Are you spending your life afraid to admit who you really are? Do you think you might be facing the rejection of family and friends if they knew you were gay or transgender? Are you feeling stuck between the rock and hard place of being true to yourself or ending up alone? It can be very stressful to feel that you have to lie to the people you care about most and pretend to be something other than who you are. Do you wish you were free to just love who you want without the pressure to fit into some mold that doesn’t work for you? Do you worry about someone finding out your secret—that maybe you will lose your job or family & friends or your faith community? Or maybe you’ve taken the step to come out but some of your fears have come to pass and you’re hearing all sorts of negative things from the people you care most about? Things like “Why are you making this choice?” “You are choosing a path of sin,” “Maybe you need counseling that will help you change” or, even as one of my clients heard from a loved one, “This is the devil working through you.” Or maybe you’re in a relationship trying to deal with usual relationship issues that are exacerbated by living in a culture or family whose level of acceptance is less than ideal? These can all be reasons that people stay stuck and unhappy for years.
I’ve heard so much pain from my LGBT clients, but I have also seen people move to a place of self-acceptance through LGBT counseling. I have also seen many people work through difficult times in their relationships and come to a better place. LGBT counseling can provide a safe, non-judgmental space to get support while going through a transition or dealing with ongoing difficult situationsLosing a loved one can be the most difficult time in your life. . Sometimes it’s helpful to hear hope that other people have gone through a similar struggle and come out of it on the other side.
You may have some questions about LGBT counseling. Some I have heard are:
“I’ve been through counseling before that was supposed to help me but there was another agenda to fix me. How would this be different?”
Well I can understand why that kind of experience can be so upsetting to people—to reach out for help and allow yourself to be vulnerable only to feel shamed and judged. In LGBT counseling sessions, I have no agenda other than helping my clients find peace for themselves. I don’t practice any type of Reparative therapy and am not affiliated with any particular church. I’m always happy to talk with people about their faith issues if that is something they want to explore but it’s not a focus from my end.
“Isn’t counseling for people with mental health problems? I don’t think I am mentally ill.”
Good news—you don’t need to have a mental illness to get value out of counseling. Counseling can be a tool for healthy people to get support or learn strategies to deal with other people. People don’t view getting a personal trainer as a weakness but rather a way to consult with an expert who can help them achieve a goal. Counseling can be the same idea.
“Maybe the problems I’m dealing with are not that bad. I can handle it on my own.”
Well you certainly have been handling it on your own so that is not the issue. But sometimes it can be nice to share the burden with someone else. A good thing about counseling is that it can be helpful to get an unbiased perspective which is not always easy for people in our lives to provide.
I studied and worked for years in the theatre. This was wonderful in many ways. One of which was the exposure I’ve had to a very diverse group of people. I’ve had good friends over the years who’ve struggled with various issues and this have given me a passion to help other people who struggle with issues of discrimination just for being who they are. I have no patience for intolerance which makes me a strong advocate for my LGBT clients. I also have extensive training and experience with counseling couples which adds to the services I offer. Sometimes problems are just problems and have nothing to do with sexual orientation; I have years of experience with a wide range of mental health issues like depression and anxiety.
I offer a free 20 minute phone consultation. You may also email me if you have any additional questions about LGBT counseling I can answer or if you feel ready to make an appointment you can go straight to the scheduling calendar and sign up for a time.