Gay Counselling and Therapy Glasgow
Many of the reasons why LGBT people seek Counselling are similar to the reasons why heterosexual people do.
However, being part of a sexual minority has its challenges. Even in 2014, many LGBT people still face prejudice, ridicule, verbal and physical abuse, lack of understanding, and discrimination, on a daily basis.
Understandably, this can take its toll and can have a very real impact on the metal health and well being of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.
If you identify as LGBT, some of the reasons you might be seeking Counselling are:
Depression is sometimes called the common cold of mental health problems with 1 in 5 people experiencing an episode at some point in their lives.
Furthermore, research shows that LGBT people face a higher risk of suffering from depression than other parts of the community. It is thought that this might due to the negative attitudes that LGBT people face.
Many gay people also have negative thoughts and feelings about their own sexuality. In addition to this, the realisation that they are gay can cause some people to feel very anxious, down, and bad.
Like depression, anxiety is a very common condition. There are various types of anxiety including general anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic attacks, phobias, social anxiety, and health anxiety.
Alcohol abuse and harmful drinking
In order to deal with the stresses of being gay, alcohol can be used to help people cope better. But in addition to this, a lot socialising takes place in pubs and clubs. Apart from this, alcohol can be used as a way to help people manage difficult emotions.
The effects of homophobia can have a negative impact on how people feel about themselves. In addition to this, LGBT people often suffer from internalised homophobia. Many carry a great deal of shame.
Discovering you are attracted to members of the same sex can happen at any age, as sexuality is fluid and not necessarily fixed. But for many people, they become aware of their same sex attraction at the beginning of adolescence.
There is no doubt that it is far easier for many people to come out nowadays that it was in the past. Nevertheless, for many people, coming out can be a difficult and fear filled experience.
Coming out is sometimes referred to as a process, with various stages such as coming out to oneself, then to friends and family, getting involved in the LGBT community, experiencing first relationships, and so on.
Alternatively, perhaps you have identified as heterosexual all of your life. You may have been married and had children and then to your surprise, you start to develop same sex feelings. This can obviously cause turmoil to the person experiencing this, as well as their spouses.
There is no right way to come out but sometimes having support can be very helpful. And coming out can be vital in helping you to become more self-accepting and help you to feel better about yourself and your life.
Gay relationships/couples issues
Counselling for relationship issues covers a wide area. Perhaps you are single and are looking for a relationship but lack confidence. Or maybe you have had relationships but they never seem to last?
If you are already in a relationship, LGBT people face the same issues as the rest of the population. These include issues about money, infidelity, betrayal, sharing household chores, in-laws, sex, parenting styles, the amount of time spent together, domestic abuse, and so on.
However, gay and lesbian couples can have their own particular stresses. For example, what if one partner is out and the other is not? This can be difficult when it comes to family holidays, weddings and so on. And what about when one partner wants to have an open relationship, while the other person wants monogamy?
If your partner does not want to attend couples counselling, it can still be of benefit if you come along on your own.
Gay relationship counselling can also be helpful if you have issues with friends and family members.
Like many of the issues in this list, psychosexual issues faced by LGBT clients are no different to what other people experience. So, perhaps the passion between you and your partner has gone. Or maybe depression or anxiety, are interfering with your ability to get it up or on!
In addition to this, you may need support in addressing issues surrounding safer sex.
Alternatively, maybe you have been brought up to believe that sex is dirty, wrong and sinful and that gay sex is abhorrent. This may mean that you avoid sex altogether or when you engage in it, you feel bad afterwards. This can lead to what may feel like sexual anorexia
Everyone has the right to enjoy a satisfying sex life and counselling could help you to do so.
Does sex addiction really exist or is it just some new made-up syndrome? Do gay men really suffer from sexual addiction or are they just celebrating their sexuality? After all, are gay men, not notorious for their sexual freedom?
Maybe so. But I believe that regardless of your sexual orientation, if your sexual behaviour is causing you, and other people in your life, unhappiness, guilt and shame, it does not matter whether we call it an addiction or not.
If you feel that your sexual behaviour is out of control, counselling can help.
Body image issues
Gay men especially are subjected to various images in magazines and online, of how they are meant to look. Youth and beauty are held in high regard.
This can lead many men to worry about the size and shape of their bodies. In extreme cases, people may develop an obsession with their body and go to great lengths to rectify what they perceive as imperfections.
Religious, spiritual and cultural conflicts
If someone has been brought up in a religious faith, discovering that they are attracted to members of their own sex can cause inner conflict. Many religions are hardly welcoming and accepting towards LGBT people; their doctrines often state that homosexuality is sinful, immoral and wrong. This may mean that people have to choose between being true to themselves or continuing to adhere to religious teachings.
Counselling can help you understand the issues better and assist you to move toward deciding what to do about the place of religion in your life. Some people, for example, decide to join another church, which is more accepting of them, while others may decide that it is best for them to leave religion behind.
Counselling can assist you greatly in addressing the above LGBT issues
There is still a great deal of intolerance, ignorance and judgment about sexuality in society. Therefore, it can be a great relief to access a counselling service where you know that the Counsellor you see, is completely accepting of your sexual identity, and familiar with the issues commonly experienced by gay and lesbian clients.
Call me now on 07970 860 711 to:
- Book your first appointment,
- Ask questions about counselling, or
- Schedule a free 15 minute telephone consultation.
Alternatively, fill in the form below for a call back from me.
For information on my location in Glasgow check out the contact page.