Therapists help people process and get past the curveballs life throws their way. There are many reasons why someone might decide to see a therapist. A person may need help navigating depression, anxiety, or self-destructive behaviors. Maybe they need guidance to process an unexpected life event. All sorts of people benefit from therapy, so what makes the LGBTQIA+ community any different?
Why might LGBTQIA+ people need therapy?
LGBTQIA+ people face unique challenges that many outside of the community will never understand. They face higher rates of depression and substance abuse. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 23% of lesbian, gay, or bisexual youth attempted suicide in 2019 compared to 6% of heterosexual youth.
LGBTQIA+ youth are at a higher risk of bullying, harassment, and physical violence. According to the 2019 National School Climate Survey from Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN):
59.1% of LGBTQ students felt unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation
42.5% of LGBTQ students felt unsafe at school because of their gender expression
77.6% reported avoiding school functions and extracurricular activities
52.4% of students reported hearing homophobic remarks from their teachers or other school staff
66.7% of students reported hearing negative comments about gender expression from teachers or other school staff
There are many other statistics like these. Dealing with negative attitudes and violence does not stop when they leave school. Many of these people deal with unsafe and hostile home environments that may even lead to homelessness. According to True Colors United, LGBTQ youth are 120% more likely to experience homelessness.
Why does therapy benefit the LGBTQIA+ community?
LGBTQIA+ youth often grow up to be adults with a lot of trauma to process. Therapy can be beneficial for LGBTQIA+ individuals, both young and old.
This community faces uniquely high rates of depression, which is one of the many reasons people seek out therapy. LGBTQIA+ people also experience microaggressions and go through life feeling judged, misunderstood, and confused. Going to therapy is one of the best ways to process all of this.
In addition to dealing with their unique experiences and processing emotions, therapy can also help LGBTQIA+ individuals navigate the process of coming out.
How can therapy benefit those thinking about coming out?
Coming out can be an overwhelming process. It requires someone to look at themself and truly explore their identity before sharing this part of who they are with others. Before someone can come out to their friends and family, they must first come out to themselves. Getting to a point where you are ready to come out can be a long journey.
Not everyone in our society is accepting of those who identify as LGBTQIA+. That is one reason it can be so challenging for people to come out. They have to face the many feelings that come with this experience and negative responses from others. Coming out is a challenging and confusing time in a person's life, and it can help to talk to someone.
We are thrilled to see the increase in inquiries from the LGBTQIA+ community.
Here at Inner Balance, we understand that LGBTQIA+ people face unique challenges. Our LGBTQIA+ team is here to help you navigate the fears, worries, and uncertainty in your life. We have licensed therapists with extensive training with the LGBTQIA+ community. If you think you might benefit from our counseling, request a consultation today.