How Do LGBTQ Support Therapists Specifically Help LGBTQ People?

30 May 2023
 Categories: , Blog


Therapy is one of the most effective ways for people to address mental health concerns stemming from depression, anxiety, and other disorders. A person's identity and environment both strongly shape their experience of the world, which is why talking to a specialist who understands their unique situation can be very helpful. Here are some ways that LGBTQ support therapists commit to helping gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender clients:

1. Investigate and challenge personal biases.

Everyone has internal biases based on their identity and the way they were raised. When these biases are unconscious, they can lead to false beliefs about other people and the world around them. As a result of being raised in a society that centers heterosexuality and binary genders, many people are unconsciously biased in favor of these things. Therapists who serve LGBTQ clients work to unlearn these biases so they can meet their patients with a mindset that centers their experiences.

2. Create a safe and open place for all clients to explore themselves.

Honesty is one of the most important aspects of the therapist-client relationship. In order to feel safe being open and honest, clients must feel like they can trust their therapist with their private thoughts and feelings. LGBTQ support therapists will strive to create an environment that feels supportive and welcoming. In this way, patients can feel free to explore issues relating to their gender, sexuality, relationships, and lives in general.

3. Acknowledge the role that systemic injustice has in the lives of LGBTQ people.

Depression and anxiety typically aren't caused by any one factor. It's important to examine the role that individual thoughts and behaviors have in creating depressive and anxious states. However, it's also important to acknowledge the contributions that systemic injustice can have in developing depression and anxiety. LGBTQ support therapists strive to educate themselves on the homophobia, transphobia, and other forms of bigotry faced by minorities. Therapists can provide a compassionate listening ear and help clients come up with ways to mitigate these negative forces in their lives.

4. Trust clients as the experts on their lived experiences and identities.

Finally, LGBTQ support therapists will trust clients as the experts on their lived experiences. This can be especially important for gender and sexual minorities who may feel invalidated in their everyday lives. LGBTQ support therapists will not question their clients' genders or sexualities but will instead seek to educate themselves when they are faced with LGBTQ concepts that they do not yet understand. 

For more info, contact a local company like Encircle.