Therapy can benefit many people from all different backgrounds and experiences. However, while some think therapy is mostly useful for changing personal issues or addressing individual mental health, it can also support people of various communities who are more likely to experience trauma because of their identities.
If you’re part of the LGBTQ+ community, you may deal with problems in society that heterosexual people do not. These identities are often debated politically, and many individuals in this community worry about their rights.
There can also be interpersonal and familial issues that are unique to members of the queer community. As such, many LGBTQ+ people can benefit from therapy, whether for personal situations or more systematic ones.
Still, if you’re considering therapy for yourself, you may have questions about the benefits as a queer person. You may also wonder how to find a therapist that can assist you. Learn more about therapy for LGBTQ+ people in this guide and get some resources on how to find an LGBTQ+ affirming therapist.
1. Navigate Complex Personal Relationships
Personal relationships can be fraught for nearly anyone. Whether it’s friends, family, or romantic partners, problems with loved ones can cause significant stress and strain mental and emotional health. While this is true for many people, those in the LGBTQ+ community often face additional barriers and stressors in these relationships.
It’s sadly common for queer people to face rejection from friends and family because of their sexuality. Figuring out how to navigate these complicated and sometimes hurtful relationships is essential, and a skilled therapist can assist with this.
2. Heal From Trauma
While members of the LGBTQ+ community aren’t the only people to experience trauma, they can be more likely to face violence or harassment because of their identities. They may also deal with trauma from their families. Abuse and neglect can impact children, teenagers, and adults.
So, a trained, supportive therapist can help the patient find ways to heal from trauma and develop healthy coping strategies.
3. Get Connected To Community Resources
Many people in the LGBTQ+ community are looking for resources in their community. This can mean finding events to meet friends or learning about health and safety resources catered for the queer community. With an experienced therapist, individuals can learn more about the various resources available in their area.
4. Assistance With Mental Health Conditions
Many Americans struggle with anxiety disorders, depression, and other mental health conditions. In fact, it’s estimated that around 5% of adults worldwide suffer from depressive disorders. Members of the queer community are often disproportionately impacted by mental health conditions, likely because of the additional barriers and prejudices they face in society.
According to some studies, around 40% of LGBTQIA+ individuals reported facing mental health issues in the past year.
While struggling with mental illness can be debilitating and impactful, there is help to be found. Working with a therapist can bring relief to queer people and anyone struggling with mental health. A therapist can also refer patients to a doctor or psychiatrist if medications are needed.
How To Find A LGBTQ+ Affirming Therapist
Unfortunately, finding a supportive therapist can be challenging for some individuals. People who live in smaller or more conservative areas may struggle to find queer-affirming counselors.
Luckily, you can find directories online that can direct you to helpful therapists, and it’s also possible to do telehealth if there are few options in your community. If you require assistance immediately, you can also call hotlines, such as the suicide crisis hotline.