Should You Seek LGBTQ-Specific Support Therapy?
The idea of looking for a practice that provides LGBTQ support therapy might seem a little odd at first. After all, isn't therapy what it is regardless of a client's gendered or sexual identity? There are several reasons why someone might wish to seek LGBTQ therapy as a specific option. Take a look at them below.
Just as there are professionals who elect to work with people with PTSD from specific experiences like sexual abuse, combat, or disasters, there are ones who work with people from LGBTQ backgrounds. The central argument here is that the LGBTQ experience is distinct, and a client can benefit from meeting with someone who focuses on the specific experience. Especially for people who struggled with early issues that focused on their identities, it can be helpful to discuss those periods with someone versed in LGBTQ concerns.
Moving Past a Tough Conversation
It can be tough to tell a stranger that you identify as queer, even if the stranger is a trained professional. Frankly, some people will find it easier to skip past that conversation by asking for LGBTQ support therapy by name.
Remember, a key component of therapy is a safe environment. If you feel like you'd have a hard time broaching LGBTQ concerns out of the blue with a practitioner, the solution may be to just not have to do it. Contacting a practice that focuses on LGBTQ support therapy builds in a set of assumptions that will allow you to move past that and feel safe doing so.
Less Fixation on the LGBTQ Part
As much as practitioners will try to treat their clients the same, there's a downside to a patient being different from the others. Some practitioners are going to focus on the LGBTQ aspect of a person's identity, to the point it can be a fault. For example, the therapist might uniquely focus on why someone felt they needed hormone replacement therapy or even pathologize the client's situation.
Within the LGBTQ support therapy framework, you don't have to worry about identity becoming the only conversation you'll have. Yes, a therapist can address such concerns when it's appropriate. However, a bisexual person may just need to talk about feelings of depression without looking at anything else. It can be liberating to know there's an LGBTQ component to therapy without it becoming the entire point. Instead, you can talk about options that fit you without fear of being pathologized for your circumstances.