Columbia LGBTQ Counseling

LGBTQ Sensitive Therapy in Columbia, SC—Counselors

There is no question, attitudes in the United States are changing to be more accepting of people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning. There is also no question that there is more room to improve. As with most fights for human rights, change happens incrementally. Yes, major legal wins have delivered advancement for marriage equality. Yes, influential voices are using their soapbox to advocate for more inclusion and kindness. Yes, those in the LGBTQ community still face high rates of marginalization and discrimination. Yes, they are paying a mental health toll for this stigmatization as they face higher rates of addiction, anxiety, and depression.

“It takes no compromise to give people their rights…
it takes no money to respect the individual. It takes no political deal to give people freedom. It takes no survey to remove repression.” ― Harvey Milk

Living in freedom—the freedom to be oneself—is the foundational of good emotional health. This includes the freedom to have one’s own likes and dislikes. This includes being honest about one’s weaknesses and strengths. This includes being true to one’s gender and sexuality. Those within the LGBTQ community face roadblocks that others do not. The therapists and counselors at Thriveworks Columbia understand the many forms those obstacles can take, and we are ready to offer support and care for they journey toward self-acceptance and mental health.

LGBTQ Inclusive Therapy

Living one’s truth is critical, but that does not mean it is easy. Others are not always supportive of our truth. Sometimes, we are not even sure of our truth. One of the goals of any therapeutic relationship is safety. When people have a safe place where they can dream, question, speak, remember, and plan without judgment and without shame, then often, they often grow a strong sense of self. There are many positive changes that people experience when they feel this trust, kindness, truth, and self-acceptance, and those within the LGBTQ community need extra support for this process.

People who identify as LGBTQ still face an untrue and unfaith stigma that is nonetheless very real, and this stigma demands a psychological and emotional price. The stress of experience discrimination, harassment, and rejection at higher rates than others has real-life impact. Here is a glimpse into that impact:

  • While the substance abuse rate for those in the general population is 9 percent, the rate within the LGBTQ community is 30 percent.
  • People who identify as LGBTQ report experiencing on-going “minority stress” that results from experiencing more prejudice, denial of human rights, abuse, harassment, family rejection, and social exclusion.
  • LGBTQ youth, ages 10-24 experienced greater rates of hatred, bullying, fear, and prejudice within their schools and homes.
  • LGBTQ youth are also four times more likely to try and kill themselves than their straight or cis-gendered peers.
  • Those within the LGBTQ community experience mental illnesses such as major depressive disorder or generalized anxiety disorder at rates that are three times higher than the general population.

As sobering as these statistics are, the LGBTQ community also faces a “dual stigma” within the mental health care field. Up until 1973, the American Psychological Associate labeled homosexuality as a pathology. The very mental health care that so many within the LGBTQ community needed was denied to because of an unacceptable bias. Even though the label has been officially overturned, many mental health care professionals are uninformed and un-affirming toward their clients who identify as LGBTQ.

The cultural and social context that people live in matters, and given this context, it is understandable that many people within the LGBTQ community have hesitated to reach out for help. However, times are changing. More and more, therapists and counselors are sensitive toward the unique circumstances that their LGBTQ clients face. More and more, LGBTQ people are reaching out for the mental health care they need.

What does it look like for therapists to offer LGBTQ informed care? The counselors at Thriveworks work hard to build trust with their clients. We know that everyone needs a safe place to be themselves, to speak their truth, to tell their story, and to be heard. Our therapists understand the harm that harassment, discrimination, and abuse causes. We honor our clients’ pain. We also honor our clients’ dreams. Many clients also need a safe place to dream and an ally to accomplish those dreams.

There is no formula, but many topics that arise in therapy include:

  • Dealing with discrimination and non-acceptance
  • “Coming out” issues
  • Addiction
  • Anxiety and stress
  • Family concerns
  • Eating disorders
  • Dating and other relationships
  • Gender and sexual identity
  • Healthy communication
  • Depression
  • Transcending gender roles
  • Self-esteem issues
  • Safety concerns
  • Past trauma and abuse

Appointments for LGBTQ Informed Counseling at Thriveworks Columbia

Take a moment to think about what is going on in your life right now. If you are facing discrimination or family rejection or a mental health disorder or minority stress or any number of issues, know that you are not alone. The therapists are Thriveworks Columbia are ready to provide the mental health care you deserve. When you contact our office, know that a real person will answer the phone and help you make an appointment. We do not have an automated response system or a voicemail. New clients often have their first appointment within 24 hours. Weekend and evening sessions are offer. We also accept many forms of insurance. Let’s work together. Call Thriveworks Columbia today.

Thriveworks Counseling Columbia

People Love Our Providers!

Overall Rating: 5★★★★★ based on 10 5 1 10 reviews. See all reviews
Thriveworks Counseling Columbia

Good people.

Everyone is very nice and are really easy to talk to!
Thriveworks Counseling Columbia

Debra Maxwell is Awesome!

Debbie has helped me effectively manage the stress in my current work environment. She has also provided me with practical real-life applications to help me work toward my immediate and long-term goals. I am fortunate to have Debbie as a therapist!
Thriveworks Counseling Columbia


Debbie is such an amazing person to talk to and she helped me through so much in the past year. She has helped me to understand myself and work through my problems. Absolutely amazing :)
Thriveworks Counseling Columbia

Former Employee

Mrs. Anna Gantt-Gordon has an exceptional personality and attitude in working with clients. She goes the extra mile to advocate and encourages others. Great to work with.
Thriveworks Counseling Columbia

Faculty & Service

I highly recommend Thriveworks! The service from the faculty is surperb from the front office to the life coaches & counselors!! I have been going to Thriveworks for 3 years now and, I absolutely love it! They don't treat you like a number like the other places do! If you or someone you know needs couciling then call Thriveworks Mon-Sat! Yes, I said Saturday! They will help you in anyway they can to make you see the light at the end of the tunnel! Thank you Thriveworks for all of the services y'all have provided me with and still do! Without of all of you I don't know where I would be today!
Thriveworks Counseling Columbia

Wonderful People

From the moment I first walked through the doors, I have been treated with respect, and care. I feel so at ease with all the people I have met there. I cannot recommend this team of mental health care providers enough!
Thriveworks Counseling Columbia

Great People who care!

I was having a hard time with my partner and was ready to give up, but we took a chance after some research and found the help we really needed. Sometime you need someone to sit, listen, and guide you. Thank You!
Thriveworks Counseling Columbia


It was difficult asking for help, but the staff and therapist ensured that I was comfortable and made it the best decision. I plan to continue going again.
Thriveworks Counseling Columbia


Caring and Intellegent professionals who care about you and are very successful at what they do.
Thriveworks Counseling Columbia

will never leave thriveworks!!

Absolutely love and the staff! They genuinely care about me and my family! We are not an instance claim.or a case number, we are individuals and treated as such! I would never recommend another theraputical office to anyone else.! I wish I could give 10 stars because they deserve it!!!! HIGHLY recommend to anyone seeking services!
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Thriveworks Counseling

Schedule your first appointment with a Thriveworks Counselor or Life Coach!

  • 1501 Main St #140-C
    Columbia, SC 29201

  • Mon-Fri:7AM-12AM

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