Lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex, non-binary, queer or questioning: however someone chooses to define themselves, everyone is unique. We are each a complicated mix and our unique identity can include our; cultural background, religion, age, physical ability etc. Each of us can experience psychological issues which impact our daily lives e.g. depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, self-medicating with alcohol or drugs, abuse etc.
Being LGBQI+ does not in itself result in these problems, but there is the potential that being LGBTQI+ could add a degree of ‘complexity’ and stressors to life that could contribute to the possibility of experiencing psychological issues e.g. people may be more likely to be subjected to, pressure from exposure to prejudice, stigma, discrimination from those around them. This can include a feeling of not being accepted, social isolation or exclusion and being made to feel ‘less than’. There may be difficulties in coming out to friends and family or even work colleagues. There may be uncertainty around understanding ‘where do I fit in’ or accepting your sexuality or concern about the world around you.
Prejudice can lead to being judged negatively in personal/work life, discrimination, bullying or even abuse and this experience can be traumatising. There can be experiences day to day of stigma within; communities, organisations or institutions we trusted would accept us; healthcare systems, religious communities, faith groups and this can add to a feeling of exclusion from wider society or even of being unsafe.
Speaking to a therapist can help you address any concerns you may have without fear of judgement or rejection. The therapeutic relationship can give you an opportunity to gather your own thoughts and gain a perspective about what you want in life, what your own values are and how you perceive yourself, others and the world around you without being told what to think or what your should be doing by others.
Therapy can help you to explore difficult events that may have, or are taking place that you found traumatic, rejecting etc. It can also allow you to explore and understand some of the spectrum of feelings that you may carry with you; sadness, anger, frustration, depression, anxiety, confusion, guilt, shame, etc. whilst enabling you to have the space to build and learn to maintain your own resilience and sense of self.
Helpful contacts include:
- Access your local MIND
- Albert Kennedy Trust – for those 16-25 years old who are homeless or living in a hostile environment – akt.org.uk
- Bi Cymru/Wales – for those who are or think they may be bisexual – bicymru.org.uk
- Brolen Rainbow – national domestic violence helpline for those of the LGBTQI+ communities – 0300 9995428 – brokenrainbow.org.uk
- FFLAG – Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays – Offers support to parents, families and friends of Those who identify as LGBTQI+ – fflag.org.uk
- GALOP – SUpports those in LGBTQI+ community who have expereinced hate crime, domestic or sexual abuse – National Helpline: 08009995428 – galop.org.uk
- LGBT Foundation – Provides advice, support and information for people identifying themselves as LGBTQI+ – 03453 303030 lgbt.foundation
- Mermaids – supports gender diverse individuals below the age of 19 and their families – 08088010400 – mermaidsuk.org.uk
- Pink Therapy – Online directory of therapists who identify as or are understanding of minority sexual and gender identities pinktherapy.com
- Samaritans – Help available 24/7 116 123(free phone) – email: firstname.lastname@example.org, samaritans.org -**Welsh language support available 7pm-11pm
- Stonewall – Information and advice for LGBTQI+ – 08000502020 – stonewall.org.uk
- Unity Group Wales – Supports LGBTQI+ community in Wales – unityproject.org.uk
Please contact me discuss how I may be able to support you at this time: