Counseling with an LGBTQIA+ is a valuable resource designed to help those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual heal from common and personal issues unique to their circumstances. These concerns include conversion therapy, intergenerational trauma, self-awareness, and self-acceptance.
If you or someone you care about is dealing with gender-related issues, it’s beneficial to seek out an LGBTQIA+ informed therapist who understands what it’s like to be a part of the LGBTQIA+ community. LGBTQIA+ therapists have many years of specialized training and experience. They can help you or your loved one develop coping mechanisms to help you overcome challenges and feel better. They can also help family members better understand the challenges they or their LGBTQIA+ relatives may have and learn how to deal with them in a healthy and normal manner.
What Are the Benefits of Seeing an LGBTQIA+ Informed Therapist?
Mental health is important and necessary for overall health and wellness. Everyone experiences challenges and issues periodically in life that make them feel like they’re on an emotional rollercoaster. Though some can navigate their circumstances independently with time, many can’t, especially those grappling with gender and sex-related concerns.
People who identify as LGBTQIA+ and those questioning their sexuality or gender are often mistreated or discriminated against based on ill-conceived notions or misinformation that run rampant in today’s society. Although resources and support are not as diverse for the LGBTQIA+ community, counseling is arguably one of the most invaluable assets available.
Below are a few of the many advantages seeing an LGBTQIA+ therapist provides.
Benefit #1: Knowledge, Expertise, and Guidance Are Invaluable
LGBTQIA+ informed therapists understand the issues that transgender and misgender individuals face daily. Everyone has stressors in life that they must contend with. However, those in the LGBTQIA+ community face exceptional challenges that are not so easily overcome with traditional or normal coping mechanisms.
Counseling is beneficial because it helps those affected learn to manage the mental and emotional impact of their identity that can make daily living unpleasant, frightening, and more challenging than it should be.
Society is not always kind or accepting of individual lifestyle and personal choices due to fears, religious beliefs, and misunderstandings. It can be difficult trying to deal with things in a timely and normal manner without a good support system. How well you handle your circumstances plays a significant role in your mental health. During times of uncertainty and vulnerability, a well-informed LGBTQIA+ therapist who understands the needs and challenges you face as an LGBT individual is crucial.
Benefit #2: Encourages Self-Awareness, Self-Love and Acceptance
Just because one identifies as another does not mean they are fully aware of the changes and difficulties they may encounter from others, including their close friends and family. Sometimes self-acceptance is fleeting or temporary or doesn’t happen at all, leading to additional uncertainties, stressors, and traumatic experiences. Even worse, trying to live a normal life while harboring negative feelings about self can be dangerous.
Everyone can benefit from talking to a therapist who knows and understands the uniqueness of their circumstances and is equipped to offer the guidance and support necessary to help them navigate their challenges safely and confidently. However, those with gender and sexuality identity concerns benefit best from seeing an LGBTQIA+ informed therapist.
Benefit #3: Enables Understanding and Coping of LGBTQIA+ Challenges
No one should have to seek approval from others to be themselves or to live the life they desire on their terms. An informed therapist can assist with the following mainstream issues that many lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual people encounter daily.
Racial disparities and tension are high. Certain ethnic groups in the LGBTQIA+ community face additional challenges that create a ripple effect in every aspect of their lives. Being in a relationship with someone of a different race crosses cultural barriers and is a common source of tension and conflict at home, school, work, and social settings. The fear of being harassed and singled out because of racial disparities can be emotionally detrimental as well.
Religion and Cultural Ideologies
Some religions and cultures are against nontraditional sex and gender identities and roles. This often creates crises and mental health concerns that can make it difficult for those affected to lead normal and healthy lives. Many individuals with religious and cultural concerns are treated as outcasts, sometimes by the very people they trust and love the most.
Gender identity, sexual orientation, and sexual preferences can majorly impact all types of relationships. Issues involving connections, communications, and relationships with others, ranging from family, friends, and work/professional colleagues to partners or spouses, are common and incredibly difficult to manage sometimes without the right knowledge, support, and coping methods.
Benefit #4: Fights Depression, Stress, and Poor Mental Health
Depression, suicide, and mood disorders are incredibly common in the LGBTQIA+ community. Not everyone is comfortable with the idea of coming out or living their lifestyle of choice. These fears and past experiences of mistreatment and potential abuse from others increase the risk of depression, anxiety, stress, suicidal thoughts, and substance abuse.
Not all mental health professionals are comfortable seeing patients with LGBTQIA+ concerns, nor are they equipped to provide the right kind of support and guidance for depression, anxiety, and poor moods associated with gender and sexuality. That’s why it’s beneficial to choose an LGBTQIA+ therapist for support. They can help you come to terms with your identity, encourage you to be the best person you can be, and provide you with the tools to not let anyone make you feel less than a person.
Talk to a C.U.B.E. LGBTQIA+ Therapist for Support and Guidance
LGBTQIA+ counseling can help you to overcome the negative feelings you may have so you can feel better and confidently live life on your terms. Contact the C.U.B.E. at (213) 616-5821 to schedule a session with an LGBTQIA+ informed therapist today!