Sexual orientation and gender identity comes early in a person’s life.  A person’s sexual orientation is likely determined during childhood with the first awareness of same-sex attraction at about age 9 for males and 10 for females.  According to research, many gay and lesbian youth start self-identifying at about age 16 (Ryan & Futterman, 1998), gender identity development takes place by age 3 (Davies, 1999), and those who are transgender report experiencing conflict over their gender assignment throughout childhood (Mallon, 1999).

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As social acceptance for diverse sexual orientations and gender identifications grows, larger populations of lesbians, gay, bisexual and transgendered people are feeling more comfortable seeking therapy.  They are not only addressing their LGBTQ issues and the impact of living in a homophobic and transphobic world, but seek counseling for the same struggles as anyone else – depression, anxiety, relationship difficulties, etc.

As a Sexual Minority Specialist I have worked with the LGBTQ population as a therapist for the past 15 years.  I know the importance of creating a therapeutic, non-judgmental and affirming atmosphere of safety without discrimination.  You will be allowed to explore your concerns, struggles and personal challenges with professional guidance and understanding.  Regardless if you seek therapy for issues related to your LGBTQ status or not, it is imperative you feel supported and able to speak freely in order to benefit from the therapeutic experience.

Some of the LGBTQ issues that are often addressed in therapy:

  • Coming out process.
  • Hormone replacement therapy and sexual reassignment.
  • Internalized shame, fear of rejection and discrimination.
  • Relationship issues such as forming and maintaining healthy connections.
  • Questioning your sexual behavior, wondering about other alternatives, or concerned that behaviors might be compulsive.
  • LGBTQ-related traumas such as bullying, gay bashing, domestic violence, rejection by your faith community, discharged from the military, shunned by friends or family or fired from a job.
  • Exploring non-monogamous, polyamorous, kink identifications or struggling with the difference between BDSM and abuse.
  • Bisexuality and dealing with the misconceptions from straight and queer culture.
  • Determining what it means about your identity if your partner transitions from one sex/gender to another.
  • Parents of LGBTQ children who are seeking therapy to understand how to support their child in this process.

I offer therapy which addresses the challenges within the developmental process for youth, teens, and adult LGBTQ.  I will support your essential self-exploration and self-evaluation of who you are and who you want to be.  I will assist you in developing a positive and healthy self concept, unwavering confidence, resilient self-esteem and the creation of a strong identity.

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