Being a teenager is hard enough…
It becomes even harder when there’s something about you that most of your peers don’t share or don’t do. If you’re an LGBT teen, it’s easy to feel that you’re alone, even though you’re not. There are a significant number of resources that you can take advantage of as you come to understand who you are. It’s important that you do not isolate yourself. This is the time when you need to get involved in LGBT counseling or talk to someone who can help you.
How Do You Find Someone Who You Trust?
In general, the counseling community has become more informed and sensitive to the unique challenges of the LGBTQ community. LGBTQ affirmative therapy is an approach to psychotherapy that is focused on empowerment. Therapists trained an LGBTQ affirmative approach are focused on helping their client navigate their challenges effectively and as well as teaching self-compassion. It is important to someone in your life that you trust and whom you can confide in and talk to. Signing up for LGBT counseling may feel like a big step. If you want more time to evaluate the situation for yourself and to come to your own decision, that’s fine.
When you are ready, it’s important to research the various counselors in your area. You can search the TherapyTribe therapist directory to view profiles and specialties of the various therapists listed. Remember that you don’t have to find the perfect one right away. It’s best to go to the initial session to get a feel for the counselor and his perspective and ability to work with you.
When Is It Most Important to Go?
It’s not uncommon as for teens to feel anxious and uneasy about going to see a counselor. And sometimes you don’t have to. However, if you are going through such stress and anxiety that you are hurting yourself or are considering hurting yourself, then it’s important that you take steps right away and get help. The struggle is not worth scarring yourself or risking death. Talk to someone immediately.
What if You Cannot Get in Right Away?
Sometimes when you most need help, you won’t be able to find someone in your town who can meet with you. Online and hotline services may be your best bet. TeenLine.org offers free text to help to adolescents and teenagers in all aspects of their lives. Help for Teens in Crisis also offers assistance. You can call these numbers any time and talk to a counselor or someone who will help you. These will not get you through the entire process, but they will give you someone to talk to, and you will also realize that you are not as alone as you feel.
One of the most difficult parts of this process is the negative self-image and the inner struggle that goes on. Feelings of isolation can lead to depression and anxiety. Don’t let them get the better of you. Check out LGBTribe a free online support community, where you can connect with others in a similar situation. Make sure that you sign up to talk to a counselor or reach out to someone you can trust.