The right fit makes a world of difference when it comes to finding a therapist. Many people are aware that therapists often use different therapy modalities, have varying educational backgrounds, or focus on specific concerns such as anxiety or trauma. However, what you may not know is that there are also therapists who specialize in working with various populations. This is imperative for many people when it comes to getting the most out of therapy.
Why LGBTQIA+ Therapists Are Essential
Why are LGBTQIA+ therapists so important? It just makes sense that someone that has a similar identity may have shared experiences in which they can help delve deeper into. There are many reasons as to why this is the case, but here are some of the most vital:
Since an LGBTQIA+ therapist is more likely to be versed in matters that impact LGBTQIA+ individuals, finding an LGBTQIA+ affirming therapist can give you a sense of understanding that you might struggle to find otherwise. Sometimes, you’ll want to talk about your life in the context of an LGBTQIA+ experience, and having someone who understands that context makes a world of difference. This may come down to the nuances of your relationships, gender dysphoria, systemic barriers facing LGBT community, world issues or events that impact LGBTQIA+ individuals, terms that you use, or something else.
Whether you’re seeking individual therapy, group therapy, or couples therapy, it can be a lot easier to start trusting a mental health professional if you go into it knowing that you’re safe both physically and emotionally. You don’t have to trust a provider on the first session in any case, but it can help you have a better therapeutic connection in the sense that you know that you can truly be open and show every aspect of who you are in therapy.
Even if a therapist is accepting, if they don’t specialize in the LGBTQIA+ population, what can sometimes happen is that a person feels as though they have to keep things inside as a reflex. On the other hand, if you know what population a therapist works with, it can be a lot easier to let your guard down and talk about what’s going on in your life, especially if that’s something you’d struggle with otherwise.
When you feel like you can talk to your therapist about anything that’s on your mind, and when you’re able to achieve that sense of safety and understanding we all want in and outside of therapy, you’re more likely to make the progress you want to make. Depending on what you’re looking for (some people will seek ongoing mental health support, whereas others may attend one or two sessions to get a letter for a medical procedure through the informed consent model, etc.), this can save a lot of time, money, and stress. It’s also worth noting that certain concerns, such as eating disorders, are more prevalent in the LGBTQIA+ population. An LGBTQIA+ therapist is more likely to understand how these different factors may intersect so that they can support you holistically.
Finding A LGBTQIA-Friendly Therapist
Here are some ways to go about finding an LGBTQIA+ therapist:
- Ask your doctor for a referral to an LGBTQIA+ therapist in your area.
- Search the web for an LGBTQIA+ therapist in your area using search terms such as “LGBTQIA+ therapist near me.”
- Ask local LGBTQIA+ community organizations for recommendations. This may be particularly beneficial if you aren’t comfortable asking your doctor or are struggling to find providers who meet your needs. If you are a student at a college or university, you may have a counseling center or LGBTQIA+ student resource center that can help.
- Use an online therapy website. Many online therapy websites like BetterHelp have licensed LGBTQIA+ therapists. Often, when you sign up for a reputable online therapy website, they’ll have you take a quick questionnaire that’ll help you find the right match. It’s also often faster and more affordable to find a provider through an online therapy website.
If you want to learn more about mental health and therapy, visit Mind Diagnostics to take mental health quizzes and read about everything from depression to even video game addiction. When you’re ready to try therapy, you can tap in your zip code and you’ll see a range of providers in your area who work with various populations, concerns, and modalities.
Simply type in your zip code, and you’ll see a range of providers in your area who work with various populations, concerns, and modalities. Regardless of how you reach out for support, take pride in doing so. Asking for support is something to be proud of, and you deserve to get the help you need.