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

As a member of the queer community, I understand the unique challenges that come from this intersection of your identity. While being part of the LGBTQ rainbow is a facet of who you are, I understand it's not a problem that needs to be solved or removed, but instead a component to integrate throughout your life.

— Adriana Joyner, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Gold River, 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

Gender and sexuality are often misunderstood in both secular and faith-based culture. This can lead to isolation from both faith community and sometimes even from LGBTQ+ safe spaces. I strive to foster a sense of safety when working with clients seeking support around their gender or sexuality. My goal is not to offer my own agenda, theology, or morality. Rather, my role is to be with and safely support my clients, wherever they are at in their process.

— Marie Fang, Psychologist in San Jose, CA

Whether clients are exploring their sexual and/or gender identity, recovering from the loss of relationships due to their identity, or learning how to get involved in the community, I will support them on their journey.

— Brianna Badenhop, Counselor in COLUMBUS, OH

I work extensively with the LGBTQAI community. In addition to offering comprehensive mental health therapy to this community, I also offer advocacy and support for gender affirming medical interventions and offer letters of support.

— Justin Less, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Burnsville, MN

The majority of adolescents, young adults, and adults I serve in counseling are part of the LGBTGEQIAP+ community. Oftentimes, our therapeutic work may involve unpacking the woundings and pain associated with rejecting families and other systems. Within this space, we can also celebrate the joys of you learning more about yourself and how to live your life authentically.

— Dr. Caitlyn Bennett, Mental Health Counselor in Orlando, FL

As a member and advocate of the LGBTQIA community I am truly passionate about working with other individuals who identify or are allied with the community. Many issues that individuals a part of the community can deal with is gender identify, social injustices, and discrimination. I want to be able to provide a safe space for my clients to express themselves and feel no judgement when exploring who they are.

— Tristin Malone, Therapist in Laurel, MD

The majority of my immediate family and social community identify as LGBTQ. A majority of my clients also identify as part of this community. I am deeply committed to working in a manner that honors orientation and choice.

— Sarah Levinson, Counselor in New York, NY

Throughout my graduate school career, treatment of LGBTQ issues was the focus of my research and I have extensive knowledge of the treatment needs and issues faced by this community. Since graduation, I have participated in further training regarding LGBTQ issues and how to address them with an inclusive approach. I have direct experience working with LGBTQ individuals, including children and adolescents, as well as same sex couples. My approach is rooted in acceptance.

— Kendra Phoumivong, Clinical Social Worker in Pooler, GA

As a queer therapist who has studied and been immersed in queer community and resources, I take a non judgmental approach to being with all of the intersecting issues our community faces. This includes issues around gender, sex work, racism, classism, misogyny, ableism, fatphobia, etc.

— Erica Berman, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Oakland, CA

Majority of my practicum training (pre-degree internship) was spent working at an LGBTQ+ community center that also provides mental health treatment. Not only have I provided therapeutic services to the community, I actively participate in the center's programmatic planning that allowed me the unique opportunity to see more than just mental health issues within the community.

— Men Chun Wong, Clinical Trainee in San Mateo, CA

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 an individual who identifies within the LGBTQ+ community, I found it important throughout my Masters education to learn different ways to support our community within the mental health field. I have an Advanced Certificate in LGBT Health, Education, and Social Sciences from NYU. I have extensive work with youth and adults who need support understanding their own identities, learning how to build-up their support systems, and navigating the world as their authentic self.

— Ashante Taylorcox, Associate Professional Counselor in Marlton, NJ

I am an active ally in the community, providing training for other mental health professionals, and acting as a past Board member for PFLAG San Antonio. I am trained and skilled in addressing the concerns of LGBTQ+ individuals and couples. Some of these include but are not limited to: the coming out process, self-acceptance and self-care, families of origin who are not accepting, bullying, religious abuse, body image, healthy relationships, and career concerns.

— Kimberly Watts Hoggatt, Licensed Professional Counselor in San Antonio, TX

Transgender, non-binary, intersex, and gender-expansive people are welcome in my practice, as are lesbian, gay, bisexual, asexual, queer, and questioning folks. I also enjoy working with people who are living with HIV, and people who experience depression and anxiety related to transphobia, homophobia, and other forms of discrimination. My practice is trans-affirming, queer-affirming, and sex-positive.

— Jennifer Collins, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Pasadena, CA

I work with LGBTQIA-identified individuals on exploring their sexual orientation, gender identity, coming out or LGBTQ family planning. I also sometimes work with my clients on issues nonspecific to their LGBTQIA identity but they still find it helpful that I am LGBTQIA-affirmative and knowledgeable.

— Nicole Issa, Clinical Psychologist in Providence, RI

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 have over 25 years of experience working with the LGBTQ+ community in a variety of roles. As a psychotherapist, it is my passion to create a safe and affirming space for LGBTQ+ youth and adults. If you are seeking therapy for gender and sexual identity issues or just want a safe space to be you to address other life challenges, I am here to support you.

— Jennifer Rickard, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Diego, 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

Working in the HIV/AIDS community for several years assisted me to learn many additional issues related to the LGBTQ community. Understanding some of their daily struggles allowed me to see some of the hidden privileges enjoyed by other groups of our society. Removing the negative stigma associate with LGBTQ is extremely important to help our society to grow and become more inclusive to every one. One step at the time & one day at the time.

— Roberto Olivo, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Glendale, CA

I identify as a queer woman, and I completed my MA in Psychology and Counseling with a concentration in Sexual Orientation. The majority of clients in my practice identify somewhere on the LGBTQIA spectrum, and I am particularly interested in the intersections of identity, presentation, expression, and cultural/social context. I could talk about queer issues for days, so be careful if you get me started!

— Lauren Grousd, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in Portland, ME

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

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, 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

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

I center LGBTQ+ folx in my practice and have long moved through the world in way that seeks to honor and uplift the lives of queer people. My building, office, work and humanness are committed to making sacred space for all people amidst the spectrums of gender and sexuality. Note: I embrace the word queer yet understand that's not true for all--I will ask about, follow and honor your language and experience.

— Kelly Storck, Counselor in St. Louis, MO

As a queer identifying therapist, I understand how important it is to have access to competent and affirming mental healthcare. I am proud to help provide the safe and supportive environment, with the appropriate professional training, as a Gender and Sexual/Affectional Minority (GSM) inclusive therapist. I also work collaboratively with other affirming practitioners to help along your journey.

— Kira Hayes, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Newark, OH

As a queer person in a straight-passing relationship, I recognize the privilege I bring to the therapy room. I work to continuously develop my knowledge base about both queer issues as well expansive relationships by engaging in continuing education, consultation, & clinical work. I see a large number of LGBTQ folx and and strive to use my privileges to fight against oppressive sociopolitical dynamics.

— Olivia Carollo, Clinical Psychologist in Chicago, IL