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3 min read

Therapy for LBGTQ+ Couples in Austin, TX: What To Know

an lgbtq couple goes to therapy

It can be difficult to find a therapist whom you can build a good rapport with in general, but this can become exponentially harder when it comes to finding therapy for gay couples. Individuals in the LGBTQ community often face unique mental health challenges and may have difficulty finding people who understand gender identity and sexual orientation.

In this article, we'll explore how LGBTQ-affirming therapists can help those who have been affected by stigma, and how counseling services focused on affirmative therapy can not only help queer individuals and couples deal with relationship issues but also improve overall mental health.

Why might I want to see an LGBTQ-affirming or LGBTQ-friendly therapist?

Historically, people in the LGBTQ community have faced unique challenges when it comes to seeking therapy. Even progressive therapists may not entirely understand the needs of those with different gender identities, sexual orientations, and the systemic issues that surround them. Trust is an essential ingredient in building a therapeutic alliance, and without good rapport, many people will drop out of therapy early.

Working with affirming therapists can offer a safe and supportive space to those who are managing past trauma around issues keeping them from being their authentic selves around others. These therapists will be respectful of a person's lived experience and can help their clients feel more psychologically safe. In this way, therapy will be more effective at helping them manage mental health issues and build healthy relationships.

How LGBTQ+ Affirmative Therapy Can Help: What are some concerns that therapy can help LGBTQ individuals with?

LGBTQ affirmative therapists can work with any number of mental health issues, however, they can do so with a lens on the unique mental health challenges of the LGBTQ community. For example, if they work with an individual on substance abuse, they may better understand the trauma behind the challenge.

LGBTQ counseling services may be utilized for topics specific to the community, such as self acceptance around gender identity, transgender issues, trauma from emotional abuse or systemic oppression, and other challenges. However, LGBTQ counseling is also for general issues involving mental health, relationship counseling for exclusive or open relationships, and simply working on self-acceptance and self-growth for a more fulfilling life.

LGBTQ Counseling for Relationship Issues

Relationship counseling for the LGBTQ community should be completely affirming and judgment-free. Members of the LGBTQ community can benefit from therapists who understand the unique challenges of dating and marriage in the community.

Some therapists who are non-affirming or not trained may not understand open relationships or relationship counseling for multi-partnered relationships. They may express confusion about sexual identity or orientation, or the pairing of a transgender person and a cisgender person of the same or opposite gender. Young people, in particular, may have a number of ways to explore different types of romantic or sexual relationships and should be able to do so as their authentic selves and without negative comments.

Do LGBTQ-affirmative therapists receive special training?

When it comes to LGBTQ counseling, therapists do receive specialized training in things like gender identity and sexual orientation, as well as the challenges that members of the LGBTQ community face in the world. They often have a deep understanding of LGBTQ individuals who have dealt with trauma and the effects on their self-acceptance and well-being. They understand how to offer a safe space free from discrimination.

How can I inquire about a therapist's experience with LGBTQ issues?

For those seeking therapy, it is important to feel empowered to ask questions of your therapist, especially when it comes to how they deal with issues that are common in the LGBTQ community. Ask about their experience and comfort in dealing with issues of gender identity and sexual orientation with clients.

A therapist should have no problem answering any of these questions, nor should they take offense to the questions you'd ask. If any therapist is evasive about answering or if they give any kind of pushback, you have your answer about whether you want to work with them.

Are all the therapists listed in the LGBTQ+ directory themselves members of the community?

Not necessarily. Allies with training in LGBTQ community issues can work with queer individuals and couples; however, in some cases, the clients may feel more comfortable in working with someone who shares their identity. Many therapists are open about their sexuality and gender identity and will freely share it on their online profiles.

LGBTQ+ friendly therapists in Austin, TX provide mental health services in a supportive environment.

Many mental health websites offer an LGBTQ counseling directory, which can be a good place to get started on your mental health journey. Members of the LGBTQ counseling community are listed here and can be searched by city and state. LGBTQ individuals who are not in a geographical area with a lot of choices when it comes to LGBTQ counseling may be able to work online with a therapist.

To find support, explore the directory and look for members of the LGBTQ counseling community that are either close to your area, or who offer online services (many do offer this option in today's world). When it comes to couples therapy, support on issues like sexuality, improving communication, managing mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety, and other services can be key.

LGBTQ+ relationship therapy in Austin can lead to greater satisfaction in relationships or marriages. Don't let fear of a therapist not understanding LGBTQ issues keep you from getting the support you deserve. LGBTQ-affirming therapists are specially trained and very often LGBTQ individuals themselves, and they have a deep understanding of relationships and the struggle you may have with trust and intimacy when it comes to therapists. Working with one of these individuals can offer you the support you need to build healthy relationships in your life.

Book a Couples Therapy Session in Austin Today

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