LGBTQ Affirming Counseling

Hands making a heart over a rainbow flag | Gender Counseling | Tulsa, OK 74008

Are you looking for a therapist who will support you regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation? Are you worried a counselor will focus on identity and not your depression or anxiety? Or perhaps you are looking for counseling for gender dysphoria?

There are many reasons people seek counseling. When you are a member of the LGBTQ community, finding a therapist who supports you can be difficult. The anxiety which comes with finding a culturally competent therapist can be overwhelming. Whether you need therapy for depression or a gender transition, you deserve a counselor who supports you.

Common Reasons LGBTQ People Come to Counseling

Sometimes LGBTQ people come to counseling for issues unique to this population. For instance, you may want support coming out to your parents or making important decisions about a gender transition. However, often people who are LGBTQ come to counseling for the exact same reason cis gender straight people do: Because they want to address a specific mental health concern such s depression, anxiety trauma or many others.

Depression

Depression changes the way you see the world around you. Nothing seems as exciting as it used to, your mind is filled with self doubt and many days it’s hard just to get out of bed in the morning. If you are dealing with symptoms of depression, counseling can help you find joy in life. You don’t have to live with constant sadness. Depression affects everyone, regardless of who they love or what their gender is. The type of therapy I use, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is especially effective with depression. You deserve to find happiness again and counseling can help you get there.

Anxiety

Everyone experiences some anxiety. However, for some people anxiety can get a bit out of control. Symptoms of anxiety like constant worrying, obsessive thoughts, frequently double checking yourself, a racing heart or difficulty sleeping can take a toll on your daily life. Whether you are a successful professional with high functioning anxiety nobody else can see or someone who’s panic attacks are so severe that you are afraid to leave the house; anxiety treatment can help. You can find peace and calm and live life on your own terms.

Trauma or PTSD

Trauma happens frequently in the general population. However, the LGBTQ population can be at a particularly high risk of experiencing bullying, domestic violence or assault which are traumatic experiences. Additionally, people who identify as LGBTQ still experience other traumas at the same rate as the general population. For instance, a house fire, natural disaster or bad car accident may be traumatic. Whether or not your specific trauma was related to your sexual orientation or gender identity, talking about trauma can be very sensitive. This is an important time to have an LGBTQ affirming therapist.

Low Self Esteem

Everyone struggles with self image at times. However, sometimes your negative self talk can get in the way of you taking chances in life or forming meaningful relationships. Counseling can help you be more mindfully of these thoughts, identify how these thoughts help or hurt you on a daily basis and begin to build your self esteem as you change your relationship with yourself.

Gender Transition

Gender transition is an important decision. Living into your authentic self has a powerful effect on your mental health. Having a gender therapist walk beside you helps. Choosing whether hormone replacement therapy or surgery is right for you can be daunting. Sadly, having a letter from a counselor is often required to access this medical care. I support people as they navigate transition regardless of how they identify. You don’t have to live with gender dysphoria. Gender counseling can help you take the next steps to be who you are.

Poly Relationships

Everyone’s relationships look different. Whether you are monogamous or polyamorous, you deserve supportive relationship counseling. Having a supportive person help you navigate your open relationship makes a difference.

Coming Out

Image of the Transgender Flag | LGBT Counseling | Therapy & Mental Health Services | Tulsa, OK 74008

For many people, coming out is a difficult process. Coming out as gay doesn’t have to be a painful experience. You can find support to help you find peace with your identity, as well as helping you as you share with others. You don’t have to live in fear. Coming out will help you live the best life you can.

LGBT Affirming Counseling Makes a Difference

This page shouldn’t have to exist. Yet, there are still many people who are sent to counselors who do not affirm their identity. Having a therapist who is supportive of you as a gay, lesbian or transgender person is necessary. It is important to feel emotionally safe in a counseling session, so you can really open up and be yourself. You deserve to have someone to listen and support you in a caring, nonjudgmental way. It doesn't matter if you are working through gender transition, the coming out process, or dealing with anxiety. Being LGBT isn’t a reason to go to counseling, but having a counselor who supports you regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation makes a difference.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for LGBTQ Individuals

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is the type of therapy I use most often. ACT helps people regardless of their background and can help with a wide range of mental health concerns including helping you manage. ACT is effective at helping you overcome depression, manage anxiety, heal from trauma or just live more authentically.

As humans, we make decisions every day that impact our mental health. We choose who to spend time with, what to eat and how to prioritize our time. ACT helps you really get to know yourself and your priorities. In our counseling sessions, you’ll identify what is most important in your life and this will help you make decisions about how to move forward in a meaningful way.

ACT Uses Mindfulness

ACT incorporates mindfulness into nearly every session. No, you don’t have to go join a Buddhist monastery to benefit from ACT. What I mean is that you will begin to live more in the present moment. We’ll use mindfulness exercises to help you get out of your head and into the moment so you can make measured, purposeful decisions on a daily basis. You’ll be able to cope with stress or judgment from others better, because you’re more focused on this moment. Research is clear that mindfulness benefits literally anyone, and it’s a great basis for our work together.

What You Can Expect to Gain from ACT Counseling Sessions

Through practicing Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), you’ll begin to feel more confident in the decisions you are making. Life will feel more fulfilling, because you’re prioritizing the things that are most in line with your personal values. When you have to stand up and advocate for yourself, you’ll feel ok about doing so because you’ll have a clear idea why you are choosing this particular moment to speak up. In essence, you’ll come to know yourself more completely. ACT will help you identify what is most important to you, and help you commit to values driven action. In other words, when you finish counseling with me you’ll be purposefully interacting with the world around you in a way that is most true to yourself!

Tulsa LGBT Resources

Oklahomans for Equality - Local LGBT Center

GLSEN - Resources for LGBTQ students and the teachers who work with them

Center for Trans Equality - Information on transgender rights

InterACT - Advocates for intersex youth.

Begin LGBT Inclusive Therapy in Tulsa Oklahoma

Are you struggling with depression or anxiety? Is the thought of coming out to your family pulling your stomach into knots? Are you seeking support as you consider a gender transition? You deserve to have a counselor who understands the community and does the work to be affirming.

To begin counseling at Gray Matters:

  1. Schedule an initial counseling appointment.

  2. Get your questions about counseling answered.

  3. Begin receiving the support you deserve.

Image of a woman happy after coming out | Affirming Mental Health Services | Gender Counseling | Broken Arrow, Ok near Tulsa, OK 74011

Other Mental Health Services at Gray Matters

I serve a variety of clients in my Tulsa, OK counseling office. Whether you are a member of the LGBT community or are seeking support for mental health issues, I can help. I offer individual counseling for men and therapy for young adults. In my practice I use Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, which helps people manage their emotions through mindfulness and meditation. Contact me today to get started on your journey to better mental health!