Depending on your location, it can sometimes be difficult to find a therapist who specializes in working with the LGBTQ community (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning).
If you have had difficulty finding a local therapist who is knowledgeable about the issues and struggles associated with belonging to the LGBTQ community, working with an online therapist may be a great option. Affordable therapists specializing in the LGBTQ community are available online at PRIDE counseling.
People identifying as transgender can experience all of the same mental health struggles as the rest of the population.
However, being transgender and living in a society that is often prejudiced and unjust, creates additional complexities necessary to address.
This added layer of complexity requires a therapist to be familiar and educated about what challenges transgender clients may face on a daily basis, in conjunction with “standard” mental health struggles. According to Mental Health America, “48% of transgender adults report that they have considered suicide in the past year, compared to 4 % of the overall U.S. population.” (America, n.d.)
People who identify as transgender might experience some or all of the following: inequality, verbal harassment, physical harassment, exclusion, isolation, family abandonment, ridicule, housing discrimination, access denial, job discrimination, health care denial, financial stress due to job limitations, and more.
As you can see, identifying as transgender can involve similar challenges to those from other marginalized communities.
In order to ethically serve clients, therapists must understand the context in which their clients live. Finding a transgender-friendly therapist is imperative to the successful treatment of any issue the client is attempting to address.
What is PRIDE Counseling
PRIDE counseling is an online therapy resource where licensed therapists are thoroughly educated and trained to work with topics and concerns related to the LGBTQ community. Some therapists may also belong to the LGBTQ community themselves. PRIDE counselors have either a Master’s or a Doctorate degree in psychology, marriage and family therapy, or professional counseling. PRIDE therapists are also required to have at least 1000 hours of clinical experience working with clients.
How does PRIDE Counseling work
Once you sign up online at PRIDE Counseling, it can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days to be matched with a therapist. Different therapists have different areas of focus and once you fill out an intake form, you will be matched according to the areas of focus. Focus topics include stress, anxiety, depression, relationships, parenting, addictions, trauma, family conflicts, and more.
Sessions are confidential and take place on a secure online platform. PRIDE Counseling uses banking-grade security and encryption to keep your information safe. There is also a “shred” button on the platform which allows you to delete messages in your account.
There are four ways to interact with your therapist
1. Exchange messages any time of the day with your therapist. You can send a message to your therapist as your needs dictate. When the therapist has an opportunity to read your message, they will respond as soon as possible. This is a departure from traditional therapy, as there are looser restrictions regarding contacting your therapist outside of scheduled sessions.
2. Chatting live with your therapist. You can have a session with your therapist through the live exchange of written messages. For some clients, this is a preferred method of engagement as some people communicate better through writing than they do verbally. This would take place at a scheduled time.
3. Phone sessions with a counselor. You can have a session with your counselor over the phone. Some clients prefer to talk to their therapist but feel safer sharing information if they don’t have to be seen. Phone sessions will take place at a scheduled time.
4. Video conference with your counselor. You can choose to have a video conference for your therapy session. This format is probably the closest to what you might experience during an in-person therapy session. Here, you and your counselor will be able to talk and see each other in real time. Sessions will take place at a scheduled time.
How much does counseling cost?
PRIDE Counseling is affordable with prices ranging from $60.00-$90.00 per week and billed monthly.
Benefits of PRIDE Counseling
PRIDE Counseling offers a safe and accepting space for clients of the LGBTQ community to seek professional support. Services are discreet, confidential, and affordable. Counselors are knowledgeable about the LGBTQ community and the challenges they face. This knowledge creates a holistic understanding of the context in which their clients live.
The importance of counseling in the LGBTQ community
According to the National Alliance on Mental Health, “transgender individuals are nearly four times as likely as cisgender individuals (people whose gender identity corresponds with their birth sex) to experience a mental health condition.” It stands to reason that people who are a part of a marginalized community experience greater adversity and stressors, further impacting their mental health.
Seeking therapy from a counselor who is not well versed in LGBTQ issues and the challenges they experience, could impact treatment negatively. For example, if a client who is transgender is seeking therapy for anxiety, and the therapist is treating the client’s anxiety from a narrow focal point, there will be a lot of information that is overlooked.
Clients need to be seen in their entirety and this includes the community in which they belong. How is the client’s anxiety affected by everyday injustices? How is their anxiety impacted as they transition and afterward? A therapist who is familiar with transgender clients will look at the whole picture of anxiety and the context in which it occurs, allowing for more individualized treatment solutions.
Online counseling vs in-person counseling
Online counseling offers many advantages over in-person counseling. One advantage is the low cost of treatment, from $60.00-$90.00 per week. Typically, in-person individual counseling costs an average of $150-$200 per session.
Another advantage of online counseling is convenience. From the comfort of your own home, you can participate in a therapy session. This saves time commuting, as well as travel costs typically incurred when participating in traditional in-person therapy. Some people may also feel safer opening up to their therapist when they have the comfort of distance and the safety of being in their own space.
The third advantage of online counseling is the number of options in choosing a therapist. Regardless of where you live, you can choose a therapist who suits your needs. You can live on a farm in Iowa and see a seasoned therapist who resides in L.A. Location is no longer a barrier to treatment.
Though some people may prefer the in-person connection of meeting with a therapist face-to-face, many more people are embracing online counseling because of its many advantages.
PRIDE Counseling offers licensed therapists who are skilled at addressing concerns related to the LGBTQ community. Clients who are a part of the LGBTQ community experience many hardships and challenges representative of being part of a marginalized community. Sensitivity, education, and understanding are imperative to successfully treating LBGTQ clients who come to therapy for help.
If you identify as a transgender person and are seeking therapy, try PRIDE Counseling services. Here you will find a therapist who is familiar with the issues transgender clients often face. You deserve to be supported by a therapist who understands your community and can better tailor your treatment to your individual needs.