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LGBTQIA+ Therapy

Though there have been both significant systemic and societal progress made in the stride towards LGBTQIA+ rights and overall acceptance, some members within the community continue to experience and feel the hardships which can be difficult to navigate alone.

Engaging in therapy with an LGBTQIA+ affirming therapist, has proven to have beneficial affects on individuals, specifically in unpacking and processing a client’s feelings and or experiences where themes of shame, alienation, isolation, and neglect are common amongst members of the community (Kort, 2018).

Our therapists here at Healing Roots Therapy aim to provide client’s with a safe and non-judgmental space that can be fostered in the therapeutic space, with hopes that this will allow the client to begin unpacking and processing their own lived experiences, through a person-centered approach. As a queer-identifying therapist who has supported LBTQIA+ clients, of all ages, from diverse racial, socioeconomic, and cultural backgrounds, in various mental health roles over the past 15+ years, it has become evident that there are significant overlapping themes that these individuals experience.

These include, but are not limited to:

  • a fear of rejection
  • parent-child conflict
  • coming out
  • internalized homophobia/transphobia
  • religion and or religious
  • trauma
  • sense of belonging
  • relationships/relational challenges
  • workplace discrimination
  • safety in the community
  • transitioning and it’s process, and
  • racial and cultural components

 

With these, it is also evident to see how themes of intersectionality may also show up in the therapeutic space amongst members of the community (i.e., queer individuals with intersecting marginalized identities). The Minority Stress Theory, under Intersectional Theory describes this intersectionality as, the acute and chronic experiences of trauma and stress and the physical and psychological ramifications, that can place sexual and racial minority identities, at risk (Ghabrial & Ross, 2018, as cited in Graves, 2022). In having been witness to the emotional and psychological impact that these themes can carry on any one individual, it is necessary to now look at some of the proven therapeutic modalities that can support LGBTQIA+ clients based on these common themes. 

These modalities/approaches include:

  • Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (Individual or Group Therapy)
  • Narrative Therapy, Internal Family Systems (IFS)
  • Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (with the option of the implementation of mindfulness techniques) (Critical, 2021)

If you’re wanting to start or are hoping to continue to unpack, understand, and process your gender and or sexuality or if you’re in need of support pertaining to, but not limited to, the themes mentioned above, therapists at Healing Roots Therapy would be humbled to work with you as you lean into these areas.

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References:

Critical, D. B. T. (2021). Queering DBT. DBT-Informed Art Therapy in Practice: Skillful Means in Action, 233.

Graves, E. (2022). Gap Analysis of 2SLGBTQIA+ Curriculum in Counseling Programs.

Kort, J. (2018). Lgbtq clients in therapy: Clinical issues and treatment strategies. W.W. Norton & Company.

Written by: Sara Scott, MACP, RP

Individual, Couple & Family Therapist

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