Counseling for LGBT Families
Are you working to Overcome the challenges of being a parent and finding the best solutions for your child and your family?
Or maybe you’re in a family that has just experienced the coming out of a loved one, and you’re looking for ways to be understanding and supportive while managing the difficult feelings this might bring up.
Come talk with a therapist who understands that LGBT issues can be a unique challenge in a family. Issues that if addressed properly, can make a family stronger and more loving and accepting then they’ve ever been, rather than bringing devastating consequences felt for a lifetime.
No matter what the issue, your family will come into therapy and find an open environment and conversation geared towards discovering ways to finally move forward again.
Counseling for gay/lesbian/bisexual/questioning Teens
If your teen is struggling with issues around their sexuality, and you are looking for a therapist who will help them to move closer to the happy, confident kid you know they can be, then you have come to right place.
If your teen’s struggles are separate from their sexuality, but you are looking for a therapist who will not judge them for their unique identity, then you are now a phone call or email away from scheduling with that therapist. I work with teenagers who are 14 and older, if you have an adolescent who is 13 and under, feel free to reach out and I can offer some referrels for your family.
Contact me today, and I can answer any questions you have or get an appointment scheduled within the week.
Family Counseling for Transgender/Gender Variant Teens
Has your teen recently come out to you as transgender? Or are they struggling with their gender identity in ways that maybe neither one of you fully understands?
I have never learned so much about unconditional love, than what I have learned from the parents of transgender teens. It is one of the most difficult roads that a parent can face, and one where just stepping onto it can sometimes take great courage. I know that thinking about everything that this might entail for your beloved child can be overwhelming, daunting, and downright scary, and I’m here to help you and your child take the next small step forward, at your pace and in your time.
FAQ for Parents of Transgender & Gender Variant Youth
Transgender: a general term used to describe people whose gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at birth.
Cisgender: a term that defines people who are comfortable with the gender and sex they were assigned at birth.
Gender Variant: refers to people who do not follow other people’s ideas or stereotypes about how they should look or act based on the female or male sex they were assigned at birth.
Gender Questioning: People who are questioning their gender identity might be wondering whether they identify as a boy, a girl or neither/something else. They might also be experimenting with different gender expressions/identities.
What is "gender identity"?
Gender identity refers to how people see and identify themselves; for example, some people identify as female; some people identify as male; some identify as a combination of genders; as a gender other than male or female; or as no gender. For example, transgender girls identify as girls but were identified male at birth. Transgender boys identify as boys but were identified female at birth. Everyone has a gender identity.
Gender Expression refers to how people express their gender identity. Everyone expresses their gender identity in different ways: for example, in the way they dress, the length of their hair, the way they act or speak and in their choice of whether or not to wear make-up, nail polish, etc..
Can transgender people also be gay?
Yes!! There are MANY transgender people who also identify as gay. For example, a transgender male, (identified female at birth), might fully identify as male, AND be attracted to other males. And a transgender female might be attracted to females. Gender and sexuality are two different things, and they do not have to be as correlated as we sometimes think. The best way I’ve heard this described is: Gender is who you go to bed as, and sexuality is who you go to bed with. And just like there are many different sexualities and gender expressions with cisgender people, there are just as many variants among transgender people too.
Can you help my child to NOT identify as transgender?
This is frequently one of the first questions asked of me by parents of kids who identify as transgender.
The answer to that question is not quite as simple as yes or no.
I believe that either your teen is transgender, or they are not…sort of like either your kiddo has green eyes, or he does not, but unlike eye color, the only person who can sense whether or not they are truly transgender is the individual themselves, thus all we can do as professionals and loved ones is trust what that person says, as they say it.
There are numerous studies that have been done and that continue to be done on what causes someone to identify as transgender. And the more studies that are done the more it is becoming known that transgender identity is a birth condition, and has to do with the physiology of your brain, as opposed to being an issue related to ‘mental health’, such as depression or anxiety that can be treated and eased or even cured with therapy and/or medication.
So, if you truly are transgender, there is nothing you can do to ‘fix’ that. You can either transition or not transition, but if you are, in-fact, transgender, it is as much a part of you as your eye color.
Now, that is not to say that every child who identifies as transgender now, really is transgender, or will identify as transgender in the future. Studies show that once the onset of puberty begins, adolescents who continue to identify as transgender tend to persist in that identity through adulthood, and the best possible thing that loved ones and professionals in that kiddos life can do, is support the kid as they transition in whatever way works best for them.
I will not ever attempt to talk your child out of identifying as transgender, nor will I ever attempt to talk them into identifying as transgender. I allow every single person in my office to identify and define themselves for themselves, and so if your child, who was identified female at birth, tells me that they feel like a boy and want me to call them “Dave” or some other male name, I will, with your full knowledge, respect your child’s wishes. And if the next time I see that child, they say that they are going by their birth name again, and prefer female pronouns, I will also fully respect that and follow suit.
Have more questions? Call or email me today, and I’ll do what I can to get them answered for you.