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

I have worked with queer and trans clients for over 20 years on all kinds of identity, family, and life issues. I work with queer and trans-including couples which is some of my favorite work. I can help with nuclear and extended family issues, and blended and non-traditional families. I do tranition-focused work with trans and non-binary/genderqueer clients, and can serve as the primary mental health provider for people wanting to pursue medical transition or provide a second letter for GCS.

— Sheila Addison, in Oakland, CA
 

Sometimes being LBGTQ2IA is the main issue In therapy, and sometimes it isn’t. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a therapist that can tell the difference? Each person is different and I know that. Let’s work on what is going on in your life, and what is most important to you.

— Tara Currie-Martinez, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Burlingame, CA

As a relational and gestalt therapist, I am present in the room. I find that people of color, millennials, adolescents, and LGBTQIA+ identifying individuals respond well to my approach because I can hold complexity and honor intersectional experiences. I am trained, educated, and experienced in working with people who are skeptical of therapy. Family, sex, spirituality, race, age, and many other aspects might feel important to you. Confidentially, we can explore any areas you wish.

— Kathryn Sills-Payne, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist Intern in Oakland, CA

As a member of queer community myself, I know how important it is to find a therapist who'll welcome and recognize all the parts of you. My interests include questioning gender and/or sexual identity, exploring new facets of one's relationship to sex, asexuality, navigating non-traditional relationship structures (e.g. polyamory, Dominant/submissive, etc.), kink/BDSM, sex work, couples grappling with differences in desire, the impact of sexual trauma, and coping with isolation/lack of support.

— Abby Weintraub, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Oakland, CA
 

I have been involved with the LGBTQ+ community since 1987. I began working with kids of LGBTQ parents when my own father came out and I co-founded COLAGE in 1990. I am EFT trained and work with LGBTQ couples and individuals.

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

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

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
 

I've been working with this population for 20 years and identify as part of the community. I've received and given training on working with these issues for years. In the last 5 years, I've been doing more work with the transgender/non-binary population and hope to continue this work.

— Kelly Simonson, Psychologist in Athens, GA
 

Members of the LGBTQ+ community encounter microagressions and discrimination frequently in our society (how many times do I have to come out and why is the responsibility on me to come out?). These can lead to internalized shame, anxiety and depression. I'll work with you to develop a mindfulness approach so you can sort out the queerphobic reactions of others and have a safe place to look at any internalized attitudes that you have been taught or have learned in our society.

— Melody Jones, Associate Professional Counselor in Centennial, 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
 

Are you LGBT+? Do you question yourself and your relationships? It's okay. The truth is everybody has questions. The really smart people look for answers. I'm so glad you found me.

— Chelle Epstein, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Miami, FL
 

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

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

Gender and sexuality are historically located, infinitely complex, personally specific, socially crafted, and deeply embodied; distinct yet interlaced. As a queer cis woman, I’m personally and professionally dedicated to folks along the spectrum of sexual and gender diversity. I have extensive experience with clients who are LGBQ+, trans, non-binary, and intersex. Aspects of gender and sexuality may be peripheral or central, but fundamental recognition of their reality can be vital and healing.

— Jessamyn Wesley, Licensed Professional Counselor in portland, OR
 

Since the beginning of my therapy training, I have worked closely with the LGBTQ community and their allies. I have experience working with people in pursuit of self discovery, however that may look. I am very knowledgeable about how the act of coming out or transitioning can impact family systems. Through my work, I support families through this process and provide psychoeducation about how to best support each other.

— Simone Reed, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist Intern in Austin, TX

As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I am dedicated to supporting all individuals with marginalized identities.

— D Seright, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Rochester, NY
 

I am a gay, cisgender male, and I have been a member, advocate, activist, and therapist in the community for over 35 years. I can provide a variety of needed mental health support and assistance for all members of the LGBTQ community. I possess expertise in working with gender fluid folks and assisting transgender folks as they transition.

— Paul Briggs, Clinical Social Worker in Hollywood, FL

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
 

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

Being queer, I have some insight into the dynamics in queer relationships and have worked with lots of LGBTQ individuals and couples. Historically, therapists don't disclose things like this about ourselves, but I think it is important that LGBTQ clients can find a counselor and know they won't have to explain or defend their sexuality or relationships.

— PK Ponti-Foss, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Portland, OR
 

I have worked with individuals in the LGBTQ+ community throughout my career. I am passionate about helping people to express their gender and sexual identity in a way that is true to themselves. I have found that the challenges facing LGBTQ+ individuals can be even greater for those who are also living with mental health challenges and intellectual disabilities and there are few resources to support them. I am excited to provide a safe space to these individuals in my practice.

— Brian Finnerty, Licensed Professional Counselor in Collingswood, NJ

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, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Minneapolis, MN
 

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
 

Those within the LGBTQ+ community often face discrimination and prejudice. Many have experienced domestic violence or abuse that goes unrecognized or unacknowledged in a heteronormative society. Oppressive attitudes or micro-agressions from others can be internalized into low self-esteem, feelings of alienation or shame. Having a trusted and identity-affirming therapist can help you take the steps needed to feel a sense of safety, healing, and belonging.

— Arianna Smith, Licensed Professional Counselor in Littleton, CO
 

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

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
 

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

All folks on staff are queer identified and have participated in training based on the needs of this community.

— NYC AFFIRMATIVE PSYCHOTHERAPY, Clinical Social Worker in New York, NY
 

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 San Diego, CA

I have specific education and expertise working with the LGBTQIA+ population as well as open/poly individuals, couples, or polycules. My graduate research focused on non-normative sexuality and relationship dynamics. I am always learning more about how to best support the kink, sex positive, and sworker communities.

— Emelie Gagliardo, Licensed Professional Counselor 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

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

As a queer identifying therapist, I am passionate about and committed to serving the LGBTQ community with respect and dignity. I take pride in providing a safe, welcoming, affirmative space for the LGBTQ to be free to be themselves.

— Candace Whitman, Counselor in Chicago, IL
 

As a member of the LGBTQ community, I realize the great need for empathetic and competent therapists who focus on our unique needs and perspectives. Many of us have been overwhelmed by shame, tried to compensate for that shame, and are now trying to cultivate the authenticity of who we are. I am able to help with Issues such as coming-out, transitioning, relationships, addiction, HIV, abuse, and social factors, and addiction. I have actively supported the LGBTQ community for the past 30 years.

— Alan Zupka, Licensed Professional Counselor Intern in ORLANDO, FL

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, Sex Therapist in Broomfield, CO
 

I'm passionate about working 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. I care deeply about every person feeling confident in their identified self and learning how to share that with the world.

— Ande Cappellano, Social Worker in Portland, OR

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
 

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 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
 

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

​If you are going through a stressful time and are searching for a therapist, you may also worry about fear of rejection or misunderstanding, or having to hide aspects of yourself from your therapist. This is a real concern for most LGBTQ+ identified individuals and couples. I offer all LGBTQ+ clients the unique opportunity to know before we meet that I am someone from their own community with a licensed, trained, studied, and personal understanding of their development and current issues.

— Marshall Bewley, Psychologist in Denton, TX
 

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'm A Gay Therapist, And I Have Been A Member Of Atlanta's LGBTQ Community For Over 20 Years. You can trust that my office is a place where you won't be judged for who you are, who you love, or how you live your life. You can also be assured that I am a therapist who gets what it's like to be gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender and that I am informed on the current issues we face both as individuals and as an LGBTQ community. It's safe to be yourself.

— Brian Gieringer, Marriage & Family Therapist in Atlanta, GA
 

As a member of queer community myself, I know how important it is to find a therapist who'll welcome and recognize all the parts of you. My interests include questioning gender and/or sexual identity, exploring new facets of one's relationship to sex, asexuality, navigating non-traditional relationship structures (e.g. polyamory, Dominant/submissive, etc.), kink/BDSM, sex work, couples grappling with differences in desire, the impact of sexual trauma, and coping with isolation/lack of support.

— Abby Weintraub, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Oakland, 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
 

For a year and a half I was a staff therapist at The Spahr Center, serving Marin's LGBTQ and HIV+ populations. I hold an LGBTQ identity and value my community tremendously.

— Laurel Roberts-Meese, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA
 

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 member of queer community myself, I know how important it is to find a therapist who'll welcome and recognize all the parts of you. My interests include questioning gender and/or sexual identity, exploring new facets of one's relationship to sex, asexuality, navigating non-traditional relationship structures (e.g. polyamory, Dominant/submissive, etc.), kink/BDSM, sex work, couples grappling with differences in desire, the impact of sexual trauma, and coping with isolation/lack of support.

— Abby Weintraub, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Oakland, CA
 

I have honed my specialty in LGBTQ therapy through years of clinical trainings and experience, leading queer support groups, conducting research, leadership, and mentoring. I am actively involved in the American Psychological Association's (APA) LGBTQ Division. I have a specialty in working with bisexual, pansexual, queer, and fluid clients. I have greatly enjoyed leading support groups for the bi+ community.

— Lindsey Brooks, Psychologist in San Francisco, CA

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
 

45 years of involvement with the LGBQ community, including community development, therapy and group counseling.

— Laurie Domsch, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Kimberling City, MO

Using integrative, feminist, and systemic approaches we can work together to explore issues related to sexual orientation and identity.

— Esther Benoit, Licensed Professional Counselor in Newport News, VA

A focus of my work is supporting gender and/or sexually diverse individuals across the lifespan. Everyone's journey of discovery is unique, and it is my privilege to partner with children, adolescents, and adults in living a more fully authentic life and overcoming obstacles that interfere with their ability to access joy, peace, and fulfillment.

— Alycia Smith @ C.H.E.R.I.I.S.H. Counseling LLC, Clinical Social Worker in Gresham, OR
 

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

I went into graduate school to develop experience in LGBTQ+ mental health. I completed a year-long training at an LGBT Center in Santa Barbara, and my research focuses on LGBTQ+ issues. I also spent two years as a training clinician under the supervision of Dr. Theo Burnes at the LA Gender Center.

— Kristin Conover, Psychologist in Los Angeles, CA
 

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

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
 

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

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
 

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
 

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

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
 

Members of the LGBTQ+ community encounter microagressions and discrimination frequently in our society. These can lead to internalized shame, anxiety and depression. I'll work with you to develop a mindfulness approach so you can sort out the queerphobic reactions of others and have a safe place to look at any internalized attitudes that you have been taught or have learned in our society.

— Melody Jones, Associate Professional Counselor in Centennial, CO

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