Finding a therapist who corresponds to your needs can be complicated and overwhelming, especially if you are from the LGBTQ+ community. It would be best if you had an experienced, potential, well-trained, and effective LGBTQ+ therapist. Some therapists are unknowledgeable, unsympathetic, and can’t take care of your problem professionally.
A good therapist should be understanding, affordable, and a person who can relate well to your issue to offer relevant guidance. Due to health disparities, discrimination, and unfair treatment of the LGBTQ+ community, they find it more difficult to get a good therapist for their challenges. They find themselves getting unprofessional therapists or lacking one, posing them with more risks like depression, suicide attempts, and drug and substance use.
If possible, LGBTQ+ people should find therapists with the same identity as them for better experiences. After all, an LGBTQ+ person requires someone who knows their problem before opening up and can handle their issue carefully and passionately since they have gone through the same process. For instance, LGBTQA+ teens need therapists who can understand and relate with them. This is especially the case for children with autism, as they need special care and attention. For such kids, connecting with an LGBTQA+ therapist passionate about children’s needs will come in handy.
This article provides tips to follow to get a friendly and effective therapist for your challenges as an LGBTQ+ person.
Why you Need an LGBTQ+ Therapist
LGBTQ+ people are often engaged with minority stress due to the negative implications they get from their counterparts. A person from marginalized community experience minority stress caused by trauma, incompetency, oppression, and low-quality health services they get from others. It leads to chronic stress, which leads to adverse mental and health effects when uncontrolled.
LGBTQ+ mental health problems are caused by poor health services, depression, discrimination, and bullying from their colleagues. These challenges adversely impact the mental condition of LGBTQ+, causing trauma symptoms at a higher rate than cisgender and straight people.
Due to this, there is a need for the LGBTQ+ community to have therapists with whom they can share their experiences. These therapists should be knowledgeable on the sexuality of LGBTQ+, including noticing an LGBTQ+ with no sex drive and guiding them.
For the risks posed by microaggressions and minority stress as an LGBTQ+, get a confidential therapist for your issue to avoid more complications. Though you might think sharing your problems makes you weaker, talking to a mental health specialist who understands your point will relieve you and develop your growth.
However, finding a therapist who is LGBTQ+ is the best fit for you; you don’t have to tell more, as they understand your experiences and are knowledgeable on how to assist you.
Questions to Ask Yourself – How to Find an LGBTQ+ Therapist
What do I Need from a Therapist?
The first thing to get an affirming therapist is the specific reason you need a therapist. This will help you get the right therapist for your needs. It will also save you money and time as you won’t go around looking for any therapist.
Consider the following to get linked with the therapist you need:
- Do you require a general therapist or one concentrating on a specific field?
- Do you need a therapist from the LGBTQ+ community who knows the experiences you’re going through?
- Are you okay with working with a non- LGBTQ+ therapist educated on LGBTQ+ issues?
- Are you willing to work with an intersectional professional therapist?
- Do you want an expert therapist or someone knowledgeable about your issue?
Sometimes, you may be unsure of the level of experience your therapist should possess. In such cases, look for the best therapist resources. The resources will enable you to go for the right therapist as they highlight the skills, attitudes, and beliefs a therapist should own. When you are sure of your need, look for recommendations from others, and you will find the right therapist.
What is the Reputation of Your Recommended Therapist?
When finding a therapist for your needs, ensure to know the history and the reputation the therapist has from others. A good therapist should be trustworthy and helpful and have a good work history. Ask health professionals, friends, and colleagues to know about them.
When asking for suggestions from friends, share your experiences with them, and they will refer you to the best match. However, remember that your mental issue differs from others; hence connect with a therapist with experience with your specific condition.
Do I Need Virtual Therapy or Physical Therapy?
You can opt for online or physical therapy, depending on your flexibility. Sometimes, your recommended therapist may be far from you; this shouldn’t be a reason to miss their service. You may also have a tight schedule which may limit your mobility; in such cases, opt for a telehealth service.
Telehealth involves virtual treatment where the physician can call for a video call and advise you. Since the COVID19 prevalence, telehealth has been broadly adopted by therapists. After all, the LGBTQ+ community needs therapies with or without the pandemic.
Online therapy gives you the privilege to connect with more therapists worldwide who are more experts. The geographical gap shouldn’t be why LGBTQ+ people from rural areas cannot access therapists. For counseling on LGBTQ+ issues, anxiety treatment, and depression therapy, connect with some of the best psychotherapy medical professionals in New York for a free virtual consultation.
However, telehealth will not work for you if:
- Your mental health situation is serious
- You need an immediate reaction from your therapist
- Your health insurance cover doesn’t support a virtual treatment
- You require hormone therapies which need to be carried out physically
- You need a physical therapy experience
How to Find an LGBTQ+ Therapist – Final Thoughts
Finding an LGBTQ+ affirming therapist will improve your mental health, self-esteem, experiences, and life. Aim to get a knowledgeable therapist who is experienced with your condition and ready to help. Although there are many therapists, not all can best suit you. Know what you need well, gather referrals from your trusted friends, ask questions from mental professionals, and you will get the LGBTQ+ therapist you need.