In 2020, we were faced with a global pandemic, Covid-19. As we have navigated several changes in the way we live including social distancing, working from home and job losses, many may find themselves living in strained situations or having to hide their sexuality (among other issues) as a result of these changes. Many people have struggled with increased anxiety, depression and other mental health issues.
Since that time, there have been ongoing public discussion both locally and globally, affecting our LGBTIQ+ communities, in particular trans and gender diverse people. Our Psychologists are here to help people talk through some of these issues and concerns. Our practice fully supports the LGBTIQ+ community and are proud to have been offering services and support for over 20 years in the West and beyond. We provide a safe place for all people.
The current way of thinking about sexuality is to see sexual orientation as existing along a continuum that ranges from exclusive heterosexuality to exclusive homosexuality and includes various forms of sexuality in between these two points (American Psychological Society). It is helpful when accessing psychological support to consult with professionals who have had an understanding and experience working within the LGBTIQ+ community.
There are some issues experienced by individuals who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or queer that can cause particular difficulties or concern. Some of these include coming out, belonging to a minority group, minority stress and dealing with homophobia in the family, place of study, workplace or the greater community. These issues may contribute to feelings of anxiety, depression, isolation and low self-esteem.
Being in a relationship can be difficult at times. As issues arise, some are more easily navigated then others and may lead to you accessing support through counselling. It helps to address relationship issues early, rather than letting them go on unattended for years.
Over recent years, many battles have been fought and won for same-sex couples to access fertility assistance in Victoria. There has been an increase in same-sex couples embarking on the journey to become parents and create their own families. Research consistently indicates that lesbian and gay parented families make equally good parents as heterosexual parented families and raise healthy and well adjusted children. For most couples, there is a great deal of thought, consideration and discussion regarding how their family will be created this may be a time to access some psychological support, and in some cases legal support.
For all couples starting a family is a time of great transition and often unforeseen troubles may arise. This is also true for lesbians, gay men and all queer couples, however, there are also unique issues for LGBTIQ+ couples who wish to start a family and who are parenting in a a variety of models of family. The issues may add to the struggles of parenting, contribute to relationship difficulties and add additional stresses in family life.
Williamstown Psychology have psychologists who have substantial experience in working within LGBTIQ+ health and have been providing services for the community for over 20 years.
For more information about our counselling services for gay, lesbian, bisexual & queer health please contact us.