LGBTQ is an acronym that stands for Lesbians, Gay People, Bisexual People, Trans people and Queer People (“queer” is a reclaimed word that is used as a self-affirming umbrella term for sexual and gender minorities who are not heterosexual and/or not cisgender – i.e. non-transgender). At Psychology Sussex we recognise the diversity in the LGBTQ umbrella, that LGBTW people are not a homogenous group but are rather unique individuals with a variety of experiences and ways of identifying themselves. We also understand that gender and sexuality are just one of many aspects our identities which is why we will always consider these things holistically – alongside the many other factors which make up who we are and the difficulties we may be experiencing.
We understand that people come to therapy for many reasons which have nothing to do with their sexuality and/or gender. However, it may be that the difficulties you are experiencing are particularly bound up with your thoughts and feelings about your gender/sexuality and that might be something you would like to talk about. Some people may feel unsure about their sexuality/gender and that’s OK too. You may also want to see a practitioner who is experienced in working with clients identifying as LGBTQ or who themselves identify as LGBTQ.
LGBTQ individuals are particularly subject to stigma, discrimination, abuse, and hate crime and may also have faced challenges around ‘coming out’ – such as finding it difficult to tell others about their gender/sexuality or, when having done so, facing rejection or hostility. Even the families of LGBTQ individuals are subject to increased levels of stigma and hate crime. All of these things can be deeply traumatic. As an LGBTQ individual, you may also be struggling with the stress associated with difficulties in, or restrictions on, expressing your gender/sexuality at home, with friends, or in the workplace. You may also be experiencing conflict between your sexuality/gender and religious beliefs. It may be that just feeling somehow ‘different’ is affecting your self-esteem or self-worth. All of these experiences can lead to feeling isolated that, especially when coupled with the potential isolation imposed by stigma and discrimination in one’s community, can have a devastating effect.
You may have previously accessed other services because of the psychological and emotional difficulties you have faced only to end up having felt misunderstood or mistreated by health professionals. This may make it harder to access services again however we would strongly encourage you to contact our team now since Psychology Sussex adopt an inclusive and affirmative approach to LGBTQ individuals and have practitioners who have both specialisms and experience in working with LGBTQ clients, some of whom themselves identify as LGBTQ. We believe that you deserve a high standard of service which is why we offer an affirmative, accessible and inclusive service to LGBTQ clients.
If you would like to discuss our specialist LGBTQ services or would like to find out how we can help you then do not hesitate to contact our office to discuss things further.