Gender Identity & Sexual Orientation
Counseling Support for Clients identifying LGBTQ+
Counseling with LGBTQ individuals requires a specialized approach that takes into account the unique experiences and challenges faced by this population. Here are some important concepts that our clinicians keep in mind when working with LGBTQ identities in counseling:
Affirmative and nonjudgmental approach: Our counselors adopt an affirmative and nonjudgmental approach that recognizes the diversity of sexual and gender identities, and that affirms the client's right to self-determination and self-expression.
Understanding of minority stress: Minority stress refers to the chronic stress experienced by LGBTQ individuals due to the stigma, discrimination, and prejudice they face in society. Our clinicians strive to be aware of the impact of minority stress may have on your mental health and well-being and work to help build resilience and coping skills.
Awareness of heteronormativity: Heteronormativity is the assumption that heterosexuality is the norm and that other sexual and gender identities are deviant or abnormal. Our counselors continue to develop awareness of the impact of heteronormativity on our clients and work to create a safe and inclusive space for exploration and expression of identity.
Knowledge of LGBTQ culture: The clinicians at The Counseling Collaborative have knowledge and understanding of LGBTQ culture and be able to navigate the unique challenges faced by this population, including issues related to coming out, family and social acceptance, and legal and policy issues.
Advocacy and support: Our entire offices works to advocate for our clients and support them in accessing resources and services that can help them achieve their goals and improve their well-being. This may include providing referrals to LGBTQ-affirming medical and mental health providers, legal services, and community support groups as well as engaging in systemic reform
Overall, we know that counseling with LGBTQ individuals requires a sensitive and specialized approach that recognizes the unique challenges and experiences of this population. By adopting an affirmative and nonjudgmental approach, being aware of minority stress and heteronormativity, having knowledge of LGBTQ culture, and being prepared to advocate and support clients, our counselors can help clients achieve their goals and improve their mental health and well-being.