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Everybody faces problems once in a while. And many of those problems can potentially leave scars that may never heal.

But people who are gay, lesbian, or transgender, face added problems.

In the United States, there are still too many places where GLBTQ people lack basic rights such as being able to adopt children or having your relationship recognized.

Even in places that do provide these legal protections, problems often occur. This includes open hostility from family, friends, or even total strangers.

As a result, far too many GLBTQ people can find themselves in crisis, whether in a relationship or not.

Facing Minority Stress

Despite gaining greater acceptance in recent years, being openly GLBTQ can be stressful.

This kind of “minority stress” can pop up anywhere and may cause many people to stay in the closet to avoid problems. And this is especially true in places where you may not have basic legal protections.

Minority stress can often come in two forms:

  • Stress that comes from the outside. This can involve blatant acts of discrimination (i.e., housing, employment, adoption). But it can also include microaggressions. Has a family member or friend dropped a hint that they disapprove of you being openly GLBTQ? Has a total stranger treated you differently after finding out you aren’t heterosexual? Whatever form they take, microaggressions can cause stress and, even when shared with a partner, can cause tension that is hard to avoid.
  • Internalized heterosexism. We all know what it’s like to grow up in a heterosexist society. That means seeing countless romantic movies and television shows about happy opposite-sex couples are. Though this is slowly changing, many people still have to deal with the idea that they are somehow “damaged” because their lives aren’t like what they see on TV or in the movies. This is especially true for people raised to think of same-sex relationships as sinful or disgusting. No matter where you happen to be in the coming-out process, such stress will always affect how you see yourself.

And this kind of minority stress can be especially damaging for couples. That’s because any stress that affects one partner will hurt the other partner as well.

That can include mental health problems like depression or severe anxiety. These problems are always going to affect the way couples feel about their relationship.

How Can Minority Stress Affect My Relationship

Despite minority stress and regular relationship conflicts, GLBTQ couples can still succeed, though. A 2003 study that compared gay, lesbian, and straight couples found the following:

  • Gay and lesbian couples use more humor and affection when they disagree
  • Gay and lesbian couples are more likely to stay positive after an agreement
  • Gay and lesbian couples are less likely to use controlling or hostile tactics
  • When fighting, gay and lesbian couples take things less personally

“When it comes to emotions, we think [same-sex] couples may operate with very different principles than straight couples. Straight couples may have a lot to learn from gay and lesbian relationships,” said lead author, John Gottman.

What Can Counseling Do For Me?

A trained counselor with experience in dealing with same-sex couples can provide help in various ways. This includes acting as a sounding board for partners to talk out their issues. , counselors can also help couples cope with minority stress in the following ways:

  • Helping GLBTQ individuals work through the coming-out process. Often the most stressful part of any relationship is the joint decision to come out as a couple to family, friends, and employers. Every person needs to decide on whether to be fully out. And that includes possible rejection and even blatant hostility. Coming out is ultimately the healthiest way to live if you are GLBTQ. Still, many people may choose to stay closeted to avoid problems with family members or coworkers. Though this will certainly cause psychological problems, they may not feel comfortable being open.
  • Helping GLBTQ couples resolve their relationship problems. Being in a “non-traditional” couple often means facing problems imposed by a society still learning to accept them. Prior to 2000, for example, same-sex couples were routinely denied legal recognition of their relationship. But that changed rapidly over time with same-sex marriage being recognized in all 50 states in 2015. But LGBTQ couples still face discrimination, including from members of their own families. This means that parents, siblings, or other family members may refuse to provide the emotional support that couples need. All of which provides special pressures that hetero couples will never have to face.

So, doesn’t it make more sense to find a counselor who is aware of all the latest research and who has the knowledge and experience you need?

No matter where you and your partner are in the process of coming out. You need someone who is uniquely sensitive to what the two of you are going through.

You also need a counselor trained in the latest therapy techniques and someone who can help you build up the support networks that can help your relationship prosper.

That includes “families of choice” and friendship networks that can help couples heal.

How Can I Find A Gay Therapist Near Me?

Considering how important counseling can be for your mental health, it is still far too common to find counselors who don’t have the right training or experience to help you come to terms with the kind of problems you are facing.

Worse yet, many counselors may have their own prejudices when it comes to LGBTQ issues which can do more harm than good. Especially if they try forcing those prejudices on you in the process of “helping.”

So, doesn’t it make more sense to find a counselor who is aware of all the latest research and who has the knowledge and experience you need?

No matter where you and your partner are in the process of coming out. You need someone who is uniquely sensitive to what you are going through.

You also need a counselor trained in the latest therapy techniques and someone who can help you build up the support networks that can help you cope with the stress in your life. That includes “families of choice” and friendship networks of caring, supportive people.

Can E-Counseling Help?

Sadly, many people may feel uncomfortable dealing with a counselor face-to-face or might have trouble finding a trained counselor in their immediate area.

If you are living in a rural district or someplace without GLBTQ-positive therapists living hereby, you might find yourself having to travel to another city or state to see a counselor.

But there is another option these days, and getting the counseling you need may just be a phone call or a video link away.

For millions of clients seeking help worldwide, electronic or e-counseling is becoming an increasingly important option for meeting your counseling needs.

All of this brings us to Pride Counseling and its unique role in putting you in contact with a therapist who cares.

What is Pride Counseling?

Which GLBTQ individuals seeking help, Pride Counseling is your one-stop solution for all your treatment needs.

Designed as a platform allowing clients and therapists to communicate effectively, the Pride Counseling network shows you how to get the most out of your counseling experience.

Not only do we have a roster of therapists from across the country, including ones who are even in your area, but we also use state-of-the-art security to protect your confidentiality.

Getting started with Pride Counseling is as easy as clicking on the link at the top of the article. Then, you will be asked some confidential questions about your mental health concerns, the pronouns you prefer, and how a therapist can contact you.

We will do the rest, including finding you a qualified therapist matched to your specific needs who will then contact you directly.

Each Pride Counseling therapist has extensive training in the latest therapy techniques and years of right experience in how to help you move towards a better future.

And you are totally in charge of how you want this therapy to be conducted. Options include live chat, messaging, phone sessions, or video calls, whichever option is easiest for you?

Whether you have never been in counseling before or had previous bad experiences with less-helpful therapists, our counselors will be completely accepting and open to your needs. And confidentiality is guaranteed!

How Much Does Our Counseling Cost?

The cost of therapy through Pride Counseling usually ranges from 65-87 USD per week and is billed every 4 weeks.

Therapy can continue until you and your therapist mutually agree that your treatment is complete, but you are free to cancel your membership at any time for any reason.

As for how long the counseling lasts, that often depends on you and your issues. Everyone is different, so there is no way to tell how long the treatment process will be.

And there are issues that might require more specialized counseling, such as substance abuse for which your counselor might refer you to someone else better qualified to help you handle it.

So contact Pride Counseling today and get started toward a healthier tomorrow! It’s all up to you…

Click Here

 

Dr. Vitelli

Romeo-Vitelli

I am a psychologist in private practice in Toronto and Hamilton.

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