Image of a therapist and client in a counseling session.

1,296 people sought LGBTQ+ counseling help in South Carolina in the last year

Discover how starting LGBTQ+ counseling can support your own journey toward a happier, more fulfilling life.

Meet with a provider as soon as this week

Our therapists in Columbia are booked, but we have 32 other therapists in SC available for an online or in-person session.

Starting LGBTQ+ counseling

What is LGBTQ+ counseling?

LGBTQ+ counseling is a type of queer affirmative counseling dedicated to assisting individuals and couples in navigating the intricate intersections of their sexual orientation, gender identity, and mental health, with a primary goal of fostering well-being, self-acceptance, and affirming a client's life experiences as a queer individual. Although not all LGBTQ+ individuals seek specialized counseling, a substantial number discover vital support and empathy within these inclusive and affirming therapeutic settings.

How does LGBTQ+ counseling work?

Thriveworks LGBTQ+ counseling in Columbia, SC typically begins with an initial assessment to understand your specific needs. LGBTQ+ counselors aim to create a safe, inclusive, and affirming environment for anyone within the LGBTQ+ community by encouraging self-acceptance and offering an understanding of your identity and experiences. The therapy addresses issues like coming out, discrimination, mental health challenges, and gender transition, and provides support for LGBTQ+ relationships.

Why is LGBTQ+ counseling important?

LGBTQ+ counseling is incredibly important because it can help queer individuals accept their identity, learn self-love, and give them important tools for facing the challenges of being a queer person in today's society, among many other benefits. LGBTQ+-affirming therapists can understand the unique perspective and experiences of queer individuals as they help them process past trauma, address family conflicts, treat issues with anxiety, and more.

Is LGBTQ+ counseling conducted in person or online?

Thriveworks LGBTQ+ counseling in Columbia, SC is conducted both in person and online by video. We encourage you to choose the option that works best for you.

How long does LGBTQ+ counseling last?

The number of sessions for LGBTQ+ counseling depends on the specific needs and goals of the individual. It could encompass a relatively limited series of sessions or extend into a longer counseling plan. The precise quantity and duration of sessions typically emerge through collaborative discussion with the counselor, taking into account the client's progress and their therapeutic objectives.

Need more help deciding?

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.

Pricing & insurance

Our therapists accept most major insurances. We cover 180 million Americans – and offer self-pay options, too.
Learn more about pricing for therapy and counseling services at Thriveworks.

Our Columbia therapists and counselors accept 22 insurance plans

  • Aetna

  • Blue Cross and Blue of South Carolina Medicare Advantage

  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Carolina | BCBS

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield | Anthem (Blue Card)

  • Carelon

  • Carolina Behavioral Health Alliance (CBHA)

  • Cigna | Evernorth

  • Cigna | Evernorth EAP

  • Cigna | Evernorth Medicare Advantage

  • Compsych

  • First Health Network

  • Humana Exchange

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Self-pay costs at Columbia
Talk therapy

Talk therapy

Includes individual, couples, child/ teen, & family therapy

First session

$1

Ongoing sessions

$1

Talk therapy

Psychiatry

Includes reducing symptoms with medication & management

First session

$1

Ongoing sessions

$1

Hear from our clients

4.9 Thriveworks Columbia reviews are collected through Thriveworks.com.
★★★★
Everyone is very nice and are really easy to talk to!
Columbia, SC Sep 2020
Review left on Thriveworks.com
★★★★★
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!
Read more 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!
Columbia, SC Sep 2020
Review left on Thriveworks.com
★★★★★
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 :)
Read more 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 :)
Columbia, SC Sep 2020
Review left on Thriveworks.com
★★★★★
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.
Read more 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.
Columbia, SC Aug 2020
Review left on Thriveworks.com
★★★★★
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!
Read more 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!
Columbia, SC Mar 2019
Review left on Thriveworks.com
★★★★★
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!
Read more 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!
Columbia, SC Nov 2018
Review left on Thriveworks.com
★★★★★
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!
Read more 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!
Columbia, SC Mar 2017
Review left on Thriveworks.com
★★★★★
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.
Read more 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.
Columbia, SC Mar 2017
Review left on Thriveworks.com

Where to find us

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Getting here

Thriveworks Counseling & Psychiatry Columbia is right next to Boyd Plaza, and in a shared office building with TD Bank. We are at the corner of Main and Hampton Street, across the street from Wells Fargo.

Phone number

(803) 882-3401

Languages spoken by SC providers

  • English
Saturday 8:00am - 9:00pm
Sunday 8:00am - 9:00pm
Monday 8:00am - 9:00pm
Tuesday 8:00am - 9:00pm
Wednesday 8:00am - 9:00pm
Thursday 8:00am - 9:00pm
Friday 8:00am - 9:00pm

Shown in ET

Saturday 7:00am - 6:00pm
Sunday 8:00am - 5:00pm
Monday 7:00am - 9:30pm
Tuesday 7:00am - 9:30pm
Wednesday 7:00am - 9:30pm
Thursday 7:00am - 9:30pm
Friday 7:00am - 9:30pm

Shown in ET