Whether you are gay, lesbian, or bisexual, you need a therapist who understands your experiences.
At 23 I made the decision to become a psychologist in large part because I wanted to help gay men and lesbians build fulfilling lives despite the strong societal discrimination then prevalent.
While a lot has improved in recent years, I know that gay and lesbian people still face unique challenges, because:
Growing up gay is difficult.
You may absorb negative beliefs about yourself that are hard to shake, contributing to depression, anxiety, self-destructive behaviors, and low self-esteem. Hiding who you really are from everyone around you is profoundly isolating. Pretending to be someone you’re not is hard work and causes all sorts of grief.
Coming out to family and friends is liberating, but risky.
You may lose important social support. Though staying in the closet may seem safer, the closet is lonely and reinforces feeling bad about who you are.
You may have job/career difficulties whether you’re out or not.
Workplaces do not always welcome employees who are openly gay. But staying in the closet can keep you distant and disconnected from colleagues, interfering with your performance, your well-being, and your advancement.
You may feel pressure to behave in ways you don’t respect, sexually and socially.
Problem is, when you don’t honor you own integrity and boundaries, you’re going to feel pretty bad about yourself.
Substance abuse is a special threat to LGBT folks.
Alcohol and drugs can soothe the isolation, distress, and alienation of living in an often-hostile world, but can also put your life on a ruinous course.
Being in a same-sex relationship is challenging.
Stigma and lack of social support still take a toll on couples. You may not have role models for how to build a loving partnership, or even date. Intimacy doesn’t come easily when you’ve spent a good portion of your life hiding who you are. As a result, LGBT people often struggle with tolerating both sexual and emotional intimacy. And, many couples get lost in the pros and cons of whether to be monogamous or have an open relationship.
My clients work with me to address:
- Relationship issues
- Self-destructive behaviors
- Low self-esteem
- Finding acceptance
- Substance abuse problems and addiction
- Messy family relationships
- Career complications
- Work stress
Gay affirmative therapy personalized to you
I have decades of specialized experience in affirmative counseling for gay and lesbian couples and individuals to successfully deal with these struggles here in Washington DC, and will be glad to help you find a path forward through therapy to a richer, freer, happier, and more rewarding life.
More about me as a gay affirmative therapist:
I’m honored to write the advice column in THE WASHINGTON BLADE, DC’s LGBT newspaper. You can read my column here.
Learn more about my individual therapy work.
Learn more about my couples counseling work.
Check out my blog posts to get a sense of my work as a psychologist. You might also enjoy an article I wrote about open relationships in THE HUFFINGTON POST, and a piece I wrote on gay men and monogamy for THE GOOD MEN PROJECT.