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Therapy for LGBT Teens

LGBT teenagers

LGBT is an acronym that stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. The acceptance of individuals that identify as LGBT has risen steadily around the world since 1980. The 2018 Survey of American Acceptance and Attitudes Toward LGBTQ Americans found that 79% of Americans support equal legal rights for LGBTQ people, which is approximately a 28% increase from the 51% findings reported in 2006. Nevertheless, members of the LGBT community continue to be stigmatized and remain at increased risk for a developing mental illness. The Human Rights Campaign asserts that LGBT youth are more likely to face bullying, interpersonal violence and have a 120% higher risk of homelessness than those that identify as cisgender, heterosexual teens.

Therapy Options

According to the American Psychological Association (APA) “the foundational ethical principle of ‘self-determination’ requires that children and adolescents be supported in their right to explore, define and articulate their own identity.” Further, that all “children and adolescents are required to have access to behavioral health treatments that will promote their health and welfare.” As such, there are a variety of options available to young people that identify at part of the LGBT community. LGBT affirmative therapy can help empower a young person learn to effectively navigate the challenges associated with being a member of the LGBT community. 

Learning additional coping mechanisms, conflict resolution tactics, and effective means for integrating experiences can behoove any teenager. LGBT teenagers may seek counseling for a variety of reasons similar to non-LGBT teens (i.e. anxiety, grief, depression, PTSD, etc.). Additionally, LGBT teenagers often struggle with and seek professional support for gender dysphoria and/ or sexual identity issues. It is important to note that all mental health providers are different and will offer support from a somewhat unique therapeutic perspective. Not all therapists will resonate with every teen. Simply because a therapist has extensive experience working with LGBT members does not mean that mental health provider will inevitably be a perfect match. They only way for therapy to yield successful results is for the individual to feel comfortable with the mental health professional selected. 

Discrete Support Options

Depending on the situation, some teenagers may not have access to traditional therapy, and must seek support else ware. Below is a list of LGBT support options that can be easily accessed via text and/ or phone and require little if any financially responsibility: 

  • Talkspace for Teens: offers access to queer-sensitive therapy for young people between ages 13 to 17. It provides mental health services and assistance to those in need by licensed mental health providers, specifically for the challenges faced by LGBT youth. 
  • LGBT National Youth Talkline: (1-800-246-7743): offers free and confidential peer support for the LGBTQ and questioning community ages 25 and younger. 
  • The Trevor Project: (1-866-488-7386): The Trevor Project was founded in 1998 and is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ young people, under age 25. 
  • Love Is Respect: (1-866-331-9474): This organization offers confidential support for young people experiencing dating violence, and has resources for LGBT young people to learn about healthy relationships. 

For Information and Support 

Seeking help is never easy, but you are not alone! If you or someone you know is in need of mental health treatment, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help as quickly as possible. It is not uncommon for many mental health difficulties to impact a person for the long term. The earlier you seek support, the sooner you and your loved ones can return to happy, healthy and fulfilling lives.

Our admissions team is available to answer any general questions regarding mental health issues, treatment, and/or specific questions about the program at Pacific Teen Treatment and how we might be able to help your family. We can be reached by phone 24/7 at 800-531-5769. You can also contact us via email at info@pacifictrtc.com or through our contact form.

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