Pathways Real Life Recovery understands the numerous challenges that the LGBTQ+ community go through living in a heteronormative world, and it be even more challenging in the super-conservative state of Utah. Many gay people clash with loved ones due to their identity, and even years later the pain can linger. Sometimes, it’s a close friend or family cutting off all ties, or in other times, it’s bitter words and vitriol spewed in the heat of the moment that can’t be forgotten.
Regardless if you seek therapy for issues related to your LGBT status or not, it is imperative you feel supported and able to speak freely in order to benefit from the therapeutic experience. This is especially true for those confronted with the double stigma of mental health issues and LGBT orientation. Pathways is an LGBT counselor in Utah for teens and adults who are seeking professional counseling. We can help you become confident and give you the tools to deal with life’s struggles in a manner that is respectful, affirming, supportive, and non-judgmental.
If you’re considering therapy and want to speak with someone who is compassionate, of the specific issues affecting the LGBTQ+ community, contact Pathways for a free assessment. We accept most insurance.
What is LGBTQ+ Counseling?
While an individual’s gender identity or sexual orientation may not be a source of distress, individuals who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender may find the stigma associated with living as a minority to be a source of anxiety and stress. Finding a mental health professional or counselor who is familiar with the challenges that the LGBTQ+ community often face is critical to achieving success in therapy.
Research has shown that LGBTQ+ individuals are at a higher risk of facing problems such as substance abuse disorders, anxiety, and depression due to the stress, bullying, and/or stigmatization from peers, family members, classmates, and even co-workers. LGBTQ+ individuals may also experience issues such as:
- Difficulty understanding gender identity or sexual orientation
- Issues related to LGBTQ+ parents
- Dealing with fear or trauma following hate crimes
- Lack of courage to come out and disclose to family and close friends
- Coping with discrimination and oppression
- Parenting and guiding an LGBTQ+ child
- Risk of suicidal ideation
- Gender transition challenges
- Bullying and victimization at school
LGBTQ+ Treatment Services
We’ve anchored our gay-friendly counseling services on inclusivity and bringing change from within. Our treatment services include, but are not limited to:
- Group Therapy: Group is a powerful treatment approach. It gives you an opportunity to listen to real life experiences and know that you are not alone. When you listen and interact with people going through the same problems that prompted you to seek therapy, you become more hopeful about achieving full recovery. You will get relevant feedback or honest testimonials that will inspire you to do things differently or nurture a positive perspective on life. In fact, you’ll also benefit immensely from the new solutions and ideas you’ll learn from these group counseling sessions.
- Sexual Assault Therapy: The LGBTQ+ community is at an increased risk of facing sexual assault as they’re often marginalized and suffer higher rates of poverty and stigma. Bisexual women and transgender individuals within the LGBTQ+ community are at a higher risk of encountering sexual violence, especially during their childhood. According to a 2015 Transgender survey conducted in the U.S., 47% of transgender individuals have been sexually assaulted in their lifetimes. We help both adolescent survivors and adults overcome these traumatic experiences and move forward with a life full of purpose.
- Couples Counseling: LGBTQ+ individuals experience the same relationship challenges and concerns in life common among all people, such as spending quality time together, the in-laws, money, and are subject to additional daily stressors such as low self-esteem and workplace stress. This can cause massive strain to your relationship, especially if both of you are struggling with these stressors or inner struggles. Our competent team will provide you and your partner with the skills and tools you need to maintain a healthy, loving relationship. This is great for couples who desire privacy and discretion in handling their personal issues.
- Addiction Treatment: While addiction is used as a way of coping with everyday stressors among the general population, LGBTQ+ individuals may use it as a mechanism for numbing prejudice, legal obstacles, and discrimination. Our empowerment and solution-based treatment services help our clients learn to love and appreciate themselves and resolve the issues that lead them to want to use in the first place. We provide our clients with the right tools to enable them to value their self-worth and realize that they don’t need to use drugs and alcohol in order to cope with their problems.
- Family Counseling: Research has proven that LGBTQ+ individuals who receive support and guidance from their family members have significantly better mental health and physical wellbeing. The primary objectives of the family counseling treatment service are to help family members understand that lack of support can be regarded as rejection and can cause serious health problems to their LGBTQ+ loved ones. We help families learn new ways of showing support to their LGBTQ+ family members. The treatment service is not focused on changing deeply-held family beliefs or values. Instead, we help parents, families, and caregivers understand the value of supporting their loved ones, and teach them how to do it.
- Trauma Therapy: LGBTQ+ individuals, especially teens who undergo frequent discrimination on a daily basis may end up developing internalized homophobia. This is a dangerous state that can lead to self-hatred and internal shame. Addressing psychological injuries inflicted on lesbians and gays is critical. When an LGBTQ+ child gets insulted for being different, they sustain psychological scars that would last a lifetime if not addressed. Our practitioners will help you or your child recover from such trauma, enabling you to lead a normal life.
- Treatment for LGBTQ+ Teens: LGBTQ+ youth are coming out at earlier and earlier ages. Some youth not capable of dealing with the discrimination and bullying faced and may consider suicide as a solution to end their suffering. Our experienced counselors help teens deal with various issues such as family rejection, gender nonconformity, substance abuse, suicide ideation, and violence. We can help teens deal with these issues and help them to love themselves for who they are and give them the skills needed to tackle their difficulties in a productive manner.
- Self-Esteem: The LGBTQ+ community faces a special kind of abuse and discrimination. Studies have shown that individuals who are victimized continuously and abused are likely to develop suicidal thoughts. Hence, it is dangerous to nurse unhealthy beliefs about yourself, and you should seek therapy before it becomes dangerous to you and your family. The negative things that naysayers say and do to you are not permanent or impermeable to change. With proper guidance, you can become more positive about life and eventually dissuade the suicidal thoughts.
Contact Pathways Real Life Recovery for LGBTQ+ Friendly Counseling in Utah
At Pathways Real Life Recovery, we have a team of knowledgeable LGBTQ+ counselors with years of experience in helping teens and adults. Some of our staff members have a deeper understanding of what it means to belong to the LGBTQ+ community because they’re part of the community. If you or your loved one is looking for a caring, compassionate counselor, mental health professional, or a doctor, who is passionate about helping, contact us today for a free assessment.
National Sexual Assault Hotline
1-800-656-HOPE (4673) 24/7: Available 24/7
Online Counseling at https://ohl.rainn.org/online/
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Call 1-800-273-8255: Available 24/7
For Deaf or Hard of Hearing Call 1-800-799-4889
The Trevor Project – for young people under 25.
Suicide Prevention Line 1-800-850-8078: Available 24/7
LGBT National Youth Talkline
Crisis Text Line
Text HOME to 741741 for 24/7 crisis support
Love is Respect Hotline
Text “loveis” 22522
Gay Men’s Domestic Violence Project Hotline
Gay and Lesbian National Hotline
1-888-843-4564: Mon–Fri, 4 pm–12 am EST
Report a Hate Crime
TransYouth Family Allies
Students and Gender Identity Toolkit for Schools
The Anti-Violence Project
212-714-1124: Available 24/7, English and Spanish