As a whole, our community is wonderfully unique and there are many shared experiences that inform our LGBTQ+ culture. We are also equally diverse and come from families and communities, which have impacted how we experience the world and how we see ourselves.
Receiving mental healthcare as an LGBTQ+ person can lead to a time filled with growth and renewed resiliency. Unfortunately, it can also lead to added stress or harm. Although there are many wonderful practicing clinicians, we also hear of well-intentioned providers who increase harm or dysphoria through misguided attempts of support. Or even worse, providers who introduce trauma through "corrective” and coercive tactics to "fix" their clients. In fact, conversion therapy is still a legal form of clinical practice in many Florida counties.
I practice Affirmative Therapy, which takes a stance that:
In doing my work, I know it’s not necessary to share the same communities as my clients, but in some cases, this can be beneficial. A client may feel increased comfort with a community member who has experienced the imposition of a heteronormative and cis-centric lens, which has produced unwanted anxiety, shame, or guilt.
There is no guarantee that a shared community will increase clinical success, but having this foundation may help ease the process. Regardless of your reason for seeking support at this time, I hope you find comfort with me.
Discovering you have an LGBTQIA+ child or family member may stir up many conflicting emotions. There may be feelings of self-blame, fear, disappointment, anger, loss, and confusion. If you are on a path to acceptance, it may be helpful to discuss these feelings and increase your knowledge about the community.
I have extensive work in providing family support. I can answer your questions, connect you to additional resources, provide you with concrete ways of supporting your family member, and validate your concerns. I know the most protective space for LGBTQIA+ community members is with their affirming family. Please let me support you in creating this space for the benefit of your loved one.
"I believe who you are today, and if that develops at some point in the future, I will believe you then as well."
- Mark Houston, LCSW