September 16, 2020
Finding a good therapist who fits your needs and makes you comfortable enough to be vulnerable. Google search tends to be deficient when it comes to finding the best therapist around you.
Therapy is a progressive step that helps handle anxiety, mental health issues, depression, and any other mental issues that are caused by your environment. And at the same time, it helps to know yourself better. It helps in realizing what we actually desire, our needs and what our values are. Thus therapy can be called as a wholesome approach to understanding and accepting yourself for who you are.
Therapy is inclined to help gain stability in life and provide you with methods and tools to help yourself.
How to find a therapist for your loved one or yourself, especially a therapist who is LGBTQ+ friendly?
Being an LGBTQ+ member, one has their own individual history, certain shame-based traumas, and a different social culture. Many LBGTQ+ members have to face hate from society and being outcast by them.
Living in a heterosexually dominated society, it would be better to work with a therapist who would understand these complications, regardless of their own sexual orientation and gender identity.
Many therapists are LGBTQ+ friendly. They may have a colleague, friend or family member, or rather have an open mind about the diverse population. However, being able to work with an LGBTQ+ member requires immense knowledge about the community as well as a good connection with the patient.
LGBTQ+ knowledgeable therapists should incorporate and understand the Homophobia, Biphobia and the transphobia people have to face. They should also understand and be open to accepting various forms of dating, multiple sexualities and relationship styles which are more popular among the LGBTQ+ members.
Here is a quick guide to finding a good therapist:
1. Everybody needs a therapist; look for a specialist:
It is very important for a person to ask themselves a few questions to themselves before undertaking therapy.
- How often would I be able to attend therapy?
- What kind of therapy environment would I need?
- What kind of specialization would the therapist need to have?
- Does the gender of the therapist matter?
Since every therapist specializes in different issues, it is important to decide and understand roughly where the problem lies.
2. Identify the characteristics that matter to you:
It is okay to share your quirky characteristics with your therapist so they have a better understanding of who you are, see if you would want to change/rectify it.
The common questions which usually haunt people before they open up to their therapist
- Do I share my racial background?
- What if they are judgemental about my sexuality?
- What if they refuse to look beyond my sexuality or assign all issues to it?
It is important to remember that your therapist is trying to understand you and not judge you. If you feel like you are being judged and are uncomfortable about discussing your issues, you can ask your friends for suggestions.
Image Courtesy: Breakthecycle.org
3. Figure out if you would be able to afford your therapy:
It is very important to manage and understand one’s financial position before approaching a therapist. It is okay to speak about your financial situation as this would ease out things between the two of you. There are therapists available online who could help you in the short term.
4. Connect with your LGBTQ+ therapist over a phone call:
It is always comfortable and better to connect with your therapist over a phone call before meeting him in person. Before booking an appointment and meeting in person, it is important to ask your therapist how comfortable they are with different sexualities.
Make sure you do your research about the therapist before making a contact. And also understand how well are they aware of sexualities and gender identity.
Prepare a set of questions for your therapist and ensure that they have been answered to the point. Also, try and feel the vibe while having a conversation.
It is also okay to keep looking for better options before finalizing on someone.
Image Courtesy: Monica Adair
5. Decide the specific direction you want to head:
Every therapist has a different approach or a theory related to certain aspects. For instance, a behavioral therapist would focus on the way the person thinks or approaches to a problem, whereas a psychiatric therapist would focus on the sub-conscious that motivates certain behavior.
You can also lookup for blogs, videoes or articles written by the therapist on the website owned by them, you can get a sense of who they are by looking at their presence online.
Getting a referral for a therapist from someone you can trust is a good way to find a therapist.
LGBTQ+ therapy can help empower individuals and help them navigate challenges effectively. A sense of belonging and community is the key ingredient for good mental health. For you to be handle issues that are based on your sexuality and issues that interfere with your sexuality, ensure you see someone who knows what they are talking about. You can quickly research or talk to clients while in the waiting room to ask about their experience with the therapist or how long they have been consulting.
Have faith in yourself and believe that you have the power to make things better. Do not fret to seek help, therapists are to ensure that you have a healthy mind like you have doctors who ensure you have a healthy body.