Searching For A Compassionate LGBTQ Therapist In The Palm Beach Area?
Are you questioning your sexual orientation? Do you feel like you don’t fit into the binary, gender-conforming box that society places you into? Maybe you want to come out, but a sense of fear, worthlessness, or even self-loathing is preventing you from loving yourself and being the person you truly are.
If you are currently in a heteronormative relationship or marriage, you might worry that your family, children, and partner will reject you when you come out. Conversely, you may regret not having embraced a certain aspect of your gender identity or sexual identity sooner, and now you don’t know how to approach it after denying it for so long.
People in the LGBTQ community experience incredible adversity on a regular basis. The emotional distance created by disapproving family members may be isolating and alienating. The unrelenting social pressure to conform to the traditional model of sexual and/or gender identity may make you question the validity of your own feelings. At times, you may even regard yourself with a certain type of learned prejudice that leaves you feeling broken and unwanted. In truth, the LGBTQ community is still among some of the most regularly persecuted segments of the population. And that barrier can make it harder to accept yourself and live life on your own terms.
Fortunately, counseling can offer guidance for navigating many of the obstacles that LGBTQ individuals routinely face. With the help of an understanding and compassionate therapist you can learn to embrace your authentic self so that you can feel happy and comfortable in your own skin.
Although You May Feel Lost Right Now, You Do Have An Ally
Many people in the LGBTQ community feel as if they are an outsider to society. This can be especially true of individuals who grew up (or are growing up) in a household where having anything other than a heteronormative lifestyle may be regarded as immoral or wrong.
Even if you had supportive parents, family and friends, you may have dealt with physical or emotional attacks from bullies or even teachers who shunned you for being “different.” As a child, these early experiences of discrimination can cause you to question your self-worth. As adults, members of the LGBT community often find that they don’t have the same luxuries and rights compared to heteronormative individuals. LGBTQ individuals are more likely to lose their jobs, be denied housing, barred from marrying the people they want, or may not even be allowed to use the public bathroom of their choice.
Whether or not we are consciously aware of the forces that oppress the LGBTQ population, over time the constant exposure to negativity and inequality can bleed into their unconscious mind. Eventually, the fear, discrimination, and bullying may make them believe that they are broken, worthless, or not even human. And prolonged exposure to maltreatment can eventually contribute to anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem—possibly even suicidal ideations.
Because members of the LGBTQ community (especially teenagers) have high rates of suicide, this problem is not something we can ignore. Fortunately, you do have allies and most of us are closer than you think. With your trust and commitment, LGBTQ counseling can teach you genuine self-acceptance and offer you a life of greater freedom and internal peace.
What Are Some Of The Benefits Of LGBTQ Affirmative Therapy?
Therapy is all about giving you personal and professional support to navigate the process of discovering and embracing who you are. Counseling can offer healthy and productive ways for dealing with the issues that tend to be specific and unique to the LGBTQ community, including the significant but stressful decision to come out. A collaborative and therapeutic relationship with an LGBT therapist can provide you with unparalleled safety and support, bringing greater peace and self-acceptance.
One of the first steps we take in the therapeutic process is making sure that you feel comfortable and secure enough to talk about your concerns. I’ll begin by doing an assessment to get to know a little about your background and history so we can establish your goals. I may ask about certain aspects of your situation: What kinds of challenges are you facing? How do you regard yourself as a person? What are your expectations and goals for therapy?
With this information, we can develop a treatment strategy for overcoming the obstacles that are keeping you from living as your authentic self. For instance, if you are getting ready to come out, I can offer coaching to help make the transition less frightening. If you have trouble asserting yourself, we can work on ways you can better self-advocate to get your own needs met. And because self-esteem issues often affect the LGBTQ community, I can also help you generate a deeper sense of value, self-acceptance, and love for yourself.
One of the treatment methods I use is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT is a powerful tool for reprogramming distorted thought patterns and beliefs about yourself that you may have adopted. Everyone faces their own unique challenges and adversities, so I tailor my approach accordingly. If overwhelming stress is preventing you from feeling comfortable with your identity, I can offer mindfulness-based strategies for staying grounded and connected to the here and now. Alternately, I can help you devise concrete, practical solutions for everything from relationship problems to judgmental family members to your basic day-to-day needs. Nothing is off the table.
For over 15 years, I have been working with the LGBTQ community to help disenfranchised individuals improve nearly every aspect of their lives. Regardless of your situation, you deserve to be—and can be—loved for being exactly who you are.
Perhaps you are considering LGBTQ Therapy but still have some concerns…
I worry that I’m rushing into this (or not going fast enough).
Everyone is different, and the timeline that works for one person may not work for you. That’s why I encourage you to go at a pace that feels comfortable for you; it’s the surest way to get the support you need. There is no right or wrong way to be you. The most important thing is for you to feel safe, valued, and respected; the rest will come with time.
I’m not the one who needs help—my family/ partner is the one who closes me out.
Families and partners can have a devastating impact on their loved one’s well-being when they shut them out because of their sexual or gender identity. Realizing that, I offer gay affirmative therapy sessions for family members as well as LGBTQ marriage counseling for couples who may be struggling with the evolution of their relationship. If your family or partner is a source of strife rather than support, we can tackle that issue together.
I’m worried that I will be judged and not accepted.
I understand that you may be afraid of judgment, but that is a fear that you learned because you weren’t accepted for who you are. My biggest job is to make sure that my office is a sanctuary where you can be, say, and feel anything that you need to. I promise that you will not find any judgment here—only unconditional positive regard and the goal to help you understand that you are perfect just the way you are.
Be Yourself With Confidence
If you are ready to begin your personal journey toward greater peace and fulfillment, please call (561) 290-1658 or click here to contact me for your free 15-minute consultation or to schedule an appointment.