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Happy Pride!

Happy Pride!

How to find a LGBTQIA+ informed therapist in Seattle/King County

Pride month is a time to honor, celebrate, and advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community. To show pride for ourselves, our community, and the people we love.

According to the National Association on Mental Health LGBTQIA+ adults and youth are more likely to experience mental health concerns than their heterosexual and cisgender peers. LGBTQIA+ people of color face a greater disparity in receiving competent mental health care than the LGBTQIA+ community overall.

Informed, affirming, and competent mental health care is out of reach for many people in the LGBTQIA+ community. They have experienced disaffirming and uninformed mental health care by providers. Many therapists want to support the mental health needs of LGBTQIA+ identifying clients, but there is a difference between being an ally and being informed.

It can be overwhelming to find a mental health provider who can provide both an affirming experience and informed care. Everyone has “blind-spots” for their own experience and the experience of others. However, LGBTQTIA+ clients should not bear the responsibility to explain, or even worse, defend their identity or whom or how they love to health care providers.

Here are some questions to ask potential therapists:

  • How do you self identify?
  • What is your experience with the LGBTQIA+ community as a whole?
  • What is your training and experience working with (insert your words to describe your identity) clients?
  • What is your perspective on intersectionality?
  • How do you usually provide counseling for clients with similar concerns as mine?

SOURCES:

Society for Sexual, Affectional, Intersex, and Gender Expansive Identities (SAIGE) division of American Counseling Association Therapist Competencies

National Association on Mental Illness (NAMI)

Human Rights Campaign:
https://www.hrc.org/resources/mental-health-resources-in-the-lgbtq-community

https://www.hrc.org/resources/qtbipoc-mental-health-and-well-being

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