Do You Want To Feel More Confident About Your Sexuality, Identity And Choices?
Are you gay, bisexual, transgender or wonder if you might be? Do you worry about being rejected by friends or family or have you experienced actual rejection because of your sexual orientation? Are you having a hard time accepting yourself or has your sexual identity created unease in relationships? Are you confused about who you are, how you want to be in the world and how your sexuality impacts the way you relate with others? Have you been feeling anxious, frustrated or doubting yourself and your decisions? Do you wish you could really love and accept yourself just as you are and that others could, too?
Many LGBTQ Young Adults Struggle With Identity and Relationship Issues
Exploring sexuality is a very common part of the young adult experience. And, being LGBTQ can add another level of complexity to this personal exploration. It’s common for LGBTQ young adults to wonder where they fit on the sexual continuum, experience discomfort talking about their sexual orientation with certain friends or family members and grapple with self-acceptance. During the oftentimes challenging transition from teenager to adult, it can be so helpful to have a strong support system and a firm grasp on who you are sexually. But not everyone has the needed support or knows themselves and what they want yet. So, while some LGBTQ young adults seem to experience confidence about their sexual orientation, others may need a little help to work through the complex issues that being LGBTQ can create.
Therapy Can Help You Accept and Celebrate Your Identity and Choices
As a young adult, it can be so helpful to have a therapist – someone who doesn’t judge, offers guidance, can provide a sounding board and really accepts you for who you are. And, if you’re struggling with the transition from teen to adult, trying to figure out who you are sexually, how to communicate your choices to the people in your life, have a weak support system, and/or are grappling with self esteem issues, therapy can provide so much help and relief. Therapy is a place where you can totally be yourself and feel accepted and supported.
Your BPS therapist can help you figure out who you are (or want to be) in the world. Together, you and your therapist can discuss what you need to feel happy and what choices you can make to feel more confident and empowered. These choices can include when and how to come out, how you want to be and feel in relationships, and what kinds of friends and activities promote wellbeing.
Your therapist can also help you recognize negative thoughts and learn how to replace them with healthier ones. You can work on developing better self-awareness and self-confidence. You can develop stress reduction, calming and breathing techniques, and learn how to feel more centered and mindful. Learning these valuable skills and developing increased self-awareness, confidence, and resiliency can help you handle negativity or uncertainty in healthier ways. You can also begin accepting and celebrating yourself for the unique and beautiful person you are.
But, you still may have questions or concerns…
I think that therapy could help, but I’m concerned about costs.
This is your life and wellbeing. Addressing your LGBTQ issues now may prevent a host of life-long problems and patterns from continuing into adulthood. The investment in your emotional health may not only address the related identity, relationship, and self-esteem issues, but also alleviate future struggles and keep potential unhealthy coping patterns and behaviors from being entrenched. Addressing these identity and social issues in therapy now can help you feel better about yourself and strengthen your ability to develop lasting, healthy relationships now and throughout life.
Many people come to BPS having worked with other therapists who were not trained to work specifically with young adult LGBTQ issues or who they couldn’t relate with – which is a waste of time and money. At BPS, we’ll conduct an initial assessment and match you with a therapist who is trained and experienced to work with LGBTQ young adults and whose personality is a good match for yours. Once you find that good match, making a commitment to yourself may be one of the most valuable investments there is. Imagine feeling and functioning better on a regular basis – now and in the long-term – and ask yourself what that’s worth.
If money still is an issue, you can talk with your BPS therapist to see if they work on a sliding scale. They may also be able to help you find a resource to help offset cost.
I don’t think that my social or family problems can be fixed in therapy. I’m gay and I’m going be gay. Therapy can’t “fix” or change that.
The purpose of therapy is not to “fix” or change your sexual preference or your identity. Rather, what therapy can do is to help you work on self-acceptance, celebrating your choices, and creating healthy and supportive relationships. Therapy is a safe and nonjudgmental place to explore who you are and how you want to be in the world. Your BPS therapist understands the young adult experience and LGBTQ issues, and can offer you support and guidance as you embark upon your important self-exploration and self-acceptance personal work.
I’m feeling really bad, totally overwhelmed and seriously confused about who I am. I’d have no idea where to start or what to say to a therapist.
It’s not uncommon to feel overwhelmed and confused. And, therapy is a really good place to start gaining a better understanding of who you are and what you want your life and relationships to look and feel like, even if you don’t know how to articulate that right now. Many clients come in not knowing why they feel so bad, but know that they want to feel better – and that’s where a therapist can be so helpful. Your BPS therapist has the tools, skills, and experience to help you identify the root causes of your unease. Your therapist can also help you “unpack” and explore your overwhelming and intense feelings. In time, with the right therapist, approach, and willingness on your part, you can feel better, less overwhelmed, and gain a better understanding and appreciation of who you are.
We encourage you to schedule an initial assessment with Dr. Jan Hittelman. Jan will work with you to determine what your specific issues are and ensure a good match between you a BPS therapist in terms of personality, style and expertise.
You can also check out our free, online therapist directory, which will match you and with a therapist who has expertise working with young adults on LGBTQ issues.
BPS therapist Rachael Bonaiuto, LPC, R-DMT, helped create the content for this page. Rachel is a psychotherapist and registered dance movement therapist. Her practice uses a somatic approach to healing and focuses on exploring the body-mind connection. Rachel has been working with young adults with LGBTQ issues since 2005.