Effective Counseling With a Gay and Bisexual Client involves understanding the unique dynamics of this population and their experiences with identity conflict. Rather than identifying with the traditional labels of ‘gay’ and ‘bisexual,’ these clients often reject them and seek their integrity through other means. These clients’ complex identities also often conflict with narratives of coming out as an unqualifiedly positive experience.
Positive emotions play a central role in many types of therapy and may even be an essential driver of change. According to Fitzpatrick and Stalikas, psychologists who work with LGBT clients often focus on activities that reinforce, nurture, and celebrate the clients’ distinct identities. These activities often involve strengths and positive emotions, but few positive emotion assessment tools have been validated for use with LGBT populations.
Counselors help clients explore their feelings and work out a plan to cope with their struggles. Sometimes people seek therapy without even knowing what is causing them distress. It can be difficult to understand yourself when you’re alone, so a counselor can help you with Managed Services Denver to sort through your feelings.
Clinical psychologists can use evidence-based treatment to help clients cope with their LGB sexual identity. Many studies have shown that LGB people are more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, and other emotional problems. Some research indicates that therapists should use affirmative therapy when treating LGB clients.
Psychotherapy for LGBT clients can be effective when the client accepts their sexuality and begins to engage in an active social life. Therapists should use the client’s language to describe themselves to help clients understand their sexual identity. Some clients may experience distrust of heterosexist society and may need support to make new friends.
Although most LGB people are resilient, the fact that they are more likely to seek professional help demonstrates that psychological services are essential to their well-being. Most psychologists treat at least one LGB client. Mental health disparities among LGBTQ people start early and often co-occur with other risk factors related to sexuality.
Lesbian, gay, and bisexual survivors of childhood sexual abuse experience a complex set of intrapsychic and interpersonal effects that are often additive and debilitating. In addition, they also encounter discrimination and societal intolerance. Transference and countertransference are essential components of the relational issues that GLB survivors experience. Boundaries, trust, and humiliation are some of these challenges. Transference-countertransference theories in this situation provide theoretical frameworks for therapeutic interventions.
Transferences can displace the original purpose of therapy. For example, patients begin forming feelings for the therapist instead of seeking help to improve their self-esteem. They interpret earlier statements as an indicator of their growth and develop fantasies that the therapist is more than a friend.
Several studies have examined the relationship between identity conflict and suicidal thoughts among LGBT young adults. For example, one study found that three indicators of identity conflict were associated with suicide attempts and ideas in the past month. Another found that leaving one’s religion due to conflict led to chronic suicidal thoughts.
A variety of theories have been proposed to explain this phenomenon. One theory states that sexual orientation is a normal part of growing up. A second theory argues that people are not born gay or lesbian; instead, they develop their sexuality through motivation and adult guidance. Therefore, it is essential to understand how LGBT individuals build their identity and role in their lives.
Studies have found that a significant portion of LGBTQ youth experience self-identification conflict at some point in their lives. Many youths report experiencing rejection from close family members and friends. Eighty-six percent of LGBTQ youth report experiencing harassment at school, which hurts mental health. According to a recent report by the Trevor Project, only 37% of LGBTQ youth identified their home as an LGBTQ-affirming environment.
Research has shown that the mental health of LGBT people is affected by mental health stress. This stress can be expressed in hostility towards other people of a particular sexual orientation or a sense of shame regarding one’s identity. Psychologists have found that this stress has lasting effects on the mental health of LGBTQ people.
Many LGBT patients may seek psychotherapy to understand the underlying causes of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Unfortunately, many clinicians encourage these patients to develop fantasies about discovering their identities’ root cause. However, these patients are often unaware that these fantasies harm their well-being.