LGBTQ Individuals and Couples Welcome Here :
Counselling with awareness and understanding
When seeking help from a professional therapist or counsellor, the depth of their awareness, understanding and experience can make all the difference, particularly when differences matter.
I have worked within the widely diverse LGBTQ community for over 25 years, as a counsellor and psychotherapist in both private practice and agency settings. I bring to my work a deep appreciation for the essential contribution to emotional health and well-being that a LGBTQ life - lived openly and fully - can make possible.
LGBTQ people seek counselling support for many of the same reasons as everyone else. I make no assumptions that your sexuality, sexual preferences or gender identity are problematic for you. I am also well aware of the many challenges and obstacles to feeling safe or at ease in the world simply being oneself. Some of the specific challenges LGBTQ individuals and couples can also experience include:
Coming out challenges and staying in dilemmas
Reactivity or hostility from family members or peers
Family rejection, estrangement or exile
Social isolation or loneliness
Discrimination or homophobia at school or in the workplace
Early experiences of bullying or abuse
Unsupported childhood distress, anxiety or depression
Being the target of stranger aggression, threats, or violence
Low self-esteem or social anxiety
Unacknowledged losses and grief
Same sex or gender diverse relationship challenges.
The hidden legacy of social trauma
For those who, in childhood or adolescence, may have experienced being the target of hostility, bullying, rejection or abuse, painful memories can have an invisible, unspoken influence on current behaviour and emotional well-being. Anxiety or depression may also be the legacy of early abuse or hostility. And because these early traumas are often hidden away as shameful secrets, the depression and anxiety may have gone unrecognised and untreated, increasing vulnerability to recurrences into adulthood.
When depression has been present for a long time, it can become difficult to recognize its symptoms. Instead, you can become convinced that the familiar self-diminishing thoughts and feelings that accompany depression are true descriptions of who you are, what you are worth, or what is possible for you.
When anxiety is present, your decisions and behaviour can be shaped by the attempt to avoid situations associated with anxious feelings. Over time, habits of avoidance can overpower the freedom to make better choices for yourself.
For LGBTQ individuals, it can make a world of difference to work with a therapist who understands the multiple influences, coming from within and without, that impact one's emotional resilience and well-being.
Whatever has brought you to view this page, I welcome any questions you may have about my practice or experience. You can reach me directly now using the confidential contact form available on this website. If you would like to schedule an initial appointment, you are welcome to call my St Kilda office at 03 9041 1456.
Melbourne Psychotherapy Services
St Kilda VIC 3182
03 9041 1456
© 2015 Carol-Ann Allen