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What is LGBTQ+ affirmative psychotherapy? Guide for Brooklyn Residents

Key Takeaways:

  • Traditionally, LGBTQ+ mental health has not been addressed in any sort of practical, equal, or safe manner.
  • Affirmative psychotherapy for LGBTQ+ people is important because it marks a shift to genuine scientific application to LGBTQ+ mental health.
  • NYC affirmative psychotherapy is some of the best in the country.

Young people today may find it surprising to learn just how recently the mainstream's view on gender and sexuality changed from generally negative and intolerant to, at least in most developed places, generally positive.

In fact, it was only in 2015 - the same year the iPhone 6S was released - that same-sex marriage was made federally legal in the United States. Germany, Finland, Austria, and Australia, to name a few, have only legalized it post-2015.

We're making progress for sure (at least in the West - African and Asian countries still almost all criminalize same-sex marriage).

But make no mistake: We still have a very, very long way to go.

From transgender healthcare cuts to what seems like a resurgence in homophobic demonstrations in many places, it's clear that the heteronormative world still has a lot of work to do in truly accepting the LGBTQ+ community, in the full sense of the word.

It's all well and good commenting on the larger sociopolitical atmosphere around homophobia and transphobia, and the institutions behind it: in fact, it's of vital importance that we do just that.

But what can LGBTQ+ people do in the meantime?

How do we fill the yawning gap of time, legislation, and social progress between now and that ethereal future date when, at least theoretically, we'll get "there" as a society?

How can we minimize, in a very real and practical sense, human suffering in the LGBTQ+ community until our votes and the actions of the powers-that-be finally amount to what could actually be considered an egalitarian society?

Realistically, the answer to this question is different for everyone. At Williamsburg Therapy Group, at least, our answer is LGBTQ+ affirmative psychotherapy.

LGBTQ+ Affirmative Psychotherapy Resources on This Page:

What exactly is LGBTQ+ affirmative psychotherapy?

What To Expect from LGBTQ+ Affirmative Psychotherapy

LGBTQ+ Affirmative Psychotherapy in Brooklyn: Williamsburg Therapy Group

What exactly is LGBTQ+ affirmative psychotherapy?

LGBTQ+ affirmative psychotherapy is a form of evidence-based talk therapy designed specifically with common LGBTQ+ mental health concerns in mind.

While LGBTQ affirmative therapy can address mental health issues like depression and anxiety, they are usually addressed in the context of one's gender and sexual identity, and how it mixes and mingles with their social and familial circles.

Most commonly, however, LGBTQ+ affirmative therapy's primary goal is to reduce internal distress or external stress related to a person's identity; to affirm, through evidence-based therapeutic means, the patient's identity, and to provide them psychological support in relation to that identity.

LGBTQ+ affirmative psychotherapy works on two fronts:

  1. The patient's internal distress, often resulting from learned self-antagonism by way of stigma, upbringing, religion, or other factors.
  2. Support against external antagonism and profession, usually coming from family, coworkers, friends, or faith.

By using this two-pronged defense, a member of the LGBTQ community can find great relief and support from psychotherapy in a world that is often unkind or violent to them.

LGBTQ+ affirmative psychotherapy can also serve as guidance during life transitions related to orientation and identity. For example, a transperson going through the process of transitioning externally from one gender to another may go to affirmative therapy for assistance in navigating the often complex emotional landscape related to the process.

Similarly, someone who is gay but "closeted" may, upon deciding to come out, go to affirmative therapy for advice on letting friends and family into this vulnerable part of their life.

What To Expect from LGBTQ+ Affirmative Psychotherapy

When you book an appointment for LGBTQ+ affirmative psychotherapy, the process starts in a very similar manner to any other kind of therapy.

First, logistics, billing, and paperwork are sorted. Depending on your therapist, some or all of your session fee may be covered by insurance.

At this point, your therapist will also find a regular time during which sessions can be scheduled. Note, also, that like all therapy, you have the right to choose your therapist. Many patients attending LGBTQ+ affirmative therapy wish to have a therapist who is also a member of the community, or even of the same gender and sexual identity as them.

This is totally acceptable and, in fact, encouraged in order to ensure you are getting the type of care you need.

Once the logistics are taken care of, your therapist will likely start by asking about your life, including but not limited to information about:

  • Your social circle/support network
  • Current mental health state
  • Current social landscape in regards to your concern (e.g. How many people know you are trans/gay/bi?)
  • Past feelings about your identity, both internal and external
  • Any potential safety concerns

Note that anything you say in therapy is confidential, as defined by federal and often state law. With certain exceptions, usually in cases of probable physical harm to the patient or others, your therapist is not allowed by law to disclose any information from sessions to anyone.

Your therapist may elect to use a standardized form of therapy like CBT, or they may just use a more subjective form of therapy like psychodynamic therapy. This decision is usually based on medical expertise and your best interests, but note that you can also request one form or another, depending on your preferences and as long as your therapist is trained to perform it.

As sessions progress, your therapist will begin to analyze your internal distress as well as any external contributing factors, and then guide you through both tangible social changes and cognitive restructuring.

If, at any point, you feel as though your therapist is not right for you, you have the right to discontinue sessions and find a new one. In general, therapists will understand the need to change and will even help facilitate it.

LGBTQ+ Affirmative Psychotherapy in Brooklyn: Williamsburg Therapy Group

If you are a member of the LGBTQ+ community and are in need of mental health services, our team of doctoral-level LGBTQ+ therapists is on-hand to help.

Consisting of some of the most highly experienced therapists in the country - many of whom are proud members of the LGBTQ+ community themselves, Williamsburg Therapy Group is Brooklyn's premier talk therapy collective.

Give us a call, and our patient coordinator will assist you in finding the right LGBTQ+ therapist for you.

Book a Therapy Session in NYC Today

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