Counselling in LGBT Relationships

What can a counsellor help you achieve in your LGBT relationship?

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Many LGBT people live happy, rewarding lives with the full support of their family, friends, work colleagues and community. Yet discrimination and stigma still persist. This means that LGBT people are vulnerable to a unique set of stressors which result from living as a sexual minority in a predominantly heterocentric world.

Unfortunatley prejudice, discrimination, bullying, social marginalisation – and in some cases physical violence – can result in acute and chronic low-level stress for LGBT people.

This is why I ofeer specialist LGBT-friendly counselling to help you to effectively navigate the experience of living in a world where social stigma and discrimination still lingers. I offer strengths-based counselling to help you to enhance your existing coping strategies and stress management skills, alleviating anxiety and reducing chronic stress.

In addition to the common relationship issues faced by heterosexual couples, domestic violence and sexual coercion is also prevalent in LGBT couples, with 30% of same-sex attracted people reporting intimate partner violence in their relationships. I am qualified to provide you with relationship and anger management counselling both for yourself and your partner to address any challenges that you are facing to significantly improve your mental health and relationship outcomes.

What can a counsellor help you achieve in your LGBT relationship?

As a couple counsellor I work with couples and their relationship. Being LGBT does mean that your relationship has difference, but it also has many similarities to a heterosexual relationship. Your sexual orientation or your partner’s could be causing problems either in your relationship, your family or work. Being LGBT might be causing difficulties now, or in the past, could be affecting your self esteem, or the wider context. Whatever the issue, it will be handed with understanding and sensitively.

Why me?

As an experienced counsellor, I have many years of working with couples from many different backgrounds, religions and personalities and sexual orientation.  I am warm, approachable and professional, but also non-judgment and impartial.

The sessions are confidential and provide a safe environment for both of you to talk openly. Our first session together will be about establishing what is happening in your relationship, defining what each of you feels or thinks about your situation and establishing what you each want from counselling and whether I will be the right person for you.

If you do want to proceed, then we will talk more about this and the process.

What can you expect from LGBT counselling?

My approach is inclusive, empathic and non-judgmental. I start from the premise that each couple relationship is unique and as with all couples. The focus of the work is to enable you both to work on the what has bought you to counselling in the first place, then for you to be able to move forward, and to create a relationship that works better.  

Counselling works through creating more awareness, empathy, and understanding. One way is to enable this is by helping you to explore old patterns, old ways of interacting, looking at family dynamics, beliefs and the wider community, to name but a few topics. I recognise that coming from an LGBT background that your journey might not have been smooth, that there might have been difficulty and negativity being LGBT and that might be useful to explore too.

My experience of working with LGBT couples is that you want to be able to have happier, healthier, more respectful and supportive relationships, as we all do. Being in a relationship that isn’t working for you can affect your sense of self, self esteem, confidence and your value. Counselling for LGBT will work with not just with your relationship with your partner, but also your relationship with yourself. Being in a better place in yourself will mean that you can be in a better place with others.

Many issues that LGBT couples face are issues that affect us all. Couples come for a variety of different issues; communication, affairs, anxiety, depression, bereavement, issues around work, family, friends, sex, health. Counselling will enable you to move forward, make changes, explore options and find a way that works better for you.

If you decide through counselling that separation is the best way forward, then support will be given if you need, for you both to be able to achieve this.

All this is done in a safe, confidential environment. The sessions are open ended and client led. They are not fixed, so that you can end when you are ready and have achieved what you came to achieve. I welcome feedback, am reflective, so as to create an environment that helps you to talk openly and freely. I will review our work together as I am mindful that everyone works at their own pace and in the style that works for them.

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