LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning/queer, et al.) affirmative therapy is a method of counselling that focuses on stressors specifically connected with those in the LGBTQ community.
While homosexuality was removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in 1973, significant clinical issues continue to exist and drive LGBTQ+ clients to therapists who often mean well but lack clear insight and empathy with the client. An LGBTQ+ therapist is not merely “gay-friendly” but is also knowledgeable about numerous clinical issues, such as:
- Heterosexism, homophobia, transphobia
- Sexual identity/gender confusion
- Societal and personal stigma
- Relationship concerns
- Body shaming/stigma
Our therapists work with clients in a positive and supportive environment, encouraging acceptance and embracement of sexual orientation as an integral part of living a holistic and balanced life. In therapy, clients are encouraged and supported to process negative messages received from society. These messages, from childhood and later in life, often become internalised, leading to self-doubt, repression, denial, and other negative consequences that inhibit personal growth.
Individual differences regarding cultural and religious beliefs are addressed in a sensitive and exploratory manner, with an understanding of the specific stressors the HK community adds to the situation. Additionally, Lifepan Counselling hopes to offer a wide range of information on community resources and events available specifically for the community.
The methods and counselling style of LGBTQ+ affirmative therapy can also be useful for other minorities or marginalised members of society.