LGBT Therapy: Choosing the Right Therapist
Though Americans’ attitude toward the LGBT community has changed dramatically (for the better) over the past few years, LGBT people are still subjected to discrimination are more likely to experience mental health problems than heterosexual people.
Often, a therapist who exclusively works with heterosexual individuals is not equipped to understand the unique mental healthcare needs of LGBT people. They may hold preconceived notions and unconscious biases against LGBT people.
How is an LGBT-Friendly Therapist Different?
LGBT folks trying to heal with mental health problems should look for an LGBT-friendly therapist. An LGBT-friendly therapist has experience working with the LGBT community. They understand how homophobia and transphobia affect people’s lives.
LGBT-friendly therapists do not judge people based on their sexual preferences. They use a variety of techniques to get to the root cause of their patients’ deep-seated fears and treat it. Many people are comfortable discussing their problems with someone who can relate to them and prefer therapists who belong to the LGBT community themselves.
How to Find the Right LGBT-Friendly/Affirming Therapist?
The goal of LGBT-friendly therapy near you is to equip patients with the tools they need to manage their challenges. Many LGBT folks struggle to accept their sexual identity. LGBT-friendly therapists can help such people make peace with their sexuality. A good LGBT-friendly therapist can help their patients handle issues related to coming out.
Here are some resources that LGBT folks can use to find the right therapist.
- National Therapist Directories: Psychology Today and American Psychologist Association regularly feature directories of mental health professionals. Use filters to narrow your search by therapists’ identity and treatment modality used. Also check out websites of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, Association of LGBTQ+ Psychiatrists, and National Queer & Trans Therapists of Color Network.
- Local LGBT Centers: Many local centers have therapists and psychologists trained to work with LGBT folks.
- LGBTQ+ Mental Health Organizations: Local LGBT organizations can provide an exhaustive list of LGBT-affirming therapists. Manhattan Alternative is one such organization. You can also check out the Trevor Project’s website. The Trevor Project is a nonprofit organization that offers crisis intervention and suicide intervention services to young LGBTQ folks.
If a friend or family who identifies themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender has just completed therapy, ask them the following questions to gauge their therapist’s expertise.
- How was your experience working with your therapist?
- What steps did the therapist take to make you feel comfortable?
- How well did the therapist communicate? Did they have a communication plan?
- What methods did they use?
- Were they comfortable talking about sex and intimacy problems?
Cooper Mental Health Counseling offers LGBT-friendly therapy near you in Manhattan. Our LGBT-friendly therapists go the extra distance to win the trust of their patients. To learn more, call (347) 244-7873.