While sexual orientation or gender identity is not inherently a source of psychological distress, having a therapist who understands and is experienced in working with the LGBTQIA community and the unique and diverse issues clients face is essential for positive therapeutic results when couple, individual, or family therapy is needed. A knowledgeable Licensed Mental Health Counselor can help with issues that clients typically present in therapy such as stress, anxiety, depression, or grief and loss; as well as those specifically related to one’s sexual or gender identity such as coming out, social support, and discrimination.
Some clients may feel that they can only be comfortable seeing a therapist who is also a member of the LGBTQIA community and has shared experiences. This is completely understandable. However, gay-friendly therapists who are able to affirmatively discuss issues of sexuality and gender can be just as effective in improving the well-being of clients who present for therapy. As neither gender identity nor homosexuality are considered mental illnesses, no conversion therapy or “cure” is provided.
Several counselors in our office specialize in working with Transgender and gender-nonconforming or gender fluid clients.