Those who define themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender may share common experiences that are best addressed by a specialist practitioner who understands. We realise there is nothing worse than confiding in a therapist who you feel does not ‘get’ you or who does not have much awareness of the specific difficulties an LGBT person may experience such as questioning their sexual identity, feeling part of a minority, being harassed or feeling oppressed, amongst others. For this reason we ensure that all our practitioners working with LGBT issues have had specific training and experience, contributing to heightened sensitivity, awareness, familiarity and ease working with LGBT issues. First and foremost however we are interested in getting to know each client for the individual they are and we are wary of fitting people into a particular box, regardless of their sexual and romantic orientation. We realise that whatever that may be, emotions such as shame, low mood, sadness, anger, guilt, are common to all of us. We also abide by the United Kingdom Council of Psychotherapy (UKCP) and the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP) ethical guidelines against gay conversion therapy ethical guidelines against any form of gay conversion therapy.
At Psymplicity our approach is to carefully select practitioners who have awareness and sensitivity for working with LGBT issues. This will have included group training where the themes of diversity, homogeneity, prejudice and belonging were actively challenged and explored and where basic assumptions and stereotypes were questioned. Regardless of the orientation of the practitioner they will have explored their own relationship to LGBT issues and any hidden prejudices they might have held. As a result the practitioner will have an open-minded, empathic and supportive attitude and will have the capacity, familiarity and knowledge to work with you, whatever you bring.
The content of your sessions will depend on your individual issues and resulting emotions that you experience. Nevertheless, some of the ways we might work with LGBT issues are: to explore oppression that has been experienced related to being LGBT; to identify incorporated stereotypes and to undo the negative conditioning associated with these stereotypes; to facilitate the expression of anger so that it is constructively channelled; to encourage the establishment of support systems; to encourage the questioning of basic assumptions about being LGBT in order to develop a personally relevant value system as a basis for self-assessment; to desensitise shame and guilt surrounding homosexual thoughts, feelings and behaviour.