When living in a world where ‘straight’ is the baseline, it’s hard not to feel like your lifestyle is abnormal if you don’t identify as heterosexual.
Too often, your experiences are perceived as the outlier. Because of this, you don’t always feel like it’s worth it to let people in and share what’s going on with you.
You just want to talk to someone who gets it.
And, not forcefully nodding their head to make it seem like they’re listening. But rather, someone actually understands and asks helpful questions.
If these sound like your experiences, it could be time to start LGBTQ+ affirming counseling from a new perspective.
You’ve experienced hatred or shame as a consequence of your sexual orientation, it might feel even more daunting to reach out for support.
“Will I be misunderstood and disappointed?” It’s happened in the past, so I have a reason to think it’ll continue. “Will my problems be understood under a heteronormative lens?” My problems don’t make sense if someone looks at them through this lens. They’ll miss so much. “Will my therapist be uncomfortable about my sexuality?” For once, it would be nice not to water down or leave out major parts of my sexuality.
Unfortunately, you’ve had to ask yourself these questions before seeing a therapist because this has been an issue in the past. However, I am not here to continue to feel that way. Instead, I’m here to break that cycle and be a damn good therapist in LGBTQ+ affirming counseling.
Common Reasons Folks Start LGBTQ+ Affirming Counseling
LGBTQQIP2SAA folks may benefit from Individual Therapy, Couples, and/or Sex Therapy. In my experience as a therapist, here are some common reasons people pursue LGBTQ+ affirmative counseling:
- Sexual and gender minority needs
- Sexual expression and communication
- Coming out
- Relationship Issues & Conflicts
- Gender Identity needs
- Oppression & Discrimination
- Navigating stages of sexual & gender identity development
- Anxiety and Stress
- Depression & mood disorders
- Homophobia (external and/or internalized
- Sadness or Disconnection from self or others
- Family & Early Life attachment wounds
- Navigating Polyamorous/Open relationships
- Consensual BDSM relationships & play
- Loss of sexual and/or emotional connection
- Healing from Loss/ Grief work
- Emotional, physical and sexual trauma
- healing from hate crimes
- Building Skills & Self-esteem
- Deciding whether or not to transition and all the highly personal choices along the way (hormone therapy, surgery etc.)
- Negative impact of social or familial stigma
- Impact on romantic and sexual partner(s) when coming out or deciding to transition
- Communication Skills
- Help with mindfulness & self-care practices
- Living in a binary heterosexist society (and maybe family)
- Depression, anxiety and other emotional and psychological responses to chronic adversity, oppression and social injustice
My Approach to LGBTQ+ Affirming Counseling in Texas
When working with members of the LGBTQ+ community, I use affirmative therapy. This is an approach to therapy that embraces a positive view of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) identities and relationships. Additionally, it addresses the negative influences that homophobia, transphobia, and heterosexism have on the lives of LGBTQ clients.
I consider that not every issue an LGBTQ+ person experiences are a result of their gender identity. Further, I don’t assume that your identity is a problem for you.
I have a wealth of experience working with the LGBTQ+ community. I am aware of and sensitive to LGBTQ+ specific issues. In LGBTQ+ affirming counseling, you can turn your internal conflict and doubts into self-compassion and grace. Turn pain into empowerment.
My Experience With LGBTQ+ Affirming Counseling
I have been an Ally of the LGBTQ community for as long as I can remember. I have not just been an Ally, but I have had the honor of being a trainer in University settings teaching Psychology Interns and Marriage and Family Therapy students how to work with LGBTQ+ individuals in a therapeutic setting.
Also, I have been a facility advisor for the Gay-Straight Alliance at Texas Tech University helping the campus LGBTQ+ community gain visibility on campus and minimize hate and prejudice that the LGBTQ+ folks experience on campus.
As a result of my work, I have been honored by receiving Texas Tech University’s ‘President’s Excellence in Gender Equality Award’ and ‘Ally of the Year Award’ for my work in the community.
4621 Ross Ave, Suite 310
Dallas, Texas 75204
By Appointment Only