Considering Therapy? This is Where LGBTQ Patients Can Find Professional Help

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The LGBTQ community faces unique stresses in the world today. Now more than ever, therapists are finding ways to make sure everyone gets the help that they need. 

In 1972,  a vice presidential candidate had to resign from the Demo- cratic ticket when his mental stability was called into question. Why? Because he had been treated for depression. Although the stigma around psychotherapy has lifted somewhat since then, those who need it most are often afraid to say so — including members of LGBTQ family. The good news? It’s easier than ever to find the help you need.

The Benefits of Therapy

“Therapy” shouldn’t be a taboo term. Seeking counsel has proven to offer a host of benefits — particularly to LGBTQ individuals. Even in today’s more open society, LGBTQ community members face issues both internal and external that can come from problems coming out, body image pressures or relationship issues. Such struggles do not necessarily end once you figure out that you’re part of the subculture.

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Some middle-aged gay men report difficulty finding their place in the community. People whose understandings of their own gender identities and sexual orientations continue to evolve may also face added challenges in expressing themselves and dealing with partners’ expectations. But there’s no need to deal with those pressures alone.

Professional expertise is out there, and the sooner you start looking, the happier you’ll be. The field of therapy itself is in motion, too — looking for better ways to be as attentive and helpful as possible to those who seek them out. And for therapists, part of that is seeking out better ways to identify and reach the patients who need them most.

“People still need help with coming out—when, how and to whom,” said Doug Haldeman, PhD, a clinical faculty member at the University of Washington. “But psychologists are seeing a whole host of other issues related to the creation of LGBT families, LGBT people in the workplace, generational differences and the reality of multiple-minority identities — issues that demand our best research and clinical skills.”

As the general public becomes more aware of the issues that the LGBTQ community faces, therapy options are becoming more tailored to meet their needs. Research shows that more LGBTQ individuals are seeking out therapy than not, and that most are doing so with positive results. Provided  safe spaces to explore emotions and behavior, clients in therapy are seeing marked improvements in self-confidence. Counselors are seeing particular progress with LGBTQ affirmative therapy, an approach to psychotherapy which focuses on empowering individuals in all aspects of their lives. In doing so, therapists are able to respect and help work through the variety of unique experiences and challenges their patients experience in this increasingly non-binary world.

New Alternatives

Mental health professionals continue to evolve in their  understanding of sexual orientation issues. For example, therapists are finding new ways to provide assistance — via online therapy apps. Your computer or smart phone can be a great way to get advice that is affordable, convenient and discreet.

The digital counseling medium was created in response to the lack of access millions of people had to professional help.  As a result, therapists and programmers have worked together to create options that save time and reach a greater number of people in need.  This new and convenient therapy alternative connects certified psychologists with those experiencing mental health issues. And although online therapy is still in its early stages, there’s already a variety of possibilities.

Various therapy apps provide dozens of services that may appeal to different kinds of patients. But these are not bots with whom clients are interacting. Users are connected with certified psychologists trained to address a host of problems relating to mental health and well-being. Online counseling also means you can connect with a psychologist who is a good fit for you regardless of where you or they are and more easily change therapists if you find the relationship is not a good fit. Translation: more people get access to the right help. Efficiency is also one of the biggest benefits, as online therapy apps allows for 24/7 access on-the-go. Ultimately, that means fewer times you’ll have to sacrifice your state of mind for the sake of your busy schedule. As with any other form of therapy, digital counseling remains between you and your professional. High-level encryptions that only patient and therapist can access safeguard your confidentiality.

Where to Start

One of the highest ranked therapy apps is Betterhelp. For $65 a week, users receive access to unlimited sessions with their choice from 4,000 licensed therapists. Sessions can be conducted over the phone, via video chat or through messaging.

Maybe you’re seeking relationship counseling instead. ReGain was named the best app for couples therapy by e-counseling.com. Also priced at $65 a week, the service provides couples with therapists who specialize in counseling for partners. These sessions can also be conducted on a variety of digital platforms.

There are numerous options available for anyone in need of a safe space to be heard – whether you’re more comfortable doing so remotely or in person. Check out our Metrosource Directory of qualified LGBTQ-friendly professionals for options today.   

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Last modified: October 7, 2019