LGBTQ affirmative therapy is an approach to therapy designed to help those in the LGBTQ+ community feel safe, included, and validated as you navigate some of the social, cultural, and economic challenges that many face with their sexual and gender identity. It is therapy for self-acceptance, empowerment, and wellbeing – teaching you to live a free, truthful, fulfilling life.
Within therapy, one of the things that we might look for is examples of internalized biases – homophobia and transphobia that a person has developed as a result of the culture of American society. Often, we need to address these examples of internalized prejudice in order to fully embrace ourselves.
What Are Some Examples of Internalized Homophobia?
Internalized societal biases can come into play in many different ways, and we’ll explore some of these in our sessions. But examples of internalized homophobia include habits such as:
- Self-Devaluation – There is a tendency for those in the LGBTQ community to feel as though their lifestyle is not as valued, or that they should feel shame in themselves.
- Need to Adhere to Cis/Heteronormative Expectations – Most of society has an idea of “normal” that is hetero/cis-normative, and puts pressure on LGBTQ+ individuals to not feel themselves.
- Body Image Dissatisfaction – Similarly, society’s expectation on body type, body shape, and appearance is also based on cis and heteronormative expectations. This can lead to body image issues, eating disorders, and more.
- Judgment of Other LGBTQ+ Individuals – It is also not uncommon for LGBTQ individuals to avoid embracing other LGBTQ people and spaces, feeling like they’re somehow too different and not “for them.” That is often an internalized bias.
- Self-Hate – Many in the LGBTQ community have unspoken negativity towards themselves. This may be especially common for those that grew up in religious households.
These are all some of many examples of internalized homophobia and transphobia that hurt your own quality of life.
What Does LGBTQ+ Affirmative Therapy Do?
LGBTQ+ Affirmative Therapy is a way of helping you address those internal biases and start living as a “you” that truly accepts who you are and how you express yourself. It is designed to find where you struggle, and give you a series of actions, feedback, and affirmations that allow you to love both yourself and your community in ways that will help you thrive.
If you’d like to learn more about this approach to mental health, please contact Flourish Psychology today.