Do you want to become your true, authentic self in which every facet of who you are is appreciated and respected?
As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, as you seek to reduce work stress, strengthen relationships, manage mental health issues and otherwise improve your quality of life and overall wellbeing, you may also be facing specific societal and cultural challenges related to your gender identity and/or sexual orientation. Although you may feel confident and comfortable in who you are, like many others, you might find that the stigma and intolerance you face as a member of a marginalized group causes anguish and anxiety.
The majority of LGBTQ+ individuals have faced discrimination in some form during their lives. Discrimination can take on many guises, including social rejection; bullying; verbal, emotional, and sexual abuse; or even internalized homophobia/transphobia, which can inhibit you from being your true, authentic self. Additionally, LGBTQ+ individuals face discrimination with regards to public accommodation, housing, employment, education, family planning and basic human rights. Many LGBTQ+ individuals also face rejection by friends and family, confusion over gender roles and expectations, higher rates of substance abuse, disordered eating, body image issues, domestic abuse and suicide. While this list can sound dire, know that you are not alone in your experience, and joy and fulfillment are possible.
While LGBTQ+ individuals face mental health issues just like everyone else, they disproportionately experience negative mental health outcomes due to prejudice and societal biases. However, working with competent, compassionate LGBTQ+ therapists or LGBTQ-friendly therapists can help you feel comfortable, accepted and empowered to navigate intolerance and live without shame.
Our counselors at Eddins Counseling Group work to create a LGBTQ+ inclusive space where all can feel heard, understood and free to express themselves without fear of judgment. We offer individual, couples and family LGBTQ+ counseling to help you and your loved ones overcome challenges without fear of encountering intolerance, narrow-mindedness or heterosexism.
LGBTQ+ Counseling Covers a Wide Range of Issues
Identity Formation & Coming Out:
Often LGBTQ+ people are labeled based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, and even within the community, based upon their sexual preferences or outer presentation. While labels can be a source of pride and power for some, for others, they can be constricting and limiting. It can sometimes feel as though others are trying to force you into a neat box, erasing everything that makes you a unique, complex and full human being.
Whether you came out when you were five or you’re coming out at 65, the coming out process is stressful! If you are an LGBTQ+ individual who is struggling with telling your friends, family members, community or even yourself about your identity, we offer coming out support in a safe, judgment-free space. Your LGBTQ+-friendly therapist can help you build internal and external resources, resolve internal and external conflicts and integrate your identity as a positive part of who you are. We can also support you through any life transitions that come with coming out (including difficult conversations with those in your life), through a process of recognition, acceptance, expression and discovery.
Throughout your life, you may have struggled to approach your identity with your family. Perhaps it sometimes seems that even talking about your day-to-day experiences can spur an argument. Whether you are hesitant to come out to your family out of fear of rejection or feel you need to lead a “double life,” you likely feel the hurt and stress that comes with keeping part of yourself secret. Alternately, after coming out, you may be dealing with fallout from an unaccepting family, and feel unsure if and how this relationship can go back to the way it was. LGBTQ+ family therapy can help you work through issues relating to your family so you can be more confident and secure in who you truly are.
Maybe you’re ready to start a family or add to the one you have. As you approach LGBTQ+ family planning, you might explore adoption, IVF, surrogacy or other means or creating the family you’ve always hoped for. It’s possible you feel angry, scared, inadequate, alone and anxious about all the barriers you have to overcome. Will you ever be able to have the family you long for?
No matter what your family looks like, our therapists can help you cope with your feelings and better understand which decisions will best serve you.
- Read more about Infertility Counseling Services
Body Image & Disordered Eating:
Given widespread discrimination and oppression, many in the LGBTQ+ community have a hard time developing a positive image of themselves, let alone a positive body image. If body image concerns are affecting your eating habits, your exercise habits or your daily thoughts about yourself, you may be suffering from disordered eating. Disordered eating means eating in a way that is harmful physically, emotionally or both. Click here to see if you can identify with any of the experiences often associated with disordered eating. When thoughts, feelings and behaviors around food consume a large portion of your life, they can become eating disorders.
Our LGBTQ+-friendly therapists are uniquely qualified to help you work through body image issues without perpetuating gender stereotypes or triggering feelings of dsyphoria.
- Read more about our Disordered Eating Services.
Do you find yourself repeating patterns in your relationships? Are you struggling to feel connected, respected or valued? Do you have a hard time maintaining long-term relationships in which you and your partner feel valued and equal? You’ve heard that relationships take work, but sometimes this “work” means finding the right “tribe,” finding your voice or discovering your own worth.
LGBTQ+ couples counseling can help. A professional mental healthcare provider will be a sensitive clinician, fully aware of the pitfalls of traditional heterosexual bias. There are no unique treatments for same-sex couples, and your therapist will not treat your relationship as “different” or “strange.” However, the importance of taking into consideration developmental and socio-cultural variables cannot be underestimated, and an experienced therapist will be particularly sensitive to the effects of discrimination and marginalization on relationship issues.
- Read more about our relationship counseling services.
Career Discovery, Management & Workplace Discrimination:
Discovering, launching and managing a career can be rewarding in so many ways. Fortunately, LGBTQ+ people have more job opportunities than ever before. Yet, there are career and work life issues that require greater attention and balancing for members of the LGBTQ+ community.
With ever-changing laws and workplace protections—or lack there of—for LGBTQ+ individuals, navigating workplace concerns can cause anxiety, dread and frustration. You may question whether it is safe for you to come out at work, or wonder how to best deal with a supervisor who you feel is intolerant. Others feel challenged by the “good ol’ boy” humor at the office, while others want greater flexibility to have time for family life. No matter what you’re facing, some of our therapists are also career counselors and can work with you on the practical, as well as emotional, aspects of managing your career and creating work life balance.
- Read more about our Career Counseling Services.
As members of the LGBTQ+ community, we can feel especially impacted by the aging process and how this process impact identity. As our bodies change and things slow down, it can be difficult to feel comfortable with the body you already have spent so long learning to accept. LGBTQ+ therapy can help you to feel comfortable in your body, cope with the aging process and reinvent yourself, should you choose to do so.
Work with LGBTQ+ Friendly Therapists
LGBTQ friendly therapists understand and believe that your gender identity and sexual orientation is a natural, normal part of who you are. They also have additional training in unique challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community.
You Are Not Alone
We invite you to call Eddins Counseling Group at 832-559-2622 or contact us for more information about LGBTQ+ counseling and our practice in Houston, TX.