Choosing a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual-Affirming Therapist

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LGBTQ Healing: Choosing a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual-Affirming Therapist

Adapted from Bernice Goodman, “Out of the Therapist Closet,” in Hilda Hidalgo & Travis Peterson (Eds).

NASW Resource Manual on Gay and Lesbian Issues

Updated to include trans* information

  • What extent of knowledge does the therapist have about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender culture?
  • How long has the therapist been working with LGBTQ clients? How many LGBTQ clients has the therapist worked with?
  • What type of training does the therapist have in working with LGBTQ clients?
  • How much understanding and knowledge does the therapist have about racism, sexism, and homophobia/biphobia/transphobia in society?
  • What is the therapist’s knowledge of and commitment to issues of diversity among LGBTQ persons and culture?
  • Can the therapist constructively challenge self-oppressive attitudes and internal biases with clients and also help to create and support new, healthy ways of being?
  • Is the therapist a visible part of the LGBTQ community?
  • What feelings do you have of this person? Is there a feeling of trust and safety? Would you feel comfortable in participating in therapy with this person?
  • Does this therapist understand the effects of institutional homophobia, biphobia, and heterosexism, trans* biases and ignorance upon LGBTQ people?
  • Can this therapist recognize the differences between appropriate behavioral responses related to societal oppression and the unique psychological difficulties that a LGBTQ person may be experiencing?
  • How well does the therapist acknowledge the impact of socially defined gender roles on an LGBTQ individual’s sense of self?

If you have additional questions about or feedback about this article, please feel free to contact me.

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Therapy4OC Lesbians – Services Provided

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Individuality, Couples, Families Therapy and Consultation

Phone Consultation (California Residents Only)

My passion is creating a positive working relationship with my clients in which they can feel supported and challenged so that they achieve the positive changes that they desire. The unique experience of lesbian identity in a heterosexist culture impacts our sense of self worth, personal power and emotional and physical well being. Attention to development of awareness around
internalized shame as a source of pain and internal conflict is a vital part of therapy for lesbian women and their partners.

  • Lesbian Affirming Therapy
  • Affirming Same Sex Couples Therapy
  • Relationship issues-communication,fair fighting, emotional and sexual intimacy, parenting and family formation. 
  • Coming out and relationship  issues for LGBT clients 
  • Questions or conflicts about gender expression and gender identity
  • Difficulty coming out to friends, family, community
  • Family Consultation regarding parenting kids and teens who are Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, questioning or identified.
  • Adult Children of Alcoholics
  • Depression and Anxiety
  • Codependency
  • Grief and Loss
  • Parenting Coaching
  • Stress Management
  • Recovery from trauma due to spiritual abuse 

 

By looking at your present challenges and where you feel stuck in life, we can understand your past without getting bogged down in it. This enables you to take action to make powerful changes in your thinking and your decision making patterns. You will learn skills that when applied, can help improve your outlook, your relationships and your mental health, for the rest of your life.


 Questions? Contact me at 714-390-8189

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