Are you struggling to navigate your relationships with family, friends and coworkers after coming out as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender? If you have not yet told your family or friends about your orientation or identity, do you worry about how they will respond when you do? If you are entering a same-sex relationship for the first time, are you uncertain about how to move forward? Have you been questioning your gender identity or sexual orientation, but feel uncomfortable talking with loved ones about your thoughts and feelings? Are you in an abusive relationship and do not know where to turn for help? Perhaps you are ready to undergo surgery in order to reflect your gender identity but worry whether your insurance will cover it. Or maybe you have recently divorced your opposite-sex partner and started a new same-sex relationship. Do you wish you could fully accept your identity, feel accepted by others and live a peaceful and fulfilling life?
Identifying as LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, questioning or queer) can come with thoughts, feelings and questions about acceptance and support. You may be overwhelmed by the amount of heteronormativity present in the world around you, which can feel frightening or cause feelings of anger. You may also be struggling to feel connected to your loved ones or your community, especially if you’re spending a lot of time and energy seeking more community support and information online about your LGBTQ identity or orientation. You may also worry about how your family has or will respond to your LGBTQ identity and how you can recruit them as allies.
Struggling To Find Acceptance And Support Is Common In The LGBTQ Community
Even though each LGBTQ individual’s journey is unique, many struggle with issues such as bullying, fear and moments of doubt. Everyone has an identity, but living in a world that is dominated by heterosexual norms can make LGBTQ people feel isolated or singled out in many social situations. And, when faced with uncertain and unfamiliar interactions and events, it is common for individuals to struggle with racing thoughts, hopelessness and anger, especially if they lack a support system or allies.
Another common, yet quiet, LGBTQ struggle is not knowing who to turn to when a partner becomes abusive. LGBTQ domestic abuse often goes unreported because it is difficult for the victim to find support. Even when LGBTQ partner violence is witnessed in public, others may not report it because they do not understand the different power dynamics in same-sex relationships.
Get Individualized Support Through LGBTQ Counseling
During safe and open LGBTQ counseling sessions, you and I will develop an individualized plan based on your questions, needs and experience. Our sessions will be centered on you and mostly directed by you. In addition to being your ally, I can also connect you with helpful resources. Many of my LGBTQ clients find that community support groups provide a safe place of acceptance as well as healthy role models.
No matter what you are struggling with – whether it’s issues specific to gender and sexual orientation and preference or anxiety, depression or self-esteem issues – I can help you reflect on your thoughts and emotions. In a safe, nonjudgmental space, we can identify what’s keeping you stuck or in pain and explore various solutions. Together, we can also explore your identity or orientation in depth. With support, guidance and an increased self-awareness, it becomes easier to take steps toward finding peace within yourself as well as maintaining meaningful connections with loved ones, friends and colleagues.
LGBTQ counseling also incorporates a wide variety of helpful tips, techniques and strategies that can help you mitigate negative emotions. We can also discuss how you’re handling changes in your life following a transition in orientation or identity. You and I can take the time to reflect on any unhealthy coping strategies or unsafe practices that are negatively impacting your life and discuss how you can take the steps to make healthier decisions in the future. In addition, if you are in an abusive LGBTQ relationship, our sessions can focus on getting you the support you need to be and feel safe.
Relaxation techniques and journaling are two more strategies that we may incorporate into LGBTQ counseling sessions. Relaxation techniques, such as breathing exercises, can help you find immediate relief from stress, anger and frustration. Connection to the breath can help you feel more present in the moment and less overwhelmed by past events and future obstacles.
Journaling can help you feel calmer, reflect on your own mental state and learn more about yourself. In addition to encouraging you to journal at home, in some LGBTQ counseling sessions we may use different writing exercises. In many cases, LGBTQ individuals write about themselves with a negative tone because they are under an immense amount of external pressure. During sessions, we will work together to help you form a more positive view about your orientation or identity as well as find the positive aspects of otherwise painful or uncomfortable situations.
If you struggle to find allies within your family or friend groups, LGBTQ counseling can provide a safe space to help your loved ones accept your identity or orientation. Family members and friends who are interested in being allies are encouraged to join sessions to celebrate who you are now. I can also help your family understand how their journey is affected by your LGBTQ identity. In sessions, family members can learn how to work through different emotions.
I have always been an ally to all aspects of the LGBTQ community, and I have worked to support LGBTQ individuals for most of my life. I also have dedicated my time to help adolescents with LGBTQ-related issues at the Hillcrest Youth Center. I understand many of the diverse struggles that LGBTQ people experience in life as well. I also know how to provide the necessary support. With a professional, compassionate ally in your corner, you can feel accepted, proud and confidently live a peaceful and fulfilling life.
I am interested in LGBTQ counseling, but still have some questions and concerns…
Why would I need to see a therapist for my LGBTQ issues?
Counseling is not just provided for people who have mental health disorders. In fact, many people who attend therapy just feel the need to openly talk to someone for support. That said, if you are struggling with a mental health disorder and you are also interested in seeking treatment from an ally, I am happy to provide you with the help you need.
I am concerned about the cost and potential paper trail of LGBTQ counseling.
The goal of LGBTQ counseling is to help you feel accepted, heard, proud and resilient. Investing your time and money on sessions can improve many areas of your life. It can boost your work productivity and help you maintain meaningful connections with your loved ones.
I offer LGBTQ counseling sessions on a sliding scale, based on your income. Because I do not work with insurance companies, you do not need to worry about your employer finding out about our sessions through an insurance paper trail.
I am worried about how I will be viewed in my culture and community if I attend LGBTQ counseling.
I identify as Asian American. I know what it is like to feel constrained by certain cultural boundaries surrounding LGBTQ issues and therapy. Each culture has unique norms and expectations that may make you apprehensive about LGBTQ counseling. Our sessions are 100 percent confidential and I will work with you to help you find acceptance in your culture as well as peace and confidence within yourself.
Feel Accepted, Safe And Confident Within The LGBTQ Community
If you are ready to get support, guidance and acceptance, I invite you to call me for a free 15- minute phone consultation to discuss your specific needs and how LGBTQ counseling can help you.
Interested In Becoming An Ally To A Family Member Or Friend?
If you would like to become an LGBTQ ally to a family member or friend, I also invite you to call me for a free 15-minute phone consultation to discuss your experience and how LGBTQ counseling can help you.
Call (619) 567-7399 for a free 15-minute phone consultation.