Gay and Lesbian Concerns

Although the specialty areas I have listed under Psychotherapy apply to gay and lesbian clients as well, I believe it’s important to describe some areas with more specificity because they have a significant impact on our lives as gays or lesbians.

Common Problems and Concerns

Coming Out

Coming out of the closet

Coming out is a complicated process that involves your awareness and acknowledgment of homosexual thoughts, feelings, and behavior.

For some people, coming out includes public identification as a gay, lesbian, or bisexual person.

Various factors will affect the positive or negative meaning that you place on your identity that emerges from the coming out process.

Coming out often means you must reclaim disowned or devalued parts of yourself.

Coming out is an individual process that must progress according to your own needs, values, and timeline.

The societal pressure to be heterosexual, homophobia, can be internalized and lead to a basic mistrust or hatred for your sexual or interpersonal identity as gay, lesbian, or bisexual.

Treatment and Outcomes

Therapy is a safe, nonjudgmental place to explore issues related to your identity and sexual orientation.

The lessons learned and issues explored in therapy can help you navigate the complicated, heterosexist landscape in which we live.

Shame and Self-Hatred (Internalized Homophobia)

Shame and self-hatred

Internalized homophobia refers to feelings of shame, self-loathing, or self-hatred because you are gay, lesbian, or bisexual.

How does this happen? Society teaches us that homosexuality is “wrong” or “sinful” long before we ever discover that we might be homosexual.

When we discover that we might be homosexual, we unknowingly activate the learned hatred for homosexuals against ourselves.

Self-loathing can manifest itself in many ways, including risky and/or self-defeating behaviors of all kinds.

Treatment and Outcomes

Working through difficult feelings about your sexual orientation is a normal, developmental process.

I help people work through their shame and self-hatred to develop healthier self-images and feel more positive, free, and confident in all areas life.

Growing Older Gracefully

Growing older gracefully

Our society and our sub-culture are so youth-focused that we can feel useless or unwanted as we grow older.

There are many negative stereotypes about gay and lesbian life after 40, and there are times when it may feel like your own community has disowned you.

Happily, there is a growing body of research that shows gay and lesbian people aging gracefully, living freer lives, and enjoying their relationships.

Researchers theorize that the “coming out” process has taught us to adapt well to difficult circumstances, and that we actually adapt better to aging.

Learn how to leverage your adaptability and age well.

Treatment and Outcomes

I can help you cope successfully with the challenges of aging gracefully as a gay or lesbian by helping you to change patterns to take charge of your life, resolve difficulties in relationships, communicate more effectively, learn to open yourself to others, develop attainable goals, and renew your confidence so that life can once again be yours.

Spirituality and Spiritual Development

Spirituality and spiritual development

Spiritual questions are significant for gay and lesbian people because we have most often grown up with an organized religious faith that rejects us and our lifestyles. Some of us link religion with spirituality, and reject the lot.

Those in recovery know the difficulties of Step 2, where you must come to believe in a higher power – a higher power that doesn’t seem to take much care of you.

What is a mature sense of spirituality?

I define it as a kind of self-transcendence where individuals develop the ability to go beyond themselves in truthful knowledge, free commitment, and loving relationship to others, both human and Divine.

Whether you are newly seeking a spiritual path, or are seeking a renewal of your spiritual self, psychotherapy can help.

Treatment and Outcomes

Each of us has our own spiritual quest, a journey that can also be a developmental process.

An active spiritual life can bring new levels of satisfaction and fulfillment to our daily experience.

Wherever you may be on your spiritual journey, from beginning to explore what spirituality means to you, to integrating a lifetime of knowledge and experience, therapy can help.

I help people explore their spiritual questions to develop a healthy and meaningful spiritual life that nourishes and enriches them.

For More Information

Prospective clients usually have questions about whether therapy might work for them, or whether their goals are appropriate for therapy, so please ask!

If you have questions about therapy – please contact me.