• How to Select the Right LGBT Affirmative Therapist

    People sitting on a gray floor holding hands

    LGBT-friendly therapy near you embraces all LGBT identities. An LGBT affirmative therapist understands how homophobia, transphobia, and heterosexism can affect the lives of the patients they treat. Many people within the LGBT community are subjected to bullying from as early as when they begin to explore their sexuality. Bullying can leave lasting mental scars.

    An LGBT affirmative therapist does not judge their clients based on their sexual identity and instead uses a variety of verbal and non-verbal cues to earn their clients’ trust and assure them of their continuous support.

    Many individuals prefer a therapist who belongs to the LGBT community themselves as they feel more comfortable discussing their thoughts, feelings, and emotions with an LGBT therapist.

    When looking for a therapist you can understand and relate to, sexual orientation is not the only factor to consider. Ask questions about the therapists’ education and training while also finding out if they have any experience handling issues related to coming out.

    Many people feel comfortable working with a therapist suggested by someone they trust. Talk to friends and family members and ask them to recommend an LGBT affirmative therapist.  Check out publications from local support groups, social services, and newsletters. Ask the therapist you are considering if they’re comfortable talking about sex, issues surrounding intimacy, and any other personal issues that you face.

    Stay away from therapists who promise to “treat” or “cure” homosexuality. This type of therapy does more harm than good. It can lead to low self-esteem, guilt, and self-destructive behavior.

    Once you have narrowed down your list of therapists, arrange meetings with them. When you meet a therapist for the first time, ask them about their experience working with the LGBT community and look out for specific indications such as inclusive language.

    The success of treatment depends on the therapeutic relationship. If you do not feel comfortable or supported or feel that the therapist you are considering is not the right fit for you. Keep in mind that there are always other therapists out there.

    Here are some questions you can ask an LGBT affirmative therapist to assess their capabilities and expertise:

    • Have you undergone special training that equipped you with the skills required to understand the issues faced by LGBT folks?
    • Are you associated with any local queers, businesses, organizations, or professionals?
    • What is your therapeutic orientation?
    • What are your specialties?

    Cooper Mental Health Counseling is committed to helping individuals get their mental health back on track, build strong relationships, and realize their inner strength. Our therapists have the skills required to understand the specific needs of LGBT people. To learn more, call (347) 244-7873.

    1. […] LGBT affirmative therapists have the skills to understand the needs of LGBT people they serve and help them realize their inner strength. To know more, Call (347) 244-7873"  […]

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