Gay men and lesbians in every county and town across the nation have a new champion for their relationships. Jeff Lutes, former Executive Director of Soulforce, has launched ContemporaryCouples.com to provide high-quality relationship education for gay and lesbian partners and singles. Contemporary Couples offers interactive, online training via web seminars with experts on communication, intimacy, and resilience in gay and lesbian relationships. “Effective, research-based instruction for same-sex relationships can be difficult to find, even for those in big cities,” says Lutes, a psychotherapist and relationship consultant with more than 20 years of clinical experience.“Once you get outside the metropolitan centers, the options are even more scarce.”
During his tenure at Soulforce, Lutes used his knowledge of current psychological research to challenge “ex-gay” ministries and to debunk the harmful anti-gay teachings of Dr. James Dobson. Lutes organized the 2005 Soulforce action at Focus on the Family, which is featured in the movie For the Bible Tells Me So. Traveling the country with Soulforce, Lutes spoke with hundreds of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people about their needs and experiences. “I began to think about what I could do, as a therapist, to give their relationships a fighting chance.” Lutes was already working with same-sex couples and individuals in his private practice in Austin, Texas. Having trained with some of the top relationship experts in the nation, he was busy putting their insights to work in the context of LGBTQ communities. But he wanted those insights to reach more people in need.
Thus, ContemporaryCouples.com was born. Contemporary Couples offers relationship education in an interactive, multi-media format. Anyone with a phone line and an Internet connection can register for courses like “Bulletproof Bonding,” “Commitment Prep,” and “Leveraging the Strengths in Same-Sex Relationships.” Presentations may include PowerPoint, video, relationship assessment tools, exercises, and group discussion. Participants may choose to share feelings and personal experiences or to remain silent and simply absorb the information as they listen.
For more information, go to Contemporary Couples, which features gay relationship advice and more.