LGBTQ Issues

Just like any other group, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) community faces mental health issues and unique challenges. However, LGBTQ individuals are almost 3 times more likely than others to experience a mental health condition, such as depression or anxiety. Additionally, more than half of individuals who identify as transgender experience depression or anxiety. The LGBTQ community is also at a higher risk for suicide. Young people are even more at risk, as they may experience a lack of support at home and fear, hatred or prejudice in school. If you are a member of the LGBTQ community and are facing mental health challenges, you don’t have to suffer in silence. Reach out to one of TherapyDen’s LGBTQ experts and get help today.

Meet the specialists

Looking for a stigma-free clinic for STD testing? Eager to connect to the BDSM community? Does your transition process require a signature or the name of a competent MD? Wishing to get your legal name changed? Navigating an open relationship? Raising a gender-free child? Want to practice coming out? These and so much more are difficult steps in many queer person's lives, and I'm devoted to being that guide whom I wish I personally had for my Queer milestones over the years. Not only do I uphold a stigma-free attitude about sexual behavior, expression, language, and identity, I network with other queer workers, keep abreast of related literature and research, and actively work to resolve the internalized homophobic programming of my own past.

— Evan Honerkamp, Art Therapist in Denver, CO
 

I have years of experience and a deep understanding of the unique challenges that lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and queer individuals and couples face. You may be feeling sad, lonely, anxious, angry or concerned with your relationship. You might have questions about your sexuality, self-judgment, or difficulty negotiating the discomfort of family and friends with your sexuality. Working with a therapist with whom you feel accepted and supported can be immensely helpful in these areas

— Andy Sussman, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in San Francisco, CA

There is danger in being yourself if you defy others’ expectations of you, especially if you are queer, LGBT, non-binary, or polyamorous. Together, we will create a vibrant, proud life for you based on love for yourself. Whether you are coming out, exploring gender affirmation, or wanting support for your non-monogamous relationships, I can support you and help you grow into the person you want to be.

— Cindy Blank-Edelman, Mental Health Counselor in Cambridge, MA
 

I believe that understanding gender and sexual orientation is essential to shaping who we are, how we are seen and move through the world, and our relationship with ourselves and others. I am committed to providing affirmative care as you navigate questioning, coming out, gender expression, intersecting identities, spirituality and more - wherever you are on that journey.

— Casey Tanner, Counselor in Chicago, IL

In counseling, we will navigate the difference between relational/sexual orientation, sex, gender and how all these intersect in relationships and safety. If applicable, we will work on healing trauma associated with being in the LGBTQ+ community and ensure your safety seeing as LGBTQ+ individuals face higher rates of interpersonal violence and suicide risk. Outcomes of this counseling will leave you feeling affirmed, seen, heard and validated — never judged or seen as lesser. I work with LGBTQ+ individuals from a place of understanding the challenges one may face in our often hetero-centered, monogamous-centered, homophobic and transphobic culture and society. Furthermore, I specialize in reconciling or recovering from religion.

— Caitlin Bovard, Counselor in Broomfield, CO
 

I am queer and trans and committed to working in my communities. I understand these labels broadly and I know that sharing them does not mean we have the same experience. I want to make room for the different experiences of LGBTQIATSGNC people, particularly as they relate to your race, gender, abilities, size, gender, and socioeconomic status.

— Colette Gordon, Counselor in Portland, OR

I have been involved with the LGBTQ+ community since 1987. I began working with kids of LGBTQ parents and co-founded COLAGE in 1990.

— Ali Dubin, Mental Health Counselor in North Hollywood, CA

I work with LGBTQ individuals and couples; I am happy to work with people from my community. I will affirm and embrace your identity. You are safe with me.

— Nina Landey, Counselor in Portland, OR
 

A core focus of my work is supporting gender and/or sexually diverse adolescents and adults. I meet them wherever they are at on their journey through their own process of coming into their authentic selves, and support them in moving past any obstructions that are interrupting their access to joy and fulfillment.

— Adam Cohen, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA

I have worked with the LGBT+ community since I began practicing at an LGBT+ focused counseling center 13+ years ago.

— Jill Pressley, Counselor in Austin, TX
 

As part of the LGBTQ community our issues are near and dear to my heart! I love working with "family." Minority stress is real! Many of us have suffered trauma of one kind or another. I believe the "work" that we do to figure out who we are (and how to survive an environment that is often hostile) contributes to our resilience. My internship was at Affirmations LGBT Community Center, where I learned a great deal about the issues we face as a community and how to overcome them,

— Paula Kirsch, Clinical Social Worker in Detroit, MI

As a long time ally, I have provided group and individual therapy to help LGBTQ identifying persons to cope with minority stress and positive identity development.

— Carrie Dodrill, Psychologist in Houston, TX
 

I work extensively with lesbian and bisexual women. In addition, I have provided supervision for pre-licensed interns at Pacific Center in Berkeley and currently supervise interns at Queer Life Space in San Francisco.

— Marla Cass, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA

I practice affirmative psychotherapy with LGBTQ identified individuals, couples and families. This way of practicing considers the stigma associated with holding an LGBTQ identity while also considering both individual and systemic forces which have caused stressors resulting in mental health concerns such as depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. Practicing affirmative psychotherapy recognizes that holding an LGBTQ identity cannot (and should not) be considered the "presenting problem," unless it is identified as such.

— Jeff Levy, Clinical Social Worker in Chicago, IL
 

I love working with members of the queer community, including individuals as well as couples who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, trans, non-binary, poly, and kink. Although times are changing, queer voices are still silenced in our culture, so my office provides a safe space. I have years of experience and specialized training in cultural competency specific to the LGBTQ population.

— Kelly Arthur, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist Intern in Portland, OR

As a very strong ally since my youth, I have been involved in leading support groups and providing individual therapy for LGBTQ identifying persons for many years. My approach emphasizes positive identity development.

— Carrie Dodrill, Psychologist in Houston, TX
 

I have experience working with clients who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, asexual, demisexual and omnisexual. I believe that you are the expert of your own identity and I increase my learning about sexual identities by attending training each year. I am affirming of your identity and support my clients in their self expression.

— Katie Leikam, Clinical Social Worker in Decatur, GA

I’ve worked closely with many members of the LGBTQIA+ community on challenges with coming out, sexual orientation, gender identity and dysphoria, questioning, shame, depression, anxiety, family issues, gay couples counseling, anxiety, addiction recovery, relationship abuse recovery, feelings of loneliness, challenges navigating within the gay male community related to monogamy, open relationships, hooking up, and apps.

— Kim Ehly, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Wilton Manors, FL

I am affiliated with The Association for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues in Counseling, as well as The Trevor Project. I have more than 50 hours of class training on LGBTQ issues in counseling. I have worked with LGBTQ clients at every stage of the lifespan, from children to older adults. I treat transgender and gender nonconforming clients in adherence to the standards of care set by The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH). I also use the Informed Consent for Access to Trans Heath (ICATH) model where appropriate. I have written more than 100 letters for gender affirming medical procedures. I also work with transgender children and adolescents and their families.

— Lilyan Moore, Counselor in Portland, OR
 

I am affiliated with The Association for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues in Counseling, as well as The Trevor Project. I have more than 50 hours of class training on LGBTQ issues in counseling. I have worked with LGBTQ clients at every stage of the lifespan, from children to older adults.

— Lilyan Moore, Counselor in Portland, OR
 

I have extensive experience working with people who identify as LGBTQ and their allies. During my career I have worked with many clients who are seeking support around some facet of their sexual orientation, as well as clients who are not looking for support with their sexuality specifically, but who want a therapist that "gets them."

— Megan McDavid, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Portland, OR

With a strong background in social justice and a personal connection to the LGBTQ community, I am dedicated to working with issues around LGBTQ identity development and navigating relationships and the world within this context.

— Emily Berry, Counselor in Portland, OR
 

Having observed homophobia as a young child, I became immensely interested in finding proof for what I determined was outrageous behavior in the religious communities regarding LGBTQ. The ignorance and discontent in my country were almost too much to bare and I wanted to counteract the unfairness and negative impact by providing a place of understanding and caring for the people within the LGBTQ community. As a minority, I understand marginalization and discrimination. I believe this, along with my professionally and personally developed relationships with members of the LGBTQ community, provides a secure environment within the therapeutic walls with which to work on all issues even if they have nothing to do with being LGBTQ.

— Marsha Evans, Licensed Professional Counselor in Denver, CO

I have worked within this community for over 20 years, serving as Clinical Director at an agency working with the LGBTQ population on issues of coming out, working with families, relationship and communication, access to resources, shame, creating a community and more.

— SC (Stacy-Colleen) Nameth, Clinical Social Worker in Los Angeles, CA
 

While I have lived experience as a gay man, I have sought out advanced training around counseling gender and sexual minorities including how those specific struggles interrelate with other aspects of identify like racial/ethnic identity, financial oppression, and body image. In the last year I established a support group for transgender and gender non-conforming folks with co-occurring mental health diagnoses. I have extensive experience working individually with LGBTQ clients around gender/sexual identity and on life issues that may seem less related to those aspects of identity.

— Matthew Wolfe, Counselor in Seattle, WA

I have extensive knowledge, background, training, and education related to LGBTQIA+ issues, and therapy with LGBTQIA+ individuals. I completed certification training to be a Transgender Care Therapist through the International Transgender Certification Association.

— Ashley Myhre, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Minneapolis, MN
 

Having observed homophobia as a young child, I became immensely interested in finding proof for what I determined was outrageous behavior in the religious communities regarding LGBTQ. The ignorance and discontent in my country were almost too much to bare and I wanted to counteract the unfairness and negative impact by providing a place of understanding and caring for the people within the LGBTQ community. As a minority, I understand marginalization and discrimination. I believe this, along with my professionally and personally developed relationships with members of the LGBTQ community, provides a secure environment within the therapeutic walls with which to work on all issues even if they have nothing to do with being LGBTQ.

— Marsha Evans, Licensed Professional Counselor in Denver, CO

As part of the LGBTQ community our issues are near and dear to my heart! I love working with "family." Minority stress is real! Many of us have suffered trauma of one kind or another. I believe the "work" that we do to figure out who we are (and how to survive an environment that is often hostile) contributes to our resilience.I interned at Affirmations LGBT Community Center, where I learned a great deal about the issues we face as a community and how to overcome them.

— Paula Kirsch, Clinical Social Worker in Detroit, MI
 

As a queer immigrant of color, I am personally familiar with the challenges we experience and navigate as individuals and a community. I am keenly aware of the healing and collaboration we need to work towards within our community, and the activism for rights and freedoms still left to do outside of it.

— Neil Panchmatia, Counselor in Portland, OR

I have worked with children and young adults across the gender and sexual identity spectrum. I provide a safe space for people identify however they are comfortable, to explore their identity, and any associated issues related to LGBTQ+ status.

— Ande Cappellano, Social Worker in Portland, OR
 

My experience includes managing clinical programs for the LGBTQ community. I have particular expertise in issues of oppression, systemic impacts, family and relationship dynamics, and overcoming discrimination and abuse.

— Dr. Edward Santana, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA

I've been an out and proud gay man most of my adult life, and began working with the LGBTQ community as an intern therapist decades ago. Typically more than half of my practice is peopled by LGBTQ individuals and couples. Even in this more progressive culture, our community still faces systemic prejudice that damages us and inhibits our full potential. I understand how important it can be to sit across from someone with shared, personal experience. There is nothing more vital in all therapy work than to feel safe, heard and understood by your therapist. We who are LGBTQ identified are not defined by our orientation but are inextricably affected by how we interact within the dominant culture. As a gay man and a therapist, I know how isolating and challenging a minority identification can be. I also know, conversely, how enormously valuable it can be to work with a therapist that you feel has walked in your shoes and enables you to feel more safe, trusting and truly supported.

— Zachary Newman, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Portland, OR

I've worked with the queer community since beginning my clinical career and am part of the community myself as a queer/bisexual woman. I use an affirming care model and actively counter the cis-het default. I welcome individuals and couples of all genders and orientations. I partner with Building Allies to help educate others about providing affirming care for trans and gender nonconforming folks. The majority of my clients identify as trans or gender-nonconforming.

— Sara Stanizai, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Long Beach, CA
 

However your hopes and challenges intersect with your queerness, you are worthy of love and belonging. I provide affirming, informed, and competent care to people across the gender and sexuality spectrums. As a queer person, I bring my lived experiences, training, and education to my work with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Non-Binary, Pansexual, Asexual, and Aromantic folks.

— Jessica Weikers, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA
 

In an LGBTQ affirming space, my work focuses on coming out, couples work, creating powerful relationships, LGBTQ addiction, HIV/AIDS, and discovering who you are as an LGBTQ person. I identify as a cis gender queer man and my pronouns are he/him.

— John Sovec, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in PASADENA, CA

I continually strive to be an ally to the LGBTQIA+ community. I seek training and consultation regularly to ensure I am up to date on best practices and language to use with clients of all identities.

— Lauren Lewis, Licensed Professional Counselor in Loveland, CO
 

For many queer people, finding a health care practitioner can be a daunting task. You must take into account many questions: Do I feel safe with them? Will they understand my worldview and my experiences? Do I have to educate them on the social structures which are inherent in my life? Will I be labeled as sick or abnormal? As a queer person myself I can relate to the feelings all of these questions bring up. As a therapist I strive to make sure my clients feel safe, comfortable & understood.

— Nick Venegoni, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA

I have studied and written about the unique needs of LGBTQA individuals throughout my undergraduate and graduate education. I have participated in post-graduate continuing education seminars that placed emphasis on working competently and effectively with LGBTQA individuals. As a queer person, I also have personal insight into the challenges LGBTQA individuals experience on a daily basis.

— Brian Prester, Associate Clinical Social Worker in Tacoma, WA
 

I provide expert support to Queer or other families with alternative structures (or families who are alligned with traditional structures), and can also help with individuals who are in the process of finding their identify. Being Queer is more than just fine, it's a source of joy. I am also very experienced with working with interracial Queer families. In fact, that is my own family's experience. I am sensitive to cultural influences and class/race power dynamics that can affect family and relationship functioning. We will find out how to make your family feel safest for everyone.

— Hugh Simmons, Clinical Social Worker in Austin, TX

You deserve less anxiety and fear about being LGBTQ in a world that views heterosexuality and monogamy as the only ways to be. Shame arises from our fear and appears in our relationships as well as ourselves. Let's work together to help form a healthier, more fulfilling path for you.

— Patrick Tully, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA
 

LGBTQ individuals seek counseling for many reasons that may or may not be related to your sexuality or your gender identity. It is important that you have a therapist who you can discuss any area of your life without taking time to explain being LGBTQ. As a member of the LGBTQ community I have both the professional and personal expertise and experience to help you address the concerns you bring to counseling.

— Deborah Robinson-Thompson, Mental Health Counselor in Burlington, MA

Individuals who identify as LGBTQIA+ need a counselor who is understanding and an advocate in the community. I have worked with individuals who are not only looking for a safe place to talk about sexual identity and discrimination but who also want to discuss feelings of depression and anxiety. Let's work together to help you understand how you can feel safe and proud of who you are. Contact me to see if we would be a good fit for counseling.

— Cheryl Perry, Licensed Professional Counselor in Charlotte, NC
 

There are issues that are specific to those of us that are part of the LGBTQ community like coming out, acceptance, discrimination, fluidity and intersections of race and gender. We'll be able to explore impacts of those issues alongside your individual experiences as you define what wellness looks like for you.

— Deanna Richards, Mental Health Counselor in NEW YORK, NY

I help clients who may be struggling with gender/body dysmorphia, who want to transition, who need help with relationships, or who struggle with identity issues.

— Amy Shore, Counselor in Sugar Land, TX
 

I specialize in working with queer couples and welcome clients (individuals or couples) who are part of the LGBTQI community. San Francisco has the most vibrant queer community in the world. Still, prejudice and bigotry exist. In a space where you can feel safe and supported in exploring your relationship, you can discover valuable, therapeutic ways to navigate the unique challenges that queer couples face. Since queer couples don’t have as many blueprints for relationships and often have to rely on heteronormative models, it’s essential that there’s a forum for defining and redefining what it means to address issues specific to being queer.

— Sarah Korda, Counselor in San Francisco, CA

I have a specialty in working with queer and trans people. I have a special appreciation for working with intersex people. I help people who wish they could be their full queer, transgender, religious, liberal, polyamorous, and/or kink selves but hold themselves back because they are scared they will be unloved, unemployed, and rejected by their loved ones and communities. Why? I encourage them to share their deepest wishes so that they can learn to be happy being themselves. I know from my own path to wellness and years of working with LGBTQIQA clients that it is possible to survive the fear of others’ judgment, hurt, and disappointment to live your true self.

— Abigail Weissman, Psychologist in POWAY, CA
 

I live and work with people in the LGBTQ community and bring personal and professional experience into the room with me. In particular, I have experience work with gender non-binary and gender fluid individuals.

— Joe Zarate-Sanderlin, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA

LGBTQ+ covers so many issues, each with unique challenges. I am well versed in all the different pieces and facets that this includes.

— Andrea Bezaire, Psychologist in Ann Arbor, MI