LGBTQ+ Affirmative Therapy
Are you a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, or do you experience issues related to your gender and sexuality? If so: Are you experiencing relationship challenges at home, in your career, etc.? Have your family dynamics impacted your beliefs and feelings about your identities? Have you experienced interpersonal, identity-based, or other trauma? Do you struggle with poor self-esteem, shame, or internalized biases? Are you living with anxiety, depression, or addiction? LGBTQ+ Affirmative Therapy at The Holding Space may be fit for your needs. Read below to learn more!
What is LGBTQ+ Affirmative Therapy?
LGBTQ+ Affirmative therapy is a form of therapy that not only recognizes clients’ diverse gender and sexual identities, but also actively affirms them. This involves both embracing a
positive view of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual, and other diverse (LGBTQIA+) identities and addressing the impact of negative biases such as homophobia, transphobia, heterosexism, etc. on LGBTQIA+ people. A core belief in LGBTQ+ Affirmative Therapy is that there is nothing abnormal about or wrong with LGBTQIA+
identities—they are natural and innate, as a growing body of research demonstrates. Thus, a primary goal is to help clients understand, accept, and integrate their intersecting identities,
including gender and sexuality, but also race, religion, etc. The therapist’s role in LGBTQ+ Affirmative Therapy can be varied, but a major priority is to recognize LGBTQ-specific issues,
traumas, and dynamics. At the same time, it is understood that LGBTQIA+ people can experience the same issues as anyone else, such as anxiety, depression, addiction, major life
changes, etc., so these are also addressed as part of LGBTQ+ Affirmative Therapy. All of this is done within a warm, empathetic, and accepting environment, which is necessary to build a secure, safe, and collaborative therapeutic relationship.
What does LGBTQ+ Affirmative Therapy look like?
At The Holding Space, we help you identify the issues that are specific to you and offer an individualized, holistic approach to address them. This starts with welcoming our clients into a
warm and accepting environment, which we believe is necessary for creating the trust and safety needed for any therapeutic work. Once these minimum requirements for the therapeutic
relationship have been established, your therapist will work to with you to identify and address both LGBTQ-specific and other issues impacting your mental health. Depending on your unique
needs, your therapist may integrate other treatment modalities with LGBTQ+ Affirmative Therapy processes, which can include:
education on manifestations and impacts of negative biases (transphobia, homophobia, bi-phobia, heterosexism, etc.)
exploration of internalized biases, shame, and self-esteem
identification of external influences (culture, religion, media, policy, etc.) that affirm and denigrate LGBTQIA+ identities
acknowledgement of the (possibly ongoing or not started) coming out process and any internal or external reactions to it
recognition of intersecting identities and their impacts on each other
discussion of physical and mental health disparities among LGBTQIA+ communities
acknowledgement of strength and resilience
Who does LGBTQ+ Affirmative Therapy work for?
LGBTQ+ Affirmative Therapy may be used with LGBTQIA+ individuals or couples. Whether you’re looking to address LGBTQ-specific or other issues, here at The Holding Space, we believe it’s always important to do therapeutic work within an environment that affirms you diverse identities. If you are willing and ready to gain a deeper understanding, acceptance, and integration of your identities, how they are impacted by external factors, and how they impact your relationships with yourself and others, LGBTQ+ Affirmative Therapy might be right for you.
Common topics we address through LGBTQ+ Affirmative Therapy include:
Gender and Sexuality
Sex and Intimacy
To find out if LGBTQ+ Affirmative Therapy might be a fit for your unique needs, contact us for a free consultation today!