What does it mean to be an LGBTQ+ Affirmative Counsellor?
Most of us recognize the acronym LGBT, meaning Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (or Trans for short).
The ‘Q’ can mean ‘Queer’ (genderqueer, politically queer, sexually queer). ‘Q’ can also mean ‘questioning’ (unsure about your gender, and/or your sexuality). The ‘plus’ (+) can include other identities like asexual, non-binary, or intersex (sometimes an ‘i’ is added to the acronym as well).
I have years of experience and a wealth of specialist training that helps prepare me to work with my clients’ genders and sexual diversities. I don’t just work with LGBTQ+ clients; I’m familiar with alternative sexualities and lifestyles including kink, BDSM and polyamory.
Of course I’ve also worked with clients who might simply consider themselves ‘straight’ (heterosexual, and/or cisgendered): retired grandparents, single mothers, young people living in temporary accommodation.
What if I don’t identify with any of these labels?
That’s fine! We’re all unique individuals with our own particular life-experiences. This is the basis on which I meet all of my clients.
So why choose an LGBTQ+ Affirmative counsellor?
Many clients do still prefer to come to an LGBTQ+ Affirmative Counsellor like myself.
Reasons people give include:
- To avoid a sense of being judged because of your gender, sexuality or trans status.
- Enjoying some kind of shared background/life-experience with your counsellor.
- Knowing you’re not the ‘token’ L, G, B, T etc. client working with your counsellor.
- Not having to explain yourself, not having to ‘educate’ your counsellor.
Some clients want to directly explore aspects of their gender or sexual identity through the therapy we do.
Others just want a safer space to explore something completely different, knowing that their gender, sexuality or trans status is quietly understood.