LGBTQ Counseling & Therapy
What Is LGBTQ Counseling & Why All Of Those Letters?!?
LGBTQ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, or Questioning/Queer. Sometimes the abbreviation is expanded to include an “I” for Intersexed, which refers to an individual whose “biological” sex neither fits the reproductive criteria for male nor female; or an “A” for Asexual.
Although society has become more accepting of the LGBTQ+ community as a whole, most individuals in the LGBTQ community will struggle with a variety of unique issues at one time or another.
Here are seven issues that are unique to the LGBTQ community:
Seven Counseling & Therapy Topics That are Unique to Gender & Sexual Minorities:
- Coming out as LGBTQ+: resolving your internal struggle regarding gender and sexual orientation confusion or internalized homophobia (internalized homophobia: when absorbing anti-gay messages from your society, religion, culture, or family has generated feelings of shame or denial concerning your LGBTQ+ identity); coming out to yourself (foremost), and then to friends, family, peers, or the workplace (a personal choice); how to handle dating a partner who identifies as “closeted” when you yourself are openly LGBTQ+
- Processing emotions of gender dysphoria: when your biological sex misaligns with your core sense of gender identity and causes you personal distress; supporting a child who self-identifies as transgender or gender-fluid; researching the possibility for transition, altering your outward appearance to reflect your internal gender identity (e.g. vocal training, modifying your dress, hormonal therapies, puberty blockers, top surgery, sex reassignment procedures, etc.) in interested candidates
- Prejudice & Discrimination: survival techniques for inhabiting environments where LGBTQ+ individuals are regarded as deviant, mentally ill, sinful, or lesser; taking a stand against discrimination and harassment in the workplace; contending with unequal treatment by housing or adoption agencies, or political infrastructures that deny your human rights
- Rejection: how to proceed when your family members or friends respond to your coming out moment with hostility or disapproval; restructuring your life after being kicked out of your parent’s home or having mom and dad cut you off financially; integrating your partner into your family life when mom and dad still love you… but express strong opposition to your lifestyle
- Violence & Bullying: name-calling, cyberbullying, & violence. LGBTQ+ youth are more likely to encounter harassment at school or from strangers than their heterosexual counterparts; of the LGBTQ+ population, transgender women are most likely to be singled-out as targets for hate-motivated assaults—or even homicide. Learn how to ensure your safety, respond to escalating antagonism wisely, and confront administrative or legal entities (i.e. the school system, police, etc.) that may demonstrate unresponsiveness to promoting tolerance or your protection
- Anxiety about HIV/AIDS: get connected to accurate information concerning transmission, prevention, and treatment for HIV; learn how to discuss your HIV status with former, current, or future partners; develop a plan for navigating serodiscordant relationships (in which one partner is diagnosed with HIV but the other is not); and receive support for post-diagnosis depression, fear, or stigmatization
- Mental health: get help for mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, self-harm, substance abuse—and for gay and bisexual men—eating disorders, that affect LGBTQ+ populations in disproportionate numbers
How Can LGBTQ Therapy & Counseling Help Me?
Working with a counselor who is qualified to respond to LGBTQ issues with understanding and care can help you address your therapeutic concerns—even if your issue does not overtly relate to your status as a member of the LGBTQ community. A competent counselor who is trained in LGBTQ issues can help you appreciate the multi-layered cultural and societal concerns that may factor into your situation or wire your thought processes (even outside of your awareness).
As counseling options, your therapist may recommend:
- Individual counseling: to address any of the unique issues outlined above or a specific mental health concern, such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse, etc.
- LGBTQ support groups: to encourage networking and a sense of community with your LGBTQ peers, and to expose you to a range of LGBTQ narratives that are both related to and distinct from your own experiences
- Couples counseling: which should acknowledge where relevant, the extraordinary stressors that are placed upon LGBTQ persons, individually and collectively, and help you process these challenges as they arise in the context of your relationship
- Family counseling: which recognizes the spectrum of issues faced by LGBTQ families, from pursuing adoption rights to planning birth to raising children with two mommies or two daddies, etc.
Whether you seek individual counseling to address a mental health concern, couples counseling to enhance the quality of your relationship, or family counseling to bond more deeply as a unit, your therapist should view your situation free from the lens of bias and make you feel at ease. At Lifeologie, we pride ourselves on addressing the many facets that create the whole person: LGBTQ+–and beyond.
Meet our counselors who specialize in this issue
- Sabrina M. JanecekLPCPark Cities OfficeFees: $130 per 50 min sessionSpecialties: ADHD, Adolescents, Adoption & Foster Care, Blended Families, Bullying, Child Counseling, Child or Play Therapy, Childhood Abuse Recovery, Cutting, Dealing with Abortion, Gender-creative Kids, Kids, Teens & Tweens, Oppositional Defiance, Parenting, Tweens & Teens
- Cori HillMasters Level InternDallas & Park CitiesFees: Start at $50 per 50 min sessionSpecialties: Abandonment Issues, Adulting, Anxiety Disorders, Biracial Couples, Blended Families, Business Partner Counseling, Codependency Issues, Couples Counseling, Cross-Cultural Relationships, Depression, Failure to Launch, Families & Mental Illness, Family Issues, Female Sexuality, Infidelity, Interfaith Relationships, Last-Ditch Marital, LGBTQ Couples, Major Depression, Marriage Counseling, Marriage Counseling, Newlyweds, Panic Attacks, Pre-Engagement, Pre-Marital, Quarter-Life Issues, Relationship Issues, Stress Management, Virtual Counseling Sessions, Young Adults, Young Adults in Transition
- Brittany StilwellLPC-Intern Supervised by
Chris Jones, LPC-SDallas & Park CitiesFees: $115 per 50 minute sessionSpecialties: Anxiety Disorders, Borderline Personality, Gender Dysphoria, LGBTQ & Gender Issues, Sexual Abuse Recovery, Sexual Identity, Stress Management, Transgender Adults, Transgender Teens, Virtual Counseling Sessions
- Mary MillerLMFT associate Supervised by Melanie Wells, LPC-S, LMFT-SDallas & Fort Worth$115 per 50 minute sessionSpecialties: Business Partner Counseling, Couples Counseling, Female Sexuality, Infidelity, LGBTQ & Gender Issues, LGBTQ Couples, Male Sexuality, Marriage & Gender, Marriage Counseling, Marriage Counseling, Newlyweds, Parenting, Pre-Marital, Sex Therapy, Sexual Identity, Women's Issues
- Cortney EdwardsLPC Intern Supervised by
Chris Jones, LPC-SFort Worth Office$90 per 50 minute sessionSpecialties: Addiction & Substance Abuse, Adolescents, Ayurveda & Lifestyle, Bipolar Disorder, Child Counseling, Child or Play Therapy, Childhood Abuse Recovery, Codependency Issues, Depression, Divorce & Breakups, Failure to Launch, Family Issues, Men's Issues, Mindfulness Training, Mood Disorders, New Parents, Postpartum Depression, Pregnancy Issues, Sexual Identity, Tweens & Teens, Yoga Therapy
- Jessica LatchawLPC Intern, LCDC Intern Supervised by
Chris Jones, LPC-SFort Worth Office$90 per 50 min sessionSpecialties: Addiction & Substance Abuse, Body Image, Codependency Issues, Couples Counseling, Cutting, Eating Disorders, Grief & Loss, LGBTQ & Gender Issues, LGBTQ Couples, New Parents, Pre-Marital, Pregnancy Issues, Self Harm, Young Adults in Transition
- Mark LuffLife CoachDallas OfficeFees: $90 per 50 min sessionSpecialties: Addiction & Substance Abuse, Adolescents, Adult Children of Alcoholics, Anxiety Disorders, Christian Counseling, Couples Counseling, Drug and Alcohol Abuse, Infidelity, Interfaith Relationships, Last-Ditch Marital, LGBTQ Couples, Male Sexuality, Marriage Counseling, Men's Issues, New Parents, Newlyweds, Pre-Engagement, Pre-Marital, Relationship Issues, Sexual Identity
- Kayla WhiteLPC-Intern Supervised
by Jenny Wang, LPC-SFrisco & Plano/RichardsonFees: $95 for a 50 min sessionSpecialties: ADHD, Adolescents, Bullying, Child Counseling, Child or Play Therapy, Cutting, Depression, Grief & Loss, Kids, Teens & Tweens, LGBTQ & Gender Issues, Major Depression, Mood Disorders, Parenting, Self Harm, Suicidal Thoughts, Young Adults