Everyone experiences emotional or mental health issues from time to time, whether it is anxiety, stress, or a more concerning condition like depression. However, statistically, the members of the LGBTQ+ community are more likely to experience severe mental health problems, mostly caused by their peers and social acceptance.
Ranging from religious pressure, and social stigma, to hurtful media coverage, the members of the LGBTQ+ community often have a much harder time breaking the stigma and feeling happy and healthy. It is also statistically more difficult for them to find the help they need, as therapists specialized in LGBTQ+ issues are not available just about anywhere. In this article, we’ll introduce you to the benefits of LGBTQ+ therapy and how it is fostering acceptance and breaks the stigma.
What Is LGBTQ+ Therapy?
LGBTQ+ therapy is similar to mainstream therapy, but it focuses on acceptance regardless of someone’s identity or sexuality. Unfortunately, LGBTQ+ therapy is – or should – only be conducted by licensed professionals who have been trained in LGBTQ+ issues, such as gender and sexual affirming care, couples counseling, trauma and abuse therapy, or religious counseling.
The members of the LGBTQ+ community are likely to experience issues that stem from judgment and lack of acceptance. These could be losing friends due to sexuality, problems related to coming out, or acceptance in the workplace. Because of this, it is important to find the right therapists to guide you and consider your unique needs. Calmerry, for instance, has specialized professionals whose practice is based on thorough studies.
LGBTQ+ therapy can be quite varied, so many people could benefit from online LGBTQ+ counseling. For example, identity counseling helps people who are struggling with gender or sexuality issues, or those who try to understand how to embrace them. Individuals who experienced traumas or abuse may benefit from grief and trauma counseling, while religious e-counseling can help if you have a religious background with a strict view on sexuality and/or gender.
Overall, LGBTQ+ therapy can help in a variety of situations. Here’s a short summary of the most common problems that can be addressed through e-counseling:
- Difficulty accepting or embracing your gender/sexuality
- Gender dysphoria, or feeling like your body doesn’t reflect your gender
- Low self-esteem or confidence
- Bullying, discrimination, abuse
- Anger management
- Relationship, family, and friends issues
Benefits of LGBTQ+ Therapy
While all individuals can benefit from therapy, this becomes even more important for the members of the LGBTQ+ community who often struggle with judgement and social stigma. Therapy provides a safe environment where you can explore, understand, and accept yourself as a professional guides you on a long journey to happiness and well-being. An LGBTQ+ professional is also one of the best people to answer your questions or help you manage your symptoms.
For example, some people may feel anxiety or experience depression due to their assigned identity or gender. A therapist can help you reveal the issues you’re having and how to eliminate them, so you can embrace your identity and feel at ease. Therapists also help people understand their feelings and thoughts and accept them more easily.
Another benefit of LGBTQ+ therapy is that you connect with a professional that does not only accept you for who you are, but they are able to equip you with all the knowledge and tools you need in your life. For example, therapists can help you deal with the consequences of transphobia or homophobia, and address the feelings caused by traumas, bullying, or discrimination from strangers or friends and family.
During LGBTQ+ therapy, you learn to understand and identify unhelpful emotions or thoughts and change them into helpful thinking styles and affirming care. Although anxiety and negative emotions can feel overwhelming, navigating alongside a professional trained in these matters will make the entire journey feel more comfortable as you know you are no longer alone.
Finally, LGBTQ+ therapy helps individuals with relationship counseling. It is often a great way to learn how to build a long-term, trustworthy partnership with your loved ones, increase intimacy, have healthy boundaries, learn how to self-love and love others, and fully embrace who you and your partner are.
Who Is LGBTQ+ Therapy For?
LGBTQ+ therapy is very broad and can benefit just about anyone. It is particularly targeted towards LGBTQ+ individuals who struggle to come to terms with who they are or face stigma, and discrimination. It also helps to deal with a wide range of mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, trauma, and many more.
Many people choose LGBTQ+ therapy to navigate their feelings or understand their gender and identity. In therapy, you will experience a safe environment where you learn how to use acceptance and care to love yourself and others. Over time, LGBTQ+ therapy provides people with all the knowledge and tools they need to live a balanced life and handle stressful or uneasy situations, whether they are to happen in one’s personal, professional, or academic life.
Finally, queer-friendly therapy can be a crucial part of mental health for LGBTQ+ children and teenagers, and their families. Early therapy could provide much-needed support and help LGBTQ+ youth become strong, confident, and happy adults.
The use of online therapy among LGBTQ+ community members is becoming more and more prevalent. Many individuals struggle with a lack of acceptance or stigma. While it may be difficult to find the right LGBTQ therapist in your area, online counseling services help to break geographical barriers by connecting you with specialists from all over the state. This does not only enhance access to much-needed mental health support, but it is often preferred over in-person therapy due to benefits like costs, flexibility, and convenience.
All LGBTQ+ therapists must be licensed, so you need to do your due diligence before choosing a service provider. Thankfully, there are many platforms nowadays that focus on providing LGBTQ+ mental health care, including Calmerry, whose specialists are extensively trained and adhere to stringent ethical and safety codes.