any successful relationship. An important area in forming intimate relationships is managing a balance between time together, functioning as a “we”, and being separate and autonomous. Sometimes in lesbian relationships when women feel really close and alike in so many ways, it is hard to factor in how very different each individual really is. There can be unrealistic expectations set up about how to maintain a certain level of closeness. Negotiating differences can be challenging and lead to hurt or angry feelings. Therapy can help facilitate communication that can lead to more understanding and healing. Respecting individual differences while maintaining intimacy is part of having a healthy couples relationship. Lesbian couples therapy can be a safe place to explore those differences, foster trust and learn new ways of being intimate.