LGBTQIA+ Counseling in North Carolina and Virginia
We understand that there can be daily challenges to overcome stigma, live as your authentic self, and deal with ongoing family strain. Among other internal and external pressures. As counselors, we recognize how identity can be deeply steeped into each problem you face. It is our goal to provide specialized support for LGBTQIA individuals, families, and couples. We apply the many layers of your life to your treatment. Together we work with you to develop healthy coping skills to better deal with societal, family, relational, and work issues. It is important to us that you feel appreciated and understood. We will surround you with the support you need to feel safe, secure, and confident in your own skin.
Common Issues Addressed in LGBTQ Counseling:
LGBTQIA+ Youth and Families
A lot of parents assume they’ll raise cisgender youth. However, when they
learn their child’s identity or orientation does not match their expectations, it can create a crisis within the family unit that affects everyone.
Childhood is not always an easy journey. The daily pressures of school, friends, learning yourself, and family can be overwhelming in itself. Youth identifying as LGBTQ+ face additional issues that can benefit from the support of a counselor who is affirming and understanding of their experience.
At Whole Journey, we work to support you and your families in becoming healthy individuals and families. Acceptance or rejection can be the difference in seeing your child live a life that supports them. We aim to move families from chaos to connection.
Common Challenges Addressed in LGBTQIA+ Counseling
LBGTQIA+ Counseling for Youth of Color
In addition to the common challenges listed above, the youth of color who identify as LGBTQ+ face unique challenges. They have to develop their racial and sexual identities at the same time they are developing their overall identity. This can increase stigma and rejection on multiple levels that shape how they see themselves. Our team includes LGBTQIA+ friendly therapists and black therapists who can understand your particular racial perspective.
Common Challenges in Counseling:
- Prejudice towards minority youth that “adultifies” youth of color, seeing them as threats versus children who need nurture and protection
- Differential school-based discipline targeting LGBTQ+ youth of color and discrimination, particularly in K-12 settings
- Disproportionate targeting by police as LGBTQ+ youth of color
Relationship Counseling for LGBTQIA+
No matter your sexual orientation or gender, a healthy relationship is a healthy
relationship. However, the strain of your relationship can be compounded
by the ongoing struggles with acceptance and discrimination that may be already present in your family, at work, or in society. You will not need to explain your relationship to our counselors in North Carolina and Virginia. They will understand the unique challenges of your dynamics.
Common Challenges Addressed LGBTQ Counseling in North Carolina and Virginia:
- Psychological abuse- name-calling, insults, and threats
- Domestic violence, intimate partner violence
- Lack of respect for your chosen pronouns
- Boundary issues, control issues
Our Approach to LGBTQIA+ Counseling in Virginia and North Carolina
Our approach to counseling those in the LGBTQIA+ community is first from a person-centered perspective. We understand that there are common struggles among us. However, we aim to understand each person as they are, not who they may have felt stereotyped to be. Our LGBTQIA+ friendly therapists understand that it is important to consider the ways your environment throughout your life may have impacted you. Please know that at Whole Journey, your LGBTQIA+ therapist will work, openly, not judgmentally to understand and support you.
We will do our best to safeguard you against disservice, discrimination, and unintentional re-traumatization when you reach out to us for counseling.
We can use integrative approaches in our service delivery. Depending on what you or a loved one may seek counseling for, we may recommend the following therapeutic approaches:
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for LGBTQIA+ Counseling
ACT helps us understand ourselves and others differently and to differentiate what is authentic and inauthentic in our motives, goals, and responsibilities. This is a key element for many clients in their coming out stories, as they try to plan out the perfect way to tell someone about their identity (to create a sense of safety) but in doing so negate others’ responsibility to manage their own emotional responses.
Body-Centered Trauma Work or Somatic Experiencing for LGBTQIA+ Counseling
It is important to understand how to create feelings of safety in your body as a means of self-regulating. If needed, getting back in touch with your body through body-centered trauma work can be helpful in your healing process. Helping you understand what is a genuine expression in your body and what is a reaction developed to protect yourself can be eye-opening. This approach involves grounding, mindfulness, and deep breathing paired with education and insight to create healing.
Assertiveness and Advocacy
Confusing assertion with aggression is a common mishap in our culture. People who have been marginalized are used to being asked, if not required, to make themselves smaller. Or even to stay hidden as a means of staying physically and emotionally safe. We aim to help you strike a balance in staying safe while standing in your power.
Begin LGBTQIA+ Counseling in Virginia and North Carolina!
Identifying in the LGBTQIA+ community can be isolating if you don’t have the support you need. Our therapists know you deserve space to grow and heal. At our online Virginia and North Carolina counseling practice, we can help you walk through your mental health concerns, as you become a more authentic version of yourself. If you’re looking for in-office counseling, we are located in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, and Richmond, VA. Regardless of how you see us, we have caring therapists/counselors who specialize in working with LGBTQIA+ issues from multiple perspectives. To start your therapeutic journey, follow these simple steps:
Other Mental Health Services at Whole Journey
LGBTQIA+ counseling in Virginia and North Carolina counseling practice isn’t the only service we offer. Other mental health services Whole Journey provides include anxiety treatment, couples counseling, walk and talk therapy, PTSD treatment and trauma therapy, and child counseling and wellness. We also help with depression, men’s issues, medical illness, and cancer counseling, and counseling for life transitions, and kids and family, and therapy for women. Finally, we work through counseling for people of color, grief and loss, work and career, counseling for millennials, and group workshops and classes. We look forward to walking through your stages of discovery with you. You deserve to be authentic and true to yourself. Begin therapy in our Richmond, Virginia, Chesapeake, Virginia, or Virginia Beach location soon!