LGBTQ+ Therapy

LGBTQ+ Therapy

As Andrew Soloman poignantly put it, “Those of us with stigmatized identities face this question daily: how much do we accommodate society by constraining ourselves and how much to break the limits of what constitutes a valid life.’’

Sexuality is a spectrum. Although our society likes to create labels, sexuality often doesn’t fall neatly into a category. 

At My LA Therapy, our perspective is that it is important to balance recognition that the issues faced by the gay community are no different than the issues of anyone else seeking therapy, while simultaneously never failing to appreciate the unique difficulties, conflicts, and struggles of being LGBTQ+ in a heterosexist world. 

Often, it can be difficult for some to talk about mental health or know how to go about seeking help and support. 

No matter the challenges or concerns you are facing, we are here to help you gain clarity about your values, who you are, and how you relate to your sexuality with acceptance, understanding, and patience.

We will always honor your needs, values, and feelings and go at a pace that is comfortable for you.  

We are extremely passionate about working with those who self-identify as LGBTQ+, with those who are trying to understand their sexuality and gender identity, and with those who are questioning their sexuality entirely. 

We have specialized training and unique sensitivity to the varied issues of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning people. 

Our passion and familiarity with the challenges the LGBTQ+ community go through is a crucial part of helping you create the life you want. 

 

GAY IN A HETEROSEXIST SOCIETY

Sometimes it can be difficult to address the constant social stigma of being gay, bi, or trans in a heteronormative and gender binary culture. 

Facing unique challenges such as social expectations surrounding relationships and coming out to one’s family or friends is complicated and can be challenging to go through on your own. 

Experiencing bullying, familial rejection, or even hate crimes can lead to a greater likelihood of developing mental health issues among the LGBTQ+ community higher than the rest of the population. 

Situations like these can often lead to post-traumatic stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, depression, addiction, and other mental health conditions in some individuals. 

Often times, it may not be safe to come out to homophobic or transphobic friends and family out of fear for your physical or emotional health, or fear that you will lose those close to you if they don’t accept you.  

And when we choose to hide our sexuality for too long, it can lead to us feeling numb to ourselves and disconnected from others. 

Because it’s hard to feel alive when we are suppressing aspects of who we are and what is true to us. 

And it’s hard to create meaningful relationships when we leave vital parts of ourselves at the door. 

Sexual identity refers to the emotions, thoughts, feelings, and fantasies that contribute to a person’s attraction to another person. 

When you’re questioning your sexuality and you don’t fall neatly into any one category, it can be a delicate thing to tease out and begin to see clearly.  

In a survey, LGBTQ+ students showed that they were 10 times more likely to be bullied, and twice as more likely to consider suicide compared to their cis and straight friends and family. 

Bullying can take the from of verbal attacks, physical assault, and sexual harassment. 

If you are experiencing depression, confusion, anxiety or just need help finding more clarity and peace, our trained LGBTQ+ therapy specialists are prepared to help.

TRANSGENDER IDENTITY 

Just like sexuality, gender is a spectrum as well. 

When you feel like your sex assigned at birth doesn’t match up with your gender identiy, it can create a great deal of discomfort, alienation, anxiety, confusion, and distress.

While we don’t see trans issues as a problem or as pathological, the DSM defines “Gender Dysphoria as: 

  • A notable conflict between your gender identity or expression and the gender you were assigned at birth that persists for at least six months.
  • Measurable impairment or distress in routine functions, such as social or professional, as a result of the condition.

Other people may identify as non-binary or “two-spirit,” which means they identify as being both male and female at the same time. Others feel their experience of their gender may change from day to day. 

As trans and non-binary issues are little understood by the general population, it can be challenging to find our footing and trust our own experiences regarding our gender identity. 

No matter the challenges or concerns you are facing, it’s always beneficial to seek help from a trained professional.

We will be sure to take into consideration your unique identity, values, and challenges and as we guide you in therapy and help you face and overcome your mental health challenges. 

We will do everything that we can to help you feel welcome and accepted

We provide extensive support for but are not limited to : 

  • Gender dysphoria: According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.), gender dysphoria is a psychological condition experienced by individuals whose gender identity and expression does not match with the gender assigned at birth.  Gender Dysphoria can cause significant distress and affect a person’s overall mental wellbeing, and it’s important to seek support from professionals alongside family and friends. Examples of Gender Dysphoria include but are not limited to: transgdender, genderfluid, and non-binary individuals. 
  • Sexual identity issues: Sexual identity issues can refer to numerous concerns regarding an individual’s sexual preference. Sexual identity (or sexual orientation) refers to the emotions, thoughts, feelings, and fantasies that contribute to a person’s sexual or romantic attraction to another person. LGBTQ+ individuals often go through periods of questioning their sexual identity, which can cause confusion and stress. Also pertinent to the LGBTQ+ community and sexual identity issues is the “coming out” process, and coping with the reactions of friends and family, especially when the reaction is expected to be negative.

We are extremely passionate about working with those who identify as LGBTQ+, with those who are trying to understand their sexuality and gender identity, and with those who are questioning their sexuality entirely. 

We have specialized training and a unique sensitivity to the varied issues that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning people face, and we strive to provide a safe space that is free from stigma. 

We will integrate evidence-based therapy modalities that are personalized to your specific needs and work on empowering you in your personal life with practical skills as well as help you explore and integrate the deeper aspects of your unconscious and your past wounds and trauma. 

We are here to support you every step of the way.

OUR THERAPY METHODS FOR LGBTQ+

Therapy can improve your life by minimizing the anxiety in your life, identifying and changing underlying thought and behavioral patterns that contribute to your struggles, and providing you with strategies to decrease discomfort while restoring an overall sense of peace.

To experience true and lasting joy in our life, we must face and conquer our pain by healing our underlying trauma and confronting our fears. 

See the About Therapy page for a deeper look into this process. 

Our evidence-based, scientifically proven interventions are demonstrated by research to be effective in addressing mental health issues commonly faced by the LGBTQ+ community including depression, anxiety, and addiction. 

Learn more about our empirically based therapy modalities by visiting our Methods page. 

WANT TO TALK? SPEAK WITH AN LGBTQ+ THERAPY SPECIALIST NOW

If you have any questions, contact one of our LGTBQ+ specialists for a free consultation any time.

RESOURCES

  1. The Gay Center
  2. Los Angeles LGBT Center

LGBTQ+ Therapists

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