LGBTQ Affirmative Counseling in Richmond, VA—Therapists
Big cultural and legal steps have been made toward acceptance and equality for those in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or questioning community. Human rights, like marriage equality, are being restored. Cultural icons are gaining bigger and bigger platforms. In the 2018, Adam Rippon became the first openly gay man to win a medal at the winter Olympics, and he used the attention to promote understanding and acceptance. More and more celebrities are doing the same: using their voices for the common good. The list of accomplishments could go on and on. And yet, the lists of ways that those within the LGBTQ community still experience harassment, abuse, and discrimination could go on and on. The rates of anxiety, depression, and addiction are up to three times higher in those who identify at LGBTQ than those who do not. And yet, it is harder for those who identify as LGBTQ to find the mental health care they deserve.
“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
Respect. Freedom. These are bedrocks of mental health. When these are compromised, mental health will suffer. People deserve for respect. They were born to be free. That means they deserve the space to express their weaknesses and strengths, dislikes and likes, gender and sexuality. Those in the LGBTQ community encounter more obstructions in their path toward this freedom and respect. The counselors and therapists at Thriveworks Richmond understand those roadblocks—the unique difficulties that the LGBTQ community have to handle. We are committed to offering holistic and affirmative mental health care to our LGBTQ clients.
LGBTQ Affirmative Counseling
Living in freedom and respect are important, but they are not easy. Family members, co-workers, friends, and communities are always affirming of our stories. At times, we can even doubt our own truth. That is way affirmative counseling seeks to first and foremost establish trust. When therapists can establish trust with their clients, they are giving their clients safety. Clients know they can dream, question, remember, plan, and speak without fear of being shamed or judged by their counselor. Within a place of safety and trust, a path often appears. A sense of self often strengthens. Identity often becomes clear.
People within the LGBTQ community often have a more difficult path toward freedom and respect than others, and they often need particular guidance and support for the journey. What are some of the things that make their journey more difficult? Here is a small glance of the toll that discrimination, rejection, and harassment can take:
- While the substance abuse rate for cis-gendered and straight populations is 9 percent, within the LGBTQ community, it is 30 percent.
- Many who identify as LGBTQ report a heightened anxiety called “minority stress” that results from experiencing higher rates of family rejection, social exclusion, and violations of human right. Those stress can causes significant physical and mental health difficulties.
- Youth who are between the ages of 10-24 and who identity as LGBTQ live with higher rates of bullying, fear, prejudice, and hatred both within their homes and at school.
- Suicide is one of the leading causes of death for LGBTQ youth.
- Disorder like major depressive disorder, PTSD, and generalized anxiety disorder occur three times more frequently within the LGBTQ community than they occur in cis-gender and straight populations.
These facts are grievous, but there is more to the story. Up until 1973, the American Psychological Association labeled homosexuality as a pathology. It changed the definition but attitude have lagged behind. Mental health care professionals have not always provided the safe place that those within the LGBTQ community needed. Thus, the people who often need mental health care the most have the hardest time receiving it. Many have labeled this dynamic The Dual Stigma.
That is why Thriveworks Richmond offers affirmative counseling to those within the LGBTQ community. We believe everyone deserves care. We believe people should be empowered to be who they are. As our clients and therapists build trust, they often tackle topics such as…
- Dealing with discrimination and non-acceptance
- “Coming out” issues
- Anxiety and stress
- Dating and other relationships
- Family concerns
- Eating disorders
- Gender and sexual identity
- Transcending gender roles
- Healthy communication
- Self-esteem issues
- Safety concerns
- Past trauma and abuse
Scheduling an Appointment at Thriveworks Richmond for LGBTQ Inclusive Counseling
When you think about what is happening in your life right now, what would it be like to have help? What would it be like to have an ally? What would it be like to have healing and acceptance and respect? The therapists at Thriveworks Richmond are ready to walk with you on your journey if you are ready too. When you contact our office, know that a real person will answer your call. We do not have voicemail, but our scheduling specialists help our clients find an appointment that work for their schedule. New clients often have their first appointment within 24 hours. Weekend and evening sessions are offered, but we do not keep a waitlist. Our therapists are credentialed with many insurance panels which means we can accept many different forms of insurance.
Your mental health matters. You are not alone. Let’s work together. Call Thriveworks Richmond today for LGBTQ inclusive therapy and counseling.