LGBTQ Competent Counselors and Therapists in Concord, NC
The Olympics always go a long way in promoting unity and understanding, but the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang broke new ground. Adam Rippon was the first openly gay man to earn a medal in a winter Olympics. Many people cheered Adam on and off the ice as he figured skated and as he spoke out to promote understanding and acceptance. Adam and his USA teammate and friend, Gus Kenwrothy, competed as openly gay athletes, but they also were able to help people understand what it is like to compete as a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, or Questioning athlete. In the process, they inspired audiences and embodied the spirit of the Olympics. Without a doubt, the LGBTQ community is experiencing the benefits of great cultural strides that have been made for equality and understanding. Also without a doubt, there is still more work to do for the LGBTQ community to experience full equality and acceptance. Consider these difficult realities:
- LGBTQ youth (ages 10-24) endures more hatred, fear, bullying, and prejudice than their straight and cis-gendered peers. They experience more maltreatment at home and at school.
- Suicide is a leading cause of death for LGBTQ youth.
- The LGBTQ community experiences mental illnesses (for example, disorders such as PTSD or Major Depressive Disorder) at a rate three times higher than the general population.
- While 30 percent of the LGBTQ population is fighting substance abuse, only 9 percent of the general population is fighting substance abuse.
- “Minority stress” is commonly reported among LGBTQ people. This added stress is an acute anxiety that occurs as a result of experiencing prejudice, harassment, family rejection, abuse, and/or social exclusion.
“You can argue that it’s a different world now than the one when Matthew Shepard was killed, but there is a subtle difference between tolerance and acceptance. … It’s the chasm between being invited to a colleague’s wedding with your same-sex partner and being able to slow-dance without the other guests whispering.”
― Jodi Picoult, Sing You Home
The mental health challenges that the LGBTQ experiences often result from living in a world that does not accept them for who they are. They may even be abused because of how they were born. This hostile world exacts a hefty toll. When LGBTQ people seek out mental health care, it important that therapists understand the unique challenges they face.
That is why Thriveworks Concord provides LGBTQ informed therapy. We have helped many LGBTQ clients find the self-acceptance that they deserve.
LGBTQ Competent Counseling and The Dual Stigma
Starting therapy can be nerve-wracking for anyone, but those in the LGBTQ community experience an added challenge: the dual stigma. One of the communities that is in most need of mental health care may have the hardest time finding competent care. Until 1973, the American Psychological Association defined homosexuality as a pathology. Gender and sexual orientation were problems to be fixed, not realities to be accepted. The definitions may have been altered, but attitudes within the mental health profession reflect the general population. Some therapists are competent and understanding. Others are not. Thus, many LGBTQ people face the dual stigma.
Many within the LGBTQ community and the mental health care community are working hard to close the gap between the quality of care offered and the need. These communities are working together so that they can spread awareness both with LGBTQ people and with therapists. Thriveworks Concord hopes to be a part of this movement that is offering competent and sensitive care to LGBTQ clients.
Affirmative and Sensitive Counseling
Each person who walks through the doors of a mental health practice is a unique individual. They have their own stories and experiences, triumphs and traumas, challenges and opportunities, strengths and weaknesses. One thing that is not unique is that everyone needs to have a safe space where they can be themselves and speak freely without being judged. As trust grows between a client and a therapist, clients can diver deep into their emotional and psychological wounds, and often, they can experience deep healing. Therapy may be the place where LGBTQ people are able to discusss…
- How and when to come out
- Safety concerns
- Healthy communication
- Dating and other relationships
- Dealing with discrimination and non-acceptance
- Past trauma and abuse
- Gender and sexual identity
- Anxiety and stress
- Eating disorders
- Transcending gender roles
- Self-esteem issues
- Family concerns
Healing is the goal of mental health care, but healing does not always look like diving into wounds or building coping skills. Sometimes, it looks like dreaming and working toward a beautiful future. Counseling is often a place where people clarify their values, identity, dreams, and goals.
Scheduling Therapy at Thriveworks Concord for LGBTQ Competent Care
If you are in the LGBTQ community and if you are struggling, you are not alone. The therapists at Thriveworks Concord are ready to support you in your healing journey. We understand that you face unique challenges, and you do not have to face those challenges alone. When you call our office, know that a scheduling specialist will answer your call and help you make an appointment. You may be meeting with your counselor the following day. We offer weekend and evening sessions. We also accept many different forms of insurance. However, we do not put our clients on a waitlist because we do not have one. Instead, we want our clients to receive the mental health care they need when they need it. Call Thriveworks Concord today.