How to Choose the Best Gay Therapist for Your Needs

With over 39% of LGBTQIA+ persons reporting having had a mental illness in the previous year, mental illness rates among LGBTQ people in the US are startlingly high. The American Psychiatric Association states that the likelihood of mental illness in LGBTQ individuals is double that of heterosexual men and women. According to some studies, the prevalence of depression, anxiety, and drug addiction among LGBTQ persons is 2.5 times greater than that of heterosexual people.

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Gay persons frequently encounter obstacles to receiving adequate mental health treatment, including societal stigma, discrimination, and prejudice. Many LGBTQIA+ people discover that not all mental health practitioners are aware of their experiences, and that having a bad encounter with a provider may discourage someone from getting treatment when they really need it.

Reminding yourself that assistance is accessible is crucial, regardless of whether you’re considering entering therapy for the first time or searching for a therapist who can relate to you. Finding the proper LGBTQIA+ therapist may significantly improve your mental health, even if the process may seem overwhelming.

Is it time for you to find a homosexual therapist?

The therapeutic procedure is quite intimate. It’s crucial for many people that their therapist has firsthand experience with their circumstances. Working with a mental health practitioner who is aware of the challenges of living as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community can improve mental health outcomes for LGBTQ individuals.

Working with a therapist who is also a part of the LGBTQIA+ community can help you create a stronger therapeutic relationship, even if there are many straight gay-friendly therapists available. The American Psychological Association (APA) states that in order to stay in therapy and get the most out of it, you and your therapist must establish an honest and open connection.

Additionally, looking for a psychologist who shares another component of your identification may be useful, as many people who identify as lesbian or homosexual might also belong to a second, third, or even more marginalized community. People who identify as BIPOC, have physical impairments, or practice a different religion than their neighbors all have complicated life stories, therefore it’s critical to choose a therapist that respects and acknowledges your history.

How do you locate a therapist who is gay?

It’s not fair to assume that every psychologist is LGBTQ-friendly or sensitive to LGBTQ concerns, so locating an LGBTQ therapist isn’t always straightforward. Thankfully, it is feasible to locate skilled and understanding therapists who share important components of your identity by using internet therapist directories.

Use directories or online treatment platforms such as WithTherapy, Psychology Today, American Counseling Association, American Psychological Association, or treatment Group of DC to begin your search. Gay, bisexual, lesbian, and transgender people may easily find mental health providers who meet their specific needs and preferences by using online therapist directories. In order to assist you in refining your search even further, several directories include additional criteria such as geography, insurance coverage, gender identity, and sexual orientation.

What qualities need to a therapist possess?

If you feel that seeing an LGBTQ psychologist is imperative, narrow down your options to include therapists who are willing to talk about your gender identity, sexual orientation, and attraction. Seeking therapy from LGBTQ professionals who are at ease with their sexual orientation is crucial when discussing any concerns you may have as a homosexual individual.

Having said that, there are other qualities you should consider in a therapist than sexual orientation. To discover an LGBTQ therapist, be sure to narrow down your search and also look into the therapist’s background, experience, and knowledge of topics related to gay, lesbian, transgender, and bisexual people.

In addition to having experience dealing with LGBTQ individuals of all gender identities, your therapist should be knowledgeable on issues pertaining to sexuality, gender expression, coming out, mental health, self-esteem, and other concerns that impact the LGBTQ community. It goes without saying that not all psychologists specialize in all of these areas, but it’s important to locate a therapist with the education and expertise required to meet your individual requirements.

Avert psychologists that claim to treat or “cure” homosexuality when doing your search since hazardous and ineffective methods of changing one’s sexual orientation include reparative therapy and conversion therapy. Conversion therapy is a damaging technique that can severely damage a person’s self-esteem and contribute to self-destructive behaviors including substance misuse, self-harm, and even suicide. Homosexuality is not a mental disorder. Rather of attempting to “cure” you, a competent therapist will collaborate with you to help you feel at ease with your sexuality.

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