Are You Feeling Misunderstood And Rejected By The World Around You?
Do you identify as part of the lesbian, gay, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual (LGBTQIA), or nonbinary community? As a result, are you struggling to feel accepted in the context of your family, workplace, or other relationships?
Maybe you have recently come out as LGBTQIA or nonbinary and experienced rejection from those around you. It could be that your family doesn’t understand or accept your identity or that you’ve come up against discrimination in the workplace. And if you’ve come out later in life, you may be struggling to understand how to identify, communicate, and reconcile aspects of your gender and/or sexuality within your long-term relationships.
Perhaps you’re not quite sure how you even identify yet. You may struggle with internal questions about who you are and what you want. And you’re likely looking for a safe space or an LGBTQIA-affirming therapist where you can explore matters of your identity.
It’s well documented that those in the LGBTQIA community experience mental health challenges at much higher rates than their heteronormative, cisgender counterparts. Given that this group faces increased discrimination, surveillance, and violence, it’s no wonder that LGBTQIA-identifying individuals struggle with depression and anxiety at alarming rates when compared to the general population.
You may feel sad, unmotivated, or withdrawn. Perhaps you often become hypervigilant or engage in perfectionist tendencies out of a need to offset the parts of yourself that feel weak or shameful. As you struggle emotionally, you may feel the need to self-harm or numb your pain using substances. Maybe you’ve even considered ending your life because you feel so alienated and undervalued.
But there is a place for you in this world and you can find a sense of affirmation in therapy. With LGBTQIA counseling at Rhapsody Behavioral Healthcare, you can learn to accept—and celebrate—yourself with pride.
LGBTQIA-Identifying Individuals Experience Discrimination And Distress At Increased Rates
As previously mentioned, those of us in the LGBTQIA population, in particular, are at higher risk for encountering hurdles in our mental health, and unfortunately, there can be barriers in receiving proper care.
According to Mental Health America, 4.5 percent of Americans identify as LGBTQIA. And of that relatively large population, over 60 percent have struggled with depression, 45 percent with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and 36 percent with an anxiety disorder. Not to mention, 40 percent of trans individuals have attempted suicide—which is nine times the national average.
There are any number of reasons why we may face discrimination, rejection, or even violence as a result of our LGBTQIA identities. Many of us were brought up with strict familial, religious, or cultural standards that reinforce cisgender, heterosexual—or “cishet”—norms. And we may struggle with a sense of shame that we have veered from the expectations created for us, even if those expectations are narrow and outdated.
Moreover, for those of us who began exploring our sexual or gender identity later in life, we may not be all that familiar with the terminology, ideology, and resources that exist to affirm our self-discoveries. Cultural understanding of LGBTQIA and nonbinary issues varies between generations, and it seems as though each successive generation of young folks has created new norms, terms, and awareness of these issues.
If you’re struggling with symptoms of depression, anxiety, or unresolved trauma, it’s possible that you have trouble accepting a fundamental part of yourself and that you don’t know where to begin on the path to healing. But by participating in counseling at Rhapsody Behavioral Healthcare with our LGBTQIA-identifying and affirming therapists, you can have a chance to process your experiences, feel valued, and look ahead to the future with confidence.
LGBTQIA Counseling Offers A Chance For Self-Awareness, Self-Acceptance, And Healing
Because issues of gender and sexuality exist across a spectrum, it may be hard for you to fully understand your fundamental character, desires, and self-beliefs in the process of identity exploration. That’s why we invite you to come exactly as you are—wherever you are in the process.
At Rhapsody Behavioral Healthcare, all of our clinicians are LGBTQIA-affirming therapists and one of our counselors is themselves a member of the community. Therefore, you can feel comfortable and confident that you will encounter a psychologically safe and empathetic space, receive support, and learn more about the resources available to you.
Once you have been matched with the clinician who is best suited to meet your needs, you will work together through a few initial sessions to go over presenting problems, outline goals, and develop a treatment plan that puts you at the center.
From there, we will utilize narrative and person-centered therapies to help you connect with the deepest and most genuine facets of your identity as you
begin to slowly challenge some of the distorted thinking patterns and expectations that have contributed to your suffering. In this process, you will also learn more about identifying unhealthy relationships and behaviors that are holding you back.
With this knowledge, you’ll be able to build self-esteem and confidence over time. Not only will your LGBTQIA therapist help you in coming up with specific ways to combat discrimination, but you will also learn healthier and more individualized ways to cope with distress (i.e., alternatives to substance abuse, self-medication, and self-harm). As a result, you can become more successful in clarifying and setting boundaries with yourself and others so that you can achieve acceptance and a high degree of self-determination.
Though it may seem hard to imagine now, you can come to know and love yourself exactly as you are. By learning ways to reduce the harm created by people who don’t accept you as you are, you can regain the confidence and perspective needed to move forward.
A life of being out and proud is possible—and it starts with LGBTQIA counseling at Rhapsody Behavioral Healthcare.
Maybe you’re ready to seek out the help of an LGBTQIA-affirming therapist in counseling, but you still have questions…
All this talk of gender, sexuality, and identity exploration is new to me; I don’t even know how I identify, so how will therapy be useful?
In our practice, we’ve worked with clients who, due to shame, avoidance, or lack of awareness, have come out as LGBTQIA later in life—long after they had established another narrative of their identity. We aren’t here to label you or tell you how to identify, but rather, we aim to serve as a resource on your journey.
Your Rhapsody Behavioral clinician can help you understand the terminologies and ideologies behind LGBTQIA culture and provide a sounding board for you to sort through your emotions and experiences. And we are confident that with LGBTQIA counseling, you’ll be more aware of who you are and how you want to identify.
I’m worried that a therapist won’t understand what I am going through as an LGBTQIA-identifying person.
Our clinicians are culturally competent and affirming professionals who treat each client with dignity, validation, and respect. And because we have an LGBTQIA-identifying therapist on our team, we can provide even more relatable care to our clients who are part of this community.
No matter who you work with at Rhapsody Behavioral Healthcare, we will meet you wherever it is you are on your journey and work with you to build your confidence and create a sense of possibility for a bright future ahead.
How can I be a good ally to a loved one who has just come out as LGBTQIA or nonbinary?
By learning more about your loved one’s experience and the increased chance of challenges to their mental health, you are already educating yourself in a way that is likely to be very helpful to them. We encourage you to sit with them, listen to their story, and validate their experience as much as possible. And if you feel that your responses are falling short or that your loved one needs more support, you can always encourage them to see an LGBTQIA-affirming therapist for counseling.
You Can Feel Accepted And Celebrated For Who You Are
If you’re struggling with familial rejection, workplace discrimination, or emotional distress related to your gender or sexual identity, LGBTQIA counseling at Rhapsody Behavioral Healthcare can affirm your experience and give you the tools to create the life you want with confidence. For more information about our LGBTQIA therapists or to schedule a free, 15-minute consultation, please send us an email or contact us via our site.