Gay and Lesbian Counselling

In addition to the usual life stressors that every person experiences, lesbians and gay men live in a culture where they may at times be invisible, misunderstood, tolerated, ridiculed or even demonised and discriminated against. This has very real mental health consequences for individuals.

There are some specific issues that gay and lesbian people may face throughout their lives including:

  • Decisions around identity and lifestyle that a heterosexual person may never have to consciously think about;
  • Impacts of homophobia on self esteem and confidence;
  • Choices about when, where, how and whether to “come out” and be open about one’s sexual preference;
  • Managing stress and trauma following incidents of discrimination or intolerance;
  • Relationship issues with family and friends after disclosing lifestyle and sexual preference;
  • Negotiations around safe sex, monogamy and health status;
  • Decisions about parenting and the challenges of becoming a parent via surrogacy, sperm donation, or co-parenting with a non-partner in order to have children;
  • Religious, cultural and spiritual beliefs that are in conflict with self acceptance for someone who is not heterosexual;
  • Higher rates of depression, anxiety and suicidality, especially for young GLBTI people in rural communities.

Supportive counselling can assist greatly in addressing these issues. Because there is still a great deal of intolerance, ignorance and judgement about sexuality in the community, it can be a great relief to access a service where you know that the psychologist you see is completely accepting of your sexual identity, and familiar with the issues commonly experienced in the gay and lesbian population. If it has crossed your mind that you or someone close to you might need some counselling, it is probably well worth giving it a try.

If you would like some supportive assistance in a setting where you know that diversity is accepted and celebrated, feel free to book an appointment with one of our counsellors or psychologists today.