Did you know that, although homosexuality has not been considered a mental disorder since 1973, many families still struggle with coming to terms with this when someone in their family comes out? There are actually many therapists who specialize in dealing with the conflicts that arise in LGBT relationships. This isn’t just about dating, but also about parents and children understanding each other in a way that is healthy and supportive. If you think you or your family might need LGBT therapy, then here are some basic things you should know.
1. Anti Gay Therapy is Not Legitimate
If you’re looking for therapy, there is a chance you are seeking conversion therapy. If this is the case, you should be warned that some states now ban gay conversation therapy for minors. The American Psychiatric Association has condemned it. Not only is there little evidence for it “working,” but this therapy represents a serious threat to the well being of patients forced to undergo it. LGBT teens have one of the highest rates of suicide, often because they feel unwanted, or are bullied. Self help CDs can be useful so that these teens realize there are people like them everywhere.
2. LGBT Friendly Therapists
How can therapists help families who feel torn apart by one’s identification as gay? Lgbt therapists offer a neutral, nonjudgmental source who can help participants discuss misunderstandings and help bring down the barriers that cause people to label or create value judgments rather than talk to each other and create positive meaning. Did you know that there are almost 600,000 same sex households in the U.S., and over 25% of these households have children? This type of therapy can also help families deal with concerns about discrimination, custody disputes, relationships with non biological parent figures, and understanding how families might internalize homophobia that is present in overall culture.
3. Gender Identity Disorder
When a person realizes their gender has been misidentified at birth, they usually take up the term transgender, and seek to transition to the gender they feel they are, rather than the one they have formerly presented as. These individuals are usually categorized as having Gender Identity Disorder. While this is currently a controversial label, it is often necessary for those seeking therapy and surgery to get this label, in order to qualify for further care. This, also, is something LGBT counseling can help with.