As a queer person, you might often feel marginalized and misunderstood. So, finding a safe and supportive space for healing and empowerment is crucial. LGBTQ+ Affirmative Therapy in Evanston, IL offers you a haven to explore your identity, navigate life’s challenges, and embrace your authentic self. Our affirming therapists at Evanston Counseling are here for it all and are ready to join you on your journey. Even though you might be hesitant to get started, there’s good news. You can feel better knowing that there are many benefits of affirmative therapy. Let’s take a look.
What is LGBTQ+ Affirmative Therapy?
LGBTQ+ affirmative therapy is a form of psychotherapy that recognizes and respects the diverse sexual orientations and gender identities within the LGBTQ+ community. In traditional therapy, the counselor might have the approach that LGBTQ+ identities are problems that need fixing. However, affirming therapy embraces these identities as central to an individual’s self-worth and well-being.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy provides the foundations for LGBTQ+ Affirming therapy. “Existing mental health treatments [like CBT] can help both LGBTQIA+ and non-LGBTQIA+ people,” says Dr. Kristen Eckstrand, University of Pittsburgh, child and adolescent psychiatrist and Clinical Professor at Western Psychiatric Hospital at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
However, she explains that what LGBTQ+ affirmative therapy really gets at “is that there are unique experiences or unique circumstances that can come up for members of the LGBTQ community that might lead to unique feelings and unique thoughts.”
LGBTQ+ affirmative therapy takes aspects of CBT and applies them to how a queer person’s anxiety, depression, or stress may stem from discrimination or feelings of isolation.
Why is Affirmative Therapy Beneficial?
The benefits of affirmative therapy are numerous and profound. This therapy can help you as an LGBTQ+ person to:
- Develop a Positive Self-Image: Affirming therapy provides a safe space for individuals to explore their identities and cultivate a sense of pride in who they are.
- Build Resilience and Coping Skills: LGBTQ+ individuals often face unique challenges due to societal stigma and discrimination. LGBTQ+ Affirming therapy equips you with the tools to navigate these challenges. You grow more resilient as you engage in therapy.
- Enhance Mental Health: As a queer person, did you know that you are more likely to experience mental health issues? A June 2023 report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration shows that incidences of substance abuse, serious mental illness, and depression are higher in the LGBTQ+ community than in the straight adult population. Affirming therapy can help address these issues and promote overall well-being.
- Improve Relationships: Affirming therapy can foster healthier and more supportive relationships (both personal and professional).
- Empowerment for Advocacy: Affirming therapy can empower you to advocate for yourself and your communities. As you stand up for your rights, you promote visibility and social change.
Who Can Benefit from LGBTQ+ Affirmative Therapy?
Anyone who identifies as LGBTQ+ can benefit from LGBTQ+ Affirmative Therapy. Your age, race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation doesn’t matter. It is particularly helpful for you if you:
- Are struggling to come to terms with your identity
- Are facing discrimination or harassment
- Are experiencing mental health challenges due to your identity
- Are seeking support in building healthy relationships
- Want to learn more about LGBTQ+ issues and advocacy
Finding an LGBTQ+ Affirming Therapist
Locating an LGBTQ+ affirming therapist can make a significant difference in the therapy experience. For a more in-depth look at finding the right therapist, check out our recent blog. Along with a step-by-step guide, you will find out how to connect with one of Evanston Counseling’s LGBTQ+ affirming therapists.
Here are some quick tips:
- Seek Recommendations: Ask friends, family, or healthcare providers for recommendations.
- Check Online Resources: Various online directories can connect you with affirming therapists in your area.
- Contact LGBTQ+ Organizations: Local LGBTQ+ organizations can provide referrals and support.
- Consider Teletherapy: Online therapy can be a convenient option for those with limited access to in-person services.
What to Expect in Affirmative Therapy
The first session with an LGBTQ+ affirming therapist typically involves establishing rapport. Your therapist will want to understand your unique needs and goals. Subsequent sessions may focus on exploring identity, addressing specific challenges, and developing coping mechanisms.
Embrace the Journey of Self-Discovery through LGBTQ+ Affirmative Therapy in Evanston, IL Today!
LGBTQ+ Affirming Therapy is a journey of self-discovery and empowerment. It provides a supportive environment to embrace your authentic self, cultivate resilience, and thrive in a world that often seeks to marginalize them. Remember that you are not alone. There is a community of support ready to embrace you. Affirming therapy is a powerful tool to guide you on your path to self-discovery and fulfillment. When you are ready to unpack what you are experiencing, our caring LGBTQ+ affirming therapists are here for you. You’ll find a safe space to explore your identity and sexuality, your life challenges, and your relationships. Follow the steps below to begin with Evanston Counseling:
- Reach out to schedule a free 15-minute consultation.
- Speak with one of our compassionate LGBTQ+ Affirming therapists.
- Start living a happier life today!
Other Therapy Services Offered at Evanston Counseling in Evanston, Chicago, and throughout Illinois
At Evanston Counseling, our commitment to your mental health extends beyond LGBTQ+ Affirming Therapy. We offer comprehensive therapeutic services designed to address various aspects of your life. Our skilled team of therapists provides support for a broad spectrum of mental health issues, encompassing challenges like anxiety, depression, and chronic pain. Our diverse specialties include therapy for teenagers, therapy for moms, therapy for young adults, and therapy for college students. We also offer many different therapeutic approaches, including cognitive behavioral therapy, hypnotherapy, pet therapy, and online therapy. Whatever your unique mental health needs, we are dedicated to guiding you toward a happier more authentic life. Contact us today to start on the journey of self-acceptance and love.