LGBTQ+ Therapists in NYC
Being different in our society is its own isolated trauma. Knowing you are different can create separations from those around you. For many, LGBTQ+ individuals experience this feeling of differentness starting as early as youth. During this developmentally sensitive time, these feelings can increase the likelihood of developing many long term mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other forms of interpersonal trauma. As such, LGBTQ+ individuals usually need greater quality mental health treatment than the rest of the general population in order to live their best selves and lives.
Mental health challenges among LGBTQ+
In the United States, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, and other (LGBTQ+) individuals experience mental health conditions at disproportionally greater rates than the rest of the population.
LGBTQ+ individuals, while facing many of the same mental health issues as the rest of the population, have other unique health challenges. For example, LGBTQ+ individuals deal with HIV/AIDS and sexual and physical violence at higher rates than their peers.
Other mental health challenges that are unique to LGBTQ+ individuals include:
- Sexuality / gender identity
- Relationships and dating
- Internalized homophobia / transphobia
- Substance use disorders
- Trauma from religion
- Family acceptance
How to identify an LGBTQ+ therapist who best suits your needs
Identifying a potential therapist’s specialties is important because they should directly match your needs. Therapists have different specialty trainings; even if your therapist identifies as LGBTQ+, they may have less experience dealing with sexual violence issues if their specialty is substance misuse.
Additionally, it may be worth trying to obtain as much information as possible about the therapist’s identity, including race/ethnicity, spirituality/religion, and more. Such information can often be found on their website, or by directly asking these questions during the first visit.
Studies have shown that health care experience outcomes are, on average, better when the patient and provider share the same race/ethnicity, or gender. This makes sense when you consider the many issues specific to LGBTQ+ individuals—issues that a mental health provider, who is also LGBTQ+, would best understand. Indeed, not every therapist may be knowledgeable about or sympathetic to LGBTQ+ specific issues.
The bottom line is, you want to find a therapist who understands you the best and makes you feel comfortable about sharing deeply personal matters. If, after the first few visits, you feel like you and your therapist aren’t clicking, it is reasonable to consider trying a different therapist.
Integrative Psych’s approach to mental health and LGBTQ+ issues
Dr. Ryan Sultan, director at Integrative Psych, identifies as LGBTQ+ and is knowledgeable about mental health issues LGBTQ+ individuals face. Integrative Psych is built upon values of inclusion, and has young and self-identified LGBTQ+ practitioners.
Integrative Psych takes a comprehensive and holistic approach to the diagnosis and treatment of your mental health. We will carefully explore your childhood history and adult development. We will evaluate how your symptoms affect your day-to-day life, including work and relationships, before making any recommendations. Comprehensive treatment may involve tailored medication, certain types of psychotherapy, or both, depending on what works best for you.
Decisions about what treatment or treatments to pursue are made as a team, between you and your clinician. Once you have begun care with us, we will see you regularly to monitor your progress and make any adjustments necessary to ensure that you benefit fully from your treatment at Integrative Psych.
If you’re interested in working with us, please book an appointment here.
“As a gay man, I knew that I needed therapy to work on trauma surrounding my sexuality. I was in therapy for years but would never openly talk about aspects of the gay community, such as Grindr. I later realized I had an unhealthy relationship with that. Only after working at Integrative Psych with a gay clinician was I able to address and manage that.”
“I have been open and out for many years. However, while my parents were aware of this, I used to isolate my gay life from the rest of my friends and family. Through working at Integrative psych I was able to grow as a person and create a more interconnected life, free of shame and guilt.“
- Having the support of a professional who is personally familiar with the challenges LGBTQIA+ patients face
- A non-judgmental space where you can share how your gender identity or sexual orientation has impacted your life, work, and relationships with others
- A customized treatment approach to help you navigate the unique challenges you experience as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community