SERVING CLIENTS ACROSS THE SPECTRUM
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Serving clients across the spectrum
Coming out to one’s family, coping with discrimination and oppression, and sorting out an “authentic” sense of self in the face of social expectations and pressures can lead to higher levels of depression, anxiety, substance use, and other mental health concerns for LGBTQ people. Of course, many of the issues that LGBTQ people might bring to therapy are those that are common among all people. All couples argue over many of the same things—money, sex, the in-laws, quality time—and all people are subject to the same kinds of daily stressors, such as mood swings, workplace concerns, or low self-esteem. Though many therapists may be qualified to help, sometimes LGBTQ clients feel more comfortable with an LGBTQ therapist. Simply said, we understand.
Many issues may appear to have little to do with sexual or gender orientation while others may be intimately connected to the LGBT identity. Regardless if you seek therapy for issues related to your LGBT status or not, it is imperative you feel supported and able to speak freely in order to benefit from the therapeutic experience. This is especially true for those confronted with the double stigma of mental health issues and a LGBT orientation. Given the stressors that LGBT groups must confront, such as homophobia, societal discrimination and prejudice, coming out, and negotiating family relationships, finding a therapist that is openly LGBT or specializes in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues can offer some much needed support and healing.
People who are physically and sexually attracted to both men and women usually identify themselves as bisexual. However, not everyone who has had feelings or experiences with both men and women will accept that label. Sometimes, people are happy to explore their sexuality, but will identify themselves as mainly straight, gay or lesbian, or have no label at all. Other times, it can be hard for people to come out as bisexual because society doesn’t understand people who are attracted to both men and women. For this reason, being bisexual can cause feelings of isolation. Some people find bisexuality hard to understand, but remember that you’re definitely not alone, and you don’t have to deal with your questions or problems by yourself.
Transgender people have a way of expressing themselves, describing their gender, or gender identity (knowing that they are a boy or girl) that doesn’t always fit society’s rules. Transgender means someone whose gender differs from the one they were given when they were born. Transgender people may identify as male or female, or they may feel that neither label fits them. People who are transgender may feel a wide range of emotions, and often alone or isolated. Talking with a trained counselor can help. Our team works with individuals across the gender spectrum, addressing a range of situtations, all with the goal of helping you find your authentic self.
Genderqueer (also called non-binary) is used to describe gender identities that are not exclusively masculine or feminine—identities. Outside of the usual gender binary, genderqueer people may identify as having an overlap of gender identity; having two or more genders (being bigender, trigender, or pangender); having no gender (being agender, nongendered, genderless, genderfree, or neutrois); moving between genders or having a fluctuating gender identity (genderfluid); or being third-gender or other-gendered, a category which includes those who do not place a name to their gender. Our experienced counselors can help you understand and navigate your way in a world that favors the male-female binary.
The questioning of one's gender, sexual identity, sexual orientation, (or all three) is a process of exploration. You may be unsure, still exploring, and concerned about applying a social label to yourself for various reasons. Although often associated with adolescence, you may find yourself questioning your assumed labels well into adulthood. We understand. A skilled counselor is available to walk that journey with you; and guide you down the path to finding the authentic you.
An intersex person is born with sexual anatomy, reproductive organs, and/or chromosome patterns that do not fit the typical definition of male or female. This may be apparent at birth or become so later in life. An intersex person may identify as male or female or as neither. There is growing recognition in the scientific field that intersex is a legitimate claim against a binary understanding of sex. There are many issues to deal with for intersex individuals, including issues of gender, recognition, bodily integrity and many more. Help is available to help you ask the questions, find the answers, and discover the authentic you you were meant to be.
Asexuality can encompass broad definitions. In general, the term applies to individuals with low or absent sexual desire or attractions, low or absent sexual behaviors, exclusively romantic non-sexual partnerships, or a combination of both absent sexual desires and behaviors. Not just difficult to clearly define, asexuality can be difficult to understand and accept. Talking with a counselor may help answer questions, and lead you to discover the real you; someone who is not defined by by sexual attraction but by all the other things that make you a complete person.