LGBTQ+ Mental Health Program

What is the LGBTQ+ community?

 

There are many terms used to describe the community that includes lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people. The + at the end of LGBTQ+ is meant to represent this community’s large diversity of sexualities and gender identities, not all of which are captured by “LGBTQ.” These other identities include intersex, pansexual, gender nonconforming (GNC), asexual/aromantic, non-binary, two-spirit, and more. The LGBTQ+ community also includes individuals of every race, age, religion, class, ethnicity, and culture. While people with LGBTQ+ identities are all connected, each identity and its corresponding communities have their own unique experiences, strengths, and struggles.

 

Why does mental health matter in the LGBTQ+ community?

 

LGBTQ+ people, particularly queer and trans people of color, are subjected to cultural stigma and discrimination. Due to stigma, they may hide their identities, have negative views of themselves, or face social isolation, rejection, or violence. These experiences can lead LGBTQ+ people to struggle with depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other mental health issues. Some people might turn to substance use or self-harm to cope with their stressful experiences. Indeed, research suggests that LGBTQ+ people suffer from particularly high rates of mental health disorders and difficulties. Unfortunately, many mental health care clinicians don’t recognize the unique stressors that LGBTQ+ clients face, or they might lump all LGBTQ+ people together and assume every queer or trans person has the same experiences. 

 

How can LGBTQ+ people benefit from therapy?

 

CBT and DBT, our practice’s specialties, are particularly useful therapies for helping reduce depression, anxiety, self-harm, and the other mental health issues commonly experienced by LGBTQ+ people. Additionally, CBT and DBT have both been adapted to address the specific needs of LGBTQ+ people looking for help in dealing with identity-related stressors. Our practice strives to create an inclusive, affirming, and culturally sensitive environment for LGBTQ+ people, while attending to each person’s unique circumstances. For those seeking DBT, we offer a skills group specifically for LGBTQ+ clients, so that they can learn coping skills in an environment where their identities are validated and they can feel safe discussing problems related to sexuality and gender as they emerge. 

Several of our therapists specialize in working with questioning, queer, and trans clients. We are ready to help you navigate any sexual- or gender-identity-related struggles, including:

  • Coming out and/or transitioning

  • Questioning your sexuality or gender identity

  • Overcoming trauma

  • Improving self-esteem and combating shame

  • Coping with discrimination and invalidation

  • Navigating stigma specific to your intersecting identities 

  • Increasing assertiveness, building social support, or ending harmful relationships

  • Understanding how your queer or trans identity can fit with your religious, racial, or other cultural community

  • Reducing substance use, self-injury, unsafe sex, or other self-damaging coping behaviors

 

Of course, many LGBTQ+ people are proud of their identities and lifestyles, and many queer and trans people have grown more resilient by overcoming experiences of discrimination. Whether your sexuality or gender identity relates to your mental health issues or not, we are prepared to meet you where you are and help you in your journey to mental health wellness. Please feel free to reach out to us with any concerns or questions, and to learn more about whether NYCBT is the right fit for you.