Gender Identity and Sexuality Orientation (LGBTQIA+)
Although a person’s sexual or romantic orientation or gender identity may not be a source of distress, people may find that the social stigma of living as a minority is a source of stress or anxiety. The stigma and discrimination LGBTQ individuals often face can be a serious impediment to your well-being.
While many Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (or questioning) individuals seek counseling for reasons similar to non-LGBTQ individuals (i.e. – anxiety, depression, stress, trauma, and couples therapy, etc.), they also face many unique challenges within their community. Stigma and discrimination are often experienced on a regular basis from society, family members, peers, co-workers, and even classmates.
When seeking therapy, whether for issues associated with one’s sexual, romantic, or gender identity or for concerns related to mental health, finding a qualified mental health professional who has experience and familiarity with the challenges members of the LGBTQIA community often face can be critical to successful therapy outcomes. LGBTQIA+ affirmative therapy can help empower individuals to effectively navigate challenges.
What Issues Might the LGBTQIA+ Community Face?
Despite rapidly growing cultural acceptance of diverse sexual and romantic orientations and gender identifications, oppression, discrimination, and marginalization exists. Coping with discrimination and oppression, coming out to one’s family, and sorting out an “authentic” sense of self in the face of social expectations and pressures can lead to higher levels of depression, anxiety, substance use, and other mental health concerns.
Many of the concerns and life challenges LGBTQ people bring to therapy are those common among all people. All couples argue over many of the same things—money, sex, the in-laws, quality time—and all people are subject to the same kinds of daily stressors, such as mood swings, workplace concerns, or low self-esteem.
Although there are many qualified therapists who can help, sometimes LGBTQ clients feel more comfortable with an LGBTQ therapist, or at least with a therapist who specializes in or has a great deal of experience with LGBTQ issues.
HM Psychological Services specializes in these services, offering services in person, over the phone, or online.
Regardless of why you are seeking therapy, you are not alone. Drop me a line and let's discuss how I can help you.