Are you struggling to overcome the obstacles that feel insurmountable?
Do you ever feel that nothing is working out, no matter how hard you try or how much effort you put in? Despite achieving success in your career, relationships and in other areas of your life, does it still feel as if something is standing between you and what you want in life: like an impenetrable wall that never seems to come down? Do you find yourself thinking how much easier your life would be if you could just find a way to break down that wall?
Many LGBTQIA people struggle with this feeling that they are at odds with the world.
Sadly, our culture is rife with homophobia, transphobia, bi-phobia and other forms of prejudice. This manifests in the media we consume, our religious and educational backgrounds, and even how we are treated by those closest to us. Many come to embrace their identity on their own, and it can be a daunting task for those who are just starting to realize their true selves. Also, our culture often overlooks the intersectionality that exists within the LGBTQIA spectrum by focusing solely on sexual orientation while ignoring other contributing factors to who we are, such as gender, race, age, religion, disability, ethnicity and physical appearance. Sometimes we don’t have access to intergenerational insight into our struggle until we recognize that the struggle comes from both our biological families and our chosen families.
This marginalization has consequences.
The LGBTQIA community is disproportionately affected by depression, anxiety, and substance abuse compared to their heterosexual peers. Furthermore, suicide rates are higher and social support is lower for this group. Additionally, members of the LGBTQIA community are more likely to endure housing, employment, and medical discrimination due to their identities. BIPOC members of the LGBTQIA community experience even more discrimination based on race, sexuality, and gender presentation. All of these issues combined have serious consequences for this marginalized population.
Our Therapeutic Approach:
Our therapeutic approach utilizes trauma-informed approach, present moment awareness, meditative techniques, EMDR, Parts Works, and self compassion to address the whole person. Through creative writing or visual art, clients can express emotions that may be difficult to verbalize. By encouraging clients to connect with their physical experience, we can work together to recognize when and how emotions arise and strategize ways for them to meet their own needs in the moment with compassion and acceptance. To self-soothe, contain harmful thoughts, and regulate the nervous system often involves using breathing exercise and visualization techniques. Learning to take care of yourself while navigating life’s traumas should be done with great care and attention. We will encourage and gently challenge our clients along the way in order for them to be able to answer the question: “Who do I want to be?”.
Do you ever wonder, “What if I can’t change? What if the damage done can’t be repaired?” This is a common concern at the start of therapy. Doubting your own abilities and strengths due to the pain that has been built up over time is understandable. However, these capabilities are still within you and all they need is the opportunity to be nurtured and supported so they can flourish.
How long will I need to be in therapy?
Living Well has LGBTQIA identified therapists available who bring empathy and understanding as you work towards achieving your goals. Generally, people start to feel the impact of our work after 6 sessions and typically stay anywhere from 12-36 sessions. We offer free 20 minute video consultations and can take clients living anywhere in the state of Illinois. We are here to support you through your gender affirmation process and as part of being trauma informed, we are aware of the kinds of traumas that our clients have encountered in previous medical and behavioral health settings. Together we will work to create a treatment plan that addresses your goals and we will assess our progress along the way.