Seeking therapy is a brave and important step towards prioritizing your mental health and well-being.
For individuals in the LGBTQ+ community, finding a therapist who is affirming and knowledgeable about the unique challenges they may face is crucial. It's essential to find a therapist who will see you, hear you, and honor your identity. To help you in this process, we've compiled a list of important questions to ask potential mental health providers, ensuring they are the right fit for you.
Are you experienced in working with LGBTQ+ clients?
It's vital to ensure that your therapist has experience and training specifically in working with LGBTQ+ individuals. Ask about their familiarity with the community and their understanding of the unique challenges faced by LGBTQ+ individuals.
Do you have knowledge of LGBTQ+ identities and terminology?
A therapist who is well-versed in LGBTQ+ identities, language, and terminology can create a safe and inclusive space for you. Inquire about their knowledge and willingness to learn if they are not already familiar with certain identities or terms.
What is your approach to LGBTQ+ issues and concerns?
Understanding a therapist's approach to LGBTQ+ issues will help you gauge their level of affirming care. Look for a therapist who demonstrates a commitment to LGBTQ+ affirmative therapy, which focuses on celebrating and supporting your identity.
How do you ensure a non-judgmental and inclusive therapy environment?
Ask about the steps your potential therapist takes to create a non-judgmental and inclusive environment. This may include ongoing education, cultural humility, and fostering a safe space where you can openly express yourself without fear of discrimination or bias.
Are you supportive of my chosen pronouns and name?
A therapist who respects and affirms your chosen name and pronouns is essential. Discussing this upfront will help ensure that your therapist respects your identity and uses the appropriate language throughout your therapy journey.
How do you address intersectionality?
Intersectionality is the recognition of the multiple identities and experiences that individuals may hold, such as race, gender, and sexual orientation. Inquire about your therapist's approach to intersectionality to ensure they can understand and address the complexities of your experiences.
Remember, therapy is a collaborative process, and finding a therapist who respects, understands, and affirms your identity is key to creating a supportive therapeutic relationship.
Find the right therapist who will provide you with the care and support you deserve.
Your Assistance Program through your employer or organization. If you have Perspectives EAP/MAP/SAP call or text 800.456.6327 or log in to your portal.
If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or ideation, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24/7 at 800.273.8255.
You can also reach out to the Trevor Lifeline (LGBTQIA+ youth) by calling 866.488.7386 or texting “START” to 678-678.
NOTE: The questions suggested in this blog post are intended as a starting point to guide your conversation with potential mental health providers. It's important to tailor these questions to your unique needs and preferences and consider seeking additional guidance or advice from trusted sources.
Raise the Bar for LGBTQIA+ Inclusive Workplaces
In June, we embrace Pride Month from a mental health and well-being perspective, acknowledging the profound significance it holds for the LGBTQIA+ community and the pursuit of equality, personal safety, happiness, and self-acceptance—in the community and workplace.