LGBTQ Therapy & Acceptance
I enjoy working with the LGBTQ community. For years, even before I became a therapist, I empathized with the struggles and discrimination that the LGBTQ community has had to face. I have had so many lesbian or gay individuals and couples contact me with so many questions to make sure they are accepted. It has puzzled me at times, but I have come to realize that most all of them have so many awful stories of reaching out to therapist or seeing a therapist who are not accepting of them as gay or lesbian. Many have said therapists have told them “I don’t work with gays” or “I’m not sure what to do with you” …referring to their sexuality. This is so disappointing to me, as a professional who finds this unethical, and as a person. Not only do they have to come out to family and friends and learn to accept themselves and work through others accepting them, now when they need help in working through these issues and everyday life issues, they have to worry about being accepted.
As a gay or lesbian individual or couple seeking counseling, please know and understand that just like us all you have the right to humane care and treatment, with respect and consideration. Period.
While there are many gay or lesbian therapist that will likely relate directly to your life experiences, there are also many gay-affirmative or gay-friendly therapist like myself that enjoy working with members of the LGBTQ community. Either way it is important that you ask the right questions to find a therapist who is open and comfortable with discussing issues you may be facing or dealing with as LGBTQ person. Some of these questions are:
What is your training, knowledge and experience in working with the LGBTQ population?
What are your views on homosexuality?
Are you familiar with issues of sexuality, coming out or homophobia?
What is your sexual orientation and gender identity? (some may not answer this, but worth a try)
What is your educational background?
Another important point to find out is if the therapist practices conversion therapy, which you likely want to steer clear of. This type of therapy is focused on trying to “fix” you or convert you from gay to straight. As a licensed therapist and LGBTQ affirmative therapist, I believe in acceptance and empathy and that everyone deserves to the right to have an amazing experience working through issues and getting the help they need. Making sure to find the right therapist is big part of making that happen.