Why LGBTQ Counseling?
Despite rapidly growing cultural acceptance of diverse sexual orientations and gender identifications, oppression, discriminations, and marginalization of LGBTQ people persists. Coping with discrimination and oppression can cause unbearable amounts of stress and trauma to anyone navigating the path of LGBTQ identity. Coming out to one’s family, and sorting out an “authentic” sense of self in the face of social expectations can lead to higher levels of depression, anxiety, substance abuse or addiction, and other mental health concerns for LGBTQ people. Additionally, not coming out can be equally as damaging for the one carrying the burden of secrecy.
Research shows that youth who identify as LGBTQ are at an increased risk of suicidal ideation and self harm, particularly when they also experience discrimination based on their sexual or gender identity. Research has shown that students who identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender were almost ten times as likely to have experienced bullying at school and more than twice as likely to have considered suicide, as their heterosexual, non-transgender classmates.
Members of the LGBTQ community are more likely to live through traumatic events like bullying, discrimination, harassments, and even hate crimes. All of these factors increase the risk of trauma-related conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Therapy can help you heal from many of these experiences and offer you a fresh lens from which you see the world.
Although no one is immune from life struggles, being part of the LGBTQ community often comes with additional stress, such as discrimination, identity issues, and low self esteem. You may be struggling to come out, having family issues, marital issues, or just dealing with the day-to-day struggles of life.
What is Affirmative Therapy for LGBTQ?
Affirmative LGBTQ counseling is designed specifically for the unique needs of the LGBTQ community. This approach is committed to empowering LGBTQ individuals in their relationships and all facets of their lives while honoring the struggles that the LGBTQ community faces. Affirmative therapy is focused on finding efficient ways to overcome daily challenges. Individuals or couples in the LGBTQ community may seek counseling for the same reasons as their heterosexual counterparts, yet they face unique challenges.
Choosing the right therapist can make a huge difference in improving and managing your mental health. During an LGBTQ counseling session, you will speak privately with a therapist familiar with the challenges facing people of diverse sexualities and genders.
Your therapist will create a safe space for you to discuss any concerns or questions you may have, whether they are regarding your identity or sexual orientation or not. LGBTQ counseling for individuals can help with:
- Exploring your sexual orientation.
- Thinking about coming out to friends and family.
- Exploring your gender expression or identity.
- Managing or identifying gender dysphoria, anxiety or depression.
- Mitigating concerns such as addiction, parenting matters, sexual problems, and relationship issues.
- Dealing with bullying or discrimination.
- Navigating occupational concerns
- Understanding their spirituality
What about couples counseling for LGBTQ?
Good relationships are central to our enjoyment of life. Good communication skills are the foundation of good relationships. Without the ability to talk honestly and compassionately about the more vulnerable aspects of our lives, our relationships become more limited and unsatisfactory. This is true for each of us.
From infidelity to concerns with blending families, whatever issues your relationship is experiencing, chances are it’s hardly unusual. At this point, you may feel completely alone in trying to fix your relationship issues. There are many challenges faced by couples in committed relationships. We understand that this is no less true for the LGBTQ community, and we desire to guide you toward more authentic and loving relations. If you are curious as to how couples counseling may benefit you, or would like a free consultation with one of our LGBTQ affirming counselors, please reach out today!