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Being born as a male or a female is something that no one can predict. We all are born with an orientation which makes us decide our preference for a male or a female. However, some people face difficulties in identifying with their orientations. They feel “stuck up” in their bodies. It gets difficult for them to communicate these feelings to their families and friends as they would constantly have the fear of being judged. More than the sexual orientation, people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, may find that the social stigma of living as a minority is a source of stress or anxiety. This is a community that has been formed called the LGBTQ community.The current acronym represents those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning, intersex, and asexual.

Despite the growing cultural acceptance of diverse sexual and romantic orientations and gender identifications, discrimination and marginalization still persists. Coping can become difficult and pressures can lead to higher levels of depression, anxiety, and other mental health concerns for LGBTQ people.

Research shows that youth who identify as LGBTQ are at an increased risk of suicidal ideation and self harm, particularly when they also experience discrimination based on their sexual or gender identity.

Counseling with LGBT

When working with an LGBT client, it is very important to understand where the client stands in terms of acceptance. Following are some of the steps that need to be followed.

Identity Awareness

Identity Comparison

Identity Tolerance

Identity Acceptance

Identity Pride

Identity Synthesis

Also, the therapy that works the best for LGBT clients is Affirmative therapy. Affirmative Therapy is an approach to therapy that embraces the positive views of the LGBT clients. It identifies and addresses the negative influences in their lives. It focuses on client comfort in working towards authenticity and self-acceptance regarding their sexual orientation and does not attempt to “change” them to a heterosexual.

Apart from this, the other therapy structures like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy(CBT) and Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy(REBT) are also used for the other emotional difficulties that they go through. Here, the therapist tries to change their negative or irrational thought process by working on their cognitions. Couples therapy is also used with LGBT couples considering the obvious legal issues and helping them cope with the difficulty.

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