Thanks to a higher level of social acceptance for diverse sexual orientations and gender identifications, more and more gay men, lesbians, bisexual people and transgendered people are seeking therapy, sometimes for issues related to their orientation or gender identity, sometimes simply for the same issues – depression, anxiety, relationship difficulties, and so forth – for which anyone else seeks therapy.
Folks who identify as a member of the LGBT community may experience stressors not experienced by “straight” people. Although there is a wider social acceptance of LGBT persons than there was just 10 or 20 years ago, prejudice is certainly still prevalent, particularly outside of major coastal metropolitan areas. Dealing with prejudice, coming out to one’s family, sorting out an “authentic” sense of self in the face of social expectations and pressures – all this can lead to higher levels of depression and anxiety for LGBT folks. Research proves that suicide rates are higher among teens who are gay or lesbian than among heterosexual adolescents. For adults, being openly gay in the workplace or in public is not always easy. Therapy can help manage the choices and emotions that are, sadly, still inevitable for most LGBT people.
On the other hand, much of what a gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered person might bring to therapy can be basically the same was what a straight person would bring. Gay couples fight over many of the same things straight couples fight about – money, sex, the in-laws, quality time, for example – even if they also may argue over issues of coming out and having a public identity as a gay couple, which a straight couple wouldn’t have to face.
While homosexuality has not been officially considered a mental disorder since 1973, some therapists still see it as essentially dysfunctional. It is a good idea to find out where a therapist stands on this issue before engaging in treatment with that person.
My practice is focused on uncovering your strengths, building them up, and encouraging you to live the best life possible. This is accomplished by understanding the reality of your life, learning the stories that have affected how you live that life, and then creating new, constructive goals and directions from which to embrace a future that is built on strength and personal awareness. Through this process, our work together offers you the opportunity to connect to your core strength and experience life to the fullest.