Since qualifying as a therapist and starting my private practice in Cape Town, I have found myself deeply privileged to work with many people identifying as LGBTQ+, and have been both challenged and inspired by their stories. In this post, I want to explore some of the challenges that are facing the queer community, how therapy may provide a useful space, and what my approach is as an allied therapist, and how to book a session with me.
Recently, I was interviewed for an article exploring discrimination in the LGBTQ+ community, particularly in the context of lockdown in South Africa.
Lockdown has raised universal experiences of isolation, uncertainty and anxiety for most of the world, and this can be particularly true for those who feel isolated within their communities, families or even in their own bodies, sexualities or mind.
These challenges can include trauma, questions of identity, relationship issues and more, which can be a result of both external factors as well as internalised beliefs and patterns. I often am amazed at the resilience shown, but there may be a need for support through moments of depression, anxiety, self-harm or destructive behaviours.
The Role of Therapy
Therapy is ultimately about providing a safe space for exploration, and for many individuals therapy can be one of few spaces they feel safe - some individuals may even feel that their own minds, bodies do not provide a safe space. Therapy can be a space to process trauma, discrimination as well as to explore your childhood. It may allow for open and honest conversation about transitioning, coming out, or negotiating your identity. You may also be looking for couple's therapy, if you are in a non-traditional relationship, such an open or polyamorous relationship. If you identify as LGBTQ+ you may seek therapy in relation to your identity, but may have unrelated reasons - either way, you may feel comfortable seeing an allied-therapist for many reasons.
The process of choosing a therapist is very important for the success of therapy. I am an LBGTQ+ allied therapist, with experience and training in this area. I believe that each individual has their own story and I hope to create authentic relationships with each client that provides insight and growth. Therefore, I aim to provide a non-judgemental space were you can openly explore your identity. This is balanced with a curious, open and neutral stance. Therapy may also help figure out one's identity, or question aspects about oneself, so I do not position myself as an expert on anyone's identity. This allows for us to consider multiple possibilities, cover hidden motivations and feelings, and critically consider the deeper recesses of the personality. If you are interested in finding out more, you are welcome to contact me so we discuss how we may work together, or book an appointment at my psychology practice in Gardens, Cape Town or to meet online.