As culture continues to discuss LGBTQetc… issues, there is an increasing need for being competent in how to best serve those identifying as non-straight in counseling and therapy.
Statistics show that this population struggles immensely with mental health issues. I am not attempting to address why these struggles exist today; however, to discuss a previous case of mine and how I therapeutically addressed this client’s needs. As you see, this is “Part I”… so there is more to come!
**My statements are not attempting to make a stand on right or wrong on LGBTQetc… issues. I am simply discussing issues as they present and what I found to be effective in therapy.**
If you have questions about my personal beliefs, you may inquire privately, however this is not meant to be a post to receive or give hate or anger toward any person.
Questioning your sexual orientation is seemingly becoming a fad among middle and high school aged kids. And with the media’s presentation of these issues, kids are feeling more able to explore these feelings and thoughts.
This ABSOLUTELY has an effect on families. Parents are often unsure of how to approach, address, comprehend, or grasp what their going through or where these ideas came from. Some are more open than others. And many are relying on mental health professionals to help. This is a HUGE responsibility.
I had a client who said “it” was identifying as “gender fluid,” meaning that “it” was not sure if “it” felt like a boy or girl on a day-to-day basis. I use “it,” not to be derogatory, but to protect this client’s identity.
I believe that most counselors and therapists would have said, “Okay! So this is your identity. That is completely okay! In fact, good for you!! Let’s talk about your depression and address your negative self-talk.”
This is where you may get offended….
I believe that approach can be EQUALLY as damaging as someone who condemns a person for their sexual identity.
Hear me out.
This was a client in their formative years; a middle schooler. This client really had a loose grip on what “it” was talking about. BUT was convinced that “it” truly did know. Instead of running with what “it” said, I asked “it” about the process “it” took to figure out this was “it’s” true identity. (Next time I will discuss the therapy process and outcomes!)
I gave “it” no judgement. I did not say that it was good to identify as gender fluid. I did not say that it was bad to identify as gender fluid. I simply stayed very matter of fact with “it” and guided “it” to answer questions to flesh out “it’s” true identity.
Counselors are absolutely supposed to be FOR their clients, but we are to be neutral when it comes to their life choices. As a human, I of course have my own set of morals, but I am not to judge my clients by that same standard. In fact, I certainly cannot EXPECT my clients to hold the same believes as I do. I can still think my beliefs are true and serve someone who believes differently.
The movement in the field of counseling and therapy, based on my present experience, is very pro-LGBTQetc… I’m not here to say which side I am on. All I am saying is that someone coming out and identifying as LGBTQ has realistic life implications… and they are NOT easy.Mental health professionals are being encouraged to praise those identifying as LGBTQetc… This is why I think this is dangerous…
The years of puberty are very confusing! Add in the media putting a large emphasis on LGBTQetc. .. issues, and an increasingly promiscuous and sexually active culture, you are going to have pre-teens and teens questioning and experimenting.
Questioning and experimenting does NOT mean that is what their TRUE identity is. To pick it up and run with it can be EQUALLY as damaging because if this is not a true identity, these kids are making life altering choices when they are not capable of making good life choices on their own. Seriously, when did we start trusting that tweens and teenagers can make the best decisions for themselves??????
These kids who are questioning need someone to help them sort out what is really going on.
These kids do NOT need someone to push them into something THEY are not even sure of in the first place.
Feel free to comment below. Please keep in mind that there is no intent to harm and that respectful replies are appreciated.