Are You Seeking Acceptance And Understanding?
Do social stigmas make you feel “less than” or cause you to be misjudged or shamed? Perhaps you have experienced depression, anxiety, or trauma related to your sexual orientation or gender identity. Feeling unseen, you may struggle with finding a sense of belonging in the world.
When you’re a part of the LGBTQ+ community, society often puts you in the category of “other,” leading to feelings of isolation. Because you don’t fall into the categories imposed by our culture, you may feel hopeless and wonder if you will ever be fully embraced for who you are.
Perhaps You Wish Your Family Was More Supportive
It can be a confusing and uncertain time for you and your family if you are a teen or young adult questioning your sexual orientation or gender identity. As you try to figure out who you are, you might not feel like you’re being taken seriously or be told dismissively by others that it’s “just a phase” you’re going through. Although your loved ones may be doing their best to be understanding, you may feel alone and unsupported which only adds to your sense of isolation.
And if you’re in a relationship, you might be having issues with communication, connection, and intimacy. Although all couples face challenges maintaining a deep bond, you may be facing particular hurdles due to the challenges of being LGBTQ+ in an often-hostile world.
Fortunately, if you’re in the LGBTQ+ community and seeking therapy, you can be seen and accepted for who you are rather than what society and others assume of you. Whether you seek couples counseling, family, transgender, gender identity, or coming-out therapy, an LGBTQ+-affirming therapist can support you with whatever issues you face.
If You Are A Parent, Perhaps You Are Confused
If so, you’re not alone! Regardless of religious or political background, many parents have a range of emotions when their child questions their sexual orientation or gender identity. On one hand most don’t want to do any harm to their child by forcing them into a box that doesn’t fit. Yet on the other hand many have concerns about hopping fully on board with a new identity and lifestyle if their child is simply trying to fit in, or being unduly influenced by social pressures.
We don’t need to tell you how challenging it is to navigate that dynamic with sensitivity and care. It is a challenging time to be a parent! A therapist experienced in working with the LGBTQ+ community can help you and your child navigate this situation with peace, clarity and integrity.
Mental Health Remains A Challenge Within The LGBTQ+ Community
The discrimination and social stigmas that persist within the United States have a major impact on the mental health of the LGBTQ+ community. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 44 percent of LGBTQ+ individuals sought mental health treatment in 2022¹. Sadly, these deeply embedded social biases are a contributing factor to why queer teens have the highest levels of suicide within all demographics².
Despite the progress we’ve made over the past several decades, our culture continues to place a higher value on those who fall into more dominant and privileged societal categories. For millions of people, discrimination and oppression based on age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, class, and ability have remained stubborn barriers to financial, social, and mental well-being. And for those who fall into more than one of these categories, the experience with discrimination can be even more profound.
Our Hostile World Can Exacerbate Anxiety, Depression, And Trauma
Despite many positive social trends, for many the world remains an intolerant place. Unfortunately, some widely embraced religious and political views look unfavorably upon the LGBTQ+ community. Even when we’re able to find safe harbor in queer-positive spaces, we are inundated with messages that try to undermine who we fundamentally are. Society’s hate-filled rhetoric and bullying can weigh us down, leaving us emotionally drained and, frankly, scared.
In addition to homophobia and transphobia, social media, and our peers may unwittingly foster an environment where we feel like we’re not “enough” in terms of gender expression or self-image. This can be especially true if we’re struggling with gender dysphoria as we transition and don’t see our true selves when we look in the mirror. Our critical internal voice often gets in the way of healing on our own.
The good news is that counseling for the LGBTQ+ community can provide you with unbiased support and validation along with customized treatment for whatever issues you are dealing with.
We Offer Queer-Affirming Therapy That Supports The LGBTQ+ Experience
More than anything, you may be craving a place where you can be automatically accepted and feel at ease just as you are. The safe space we provide begins as soon as you enter our relaxing and comfortable office. Our queer-affirmative therapy embraces all identities and relationships while addressing the negative influences that homophobia and transphobia have had on your life. Your therapist will be on your team, whether to celebrate your wins or support you during the harder times.
Your session will be time devoted just to you with someone who truly cares and is non-judgmental. Our goal in LGBTQ+ therapy will be for you to gain a clearer and deeper understanding of yourself, your needs, and your inner strengths. More than anything, we strive for you to believe in your inherent worth as a human.
What To Expect In Sessions
Your therapist understands that when it comes to mental health, the LGBTQ+ community isn’t a monolith. There are myriad reasons why you may be seeking treatment. Our therapeutic process is client-centered and driven by your needs and goals. Together, we will identify the unique challenges you are facing and formulate a plan tailored specifically for you.
If, for example, you are struggling with coming out or finding acceptance from family members, we may decide together to invite them to join you in some sessions. With the education and support the therapeutic environment provides, parents’ fears can be allayed, paving the way for emotional growth, unconditional love, and acceptance.
Or, if you would like to attend same-sex couples counseling, we will schedule ongoing sessions with you and your partner. We will work on how you can support each other by fostering tolerance and utilizing helpful strategies for improving communication.
By taking a problem-solving approach to identify the root causes of your issues, we provide you with hands-on tools to help you cope, such as strategies for handling discrimination or intolerance. We may also refer back to early life experiences to better understand what brought you to where you are today.
Our Modalities For LGBTQ+ Therapy
We utilize a variety of treatment modalities based on your needs, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and narrative therapy. CBT’s tools and techniques can help determine how your current thinking and behavioral patterns affect how you feel. By identifying and altering the distorted beliefs that negatively affect you, you can foster self-acceptance and discard ways of thinking that don’t serve you.
Narrative therapy allows you to tell your story and describe how you identify in your own words. This powerful form of therapy can be transformative in not only how you perceive yourself but, in telling your stories to loved ones, how they understand and accept you.
With therapy for the LGBTQ+ community, you will gain skills and tools to help guide you on your journey toward self-growth. It’s never too late to start the process of living a happier and healthier life—therapy can be one of the first steps toward positive change.
But You May Wonder If LGBTQ+ Therapy Is Right For You…
If my therapist isn’t LGBTQ+, how will they relate to my experience?
Understandably, you may be concerned that a counselor who isn’t LGBTQ+ may have an implicit bias against you or not be able to relate to what you’ve gone through. Perhaps you’ve already attended therapy and experienced this dynamic with a therapist before. However, many of our therapists have specialized training in LGBTQ+-affirming care, ensuring that you will feel seen, validated, and understood.
As a parent seeking LGBTQ+-affirming counseling for my queer teen, I’m afraid I’ll be blamed.
Understandably, you may be concerned that with LGBTQ+ counseling, the therapist may encourage parent-bashing. Perhaps you’re worried they will tell your child the distress they’re experiencing is all your fault because you don’t accept them. However, rather than driving a wedge between you and your child, the therapist aims to build family unity, understanding, and good communication. The therapist may recommend that you attend some sessions, ensuring your relationship with your child is on the best terms possible.
Won’t seeing an LGBTQ+ therapist be expensive?
Oftentimes, after covering basic needs, we don’t prioritize self-care because we don’t realize its importance. However, LGBTQ+ therapy is an investment in yourself. At The Davis Group, we’ve seen countless individuals begin therapy in a negative head space, feeling hopeless that change is possible. A short time later, these same individuals were able to graduate from therapy knowing that their future is exciting and full of hope.