We know the challenges that a person who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, 2-spirit, Asexual (or Allies), Pan-sexual, and more, may face. While society has come a long way in accepting people who have varied sexual orientations, members of the LGBTQ2S+ community too often experience a lack of acceptance, shame, unfair scrutiny, and discrimination in their daily lives. Knowing your sexual orientation and being proud of your sexual orientation are two different things. Sometimes people have trouble accepting their sexuality, and sometimes even people who accept their sexuality must work through a number of issues, including lack of acceptance amongst friends or family members, as one example. You may face being outcast, discriminated against, or even violence. There can be trauma from these experiences.
Or you may find that you are still discovering your sexuality and sexual orientation and you may be having anxiety about coming out to your family, friends, and colleagues.
Perhaps you and your partner are experiencing some challenges sexually or want to achieve greater intimacy – we provide counselling for people and couples of all sexual orientations.
If you are part of the LGBTQ2S+ community, you may experience:
- Feelings of fear (being caught or found out, or a very real fear for your safety)
- Feelings of shame, particularly in an openly non-accepting community
- Family acceptance issues
- Social anxiety
- Feeling a lack of clarity with your gender identity (feeling like you were born in the wrong body)
When is it time to get help?
If you are struggling with your sexual orientation/identity, (or gender identity) and are having difficulty coming out, or if you have come out, and are feeling isolated or ashamed – you might want to consider therapy. It’s possible that there is literally no one else you can talk to about some of these issues and a trained therapist can help. If you are experiencing discrimination, social isolation, and confusion – you may want to seek help. If you are dealing with gender identity issues, and perhaps you’re considering transitioning – we can help!
Treatment methods for dealing with issues facing the LGBTQ2S+ community
Treatment will depend on what issues you are facing. For example, if you’re feeling depressed, then treatment for depression will be the best course of action. If you’re experiencing trauma, then those treatments make the most sense. Your therapist will discuss with you the best options for your individual circumstance. In general, some treatments that have been shown to be effective include:
- Acceptance and commitment therapy encourages clients to accept the difficulties and misfortunes of life. Clients learn coping techniques to not dwell on negative emotions by staying in the present.
- Affirmative therapy is a therapeutic approach that holds a positive view of clients who identify as LGBTQ2s+, are from non-Caucasian ethnic or cultural backgrounds, are differently abled, or are otherwise marginalized in society. This therapeutic approach also acknowledges and rectifies the negative messages of homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, heterosexism, racism, discrimination, ableism, misogyny, etc. and the impact these have on the lives of affected clients.
- Person Centered Therapy differs from more traditional therapeutic approaches in the belief that, while the therapist has expertise in many areas, the client is the expert on themselves and their lived experiences. People are essentially trustworthy and have a vast potential for understanding themselves while also being able to ultimately resolve their own problems when guided properly.
- Sex therapy is the treatment of sexual dysfunction and also includes working with concerns about sexual feelings and intimacy, less common alternative sexual practices, kink, gender issues, sexual offending issues, or work on optimizing or exploring new experiences. Sex therapy can also include distressing sexual behaviour, sexual abuse, and trauma.
- Solution focused therapy views people as inherently strong and resilient, and capable of creating change and discovering solutions to their everyday problem.
- Transformation Program, Insight’s Gender Transition Program, offers initial assessment and consultation, medical referrals, and ongoing support to individuals who may be experiencing issues related to gender identity – including any degree of transgender expression, and/or considering SRS (sex reassignment surgery). The program also includes counselling and therapy for individuals and family members who may also experience other concerns such as trauma, sexual abuse, substance use/abuse, relational issues, depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts or actions, etc.
What will I get out of treatment with Insight Psychological?
All of these items can be worked on, addressed, or supported through proper therapeutic support channels which can include education, referrals, family and couple therapy, or integration work. Our specially trained AASECT and WPATH member psychologists/sex therapists will evaluate and work with you to determine which of these issues are most prominent in order to come up with a proper plan for therapy or support that will enable you to live an authentic life with confidence.