Welcome to the home of Therapists4Equality; a training and resource site dedicated to expanding the network of professionals who are equipped to provide Affirmative Therapy with LGBTQ clients and families.
As an expert in LGBTQ mental health for almost twenty years of my twenty five years in practice, I continue to see the importance of ongoing learning, consultation, and professional development in understanding the needs of sexual and gender minority clients with respect to relationship and mental health, exercised through a commitment to a social justice lens.
Why affirmative therapy?
While there are many issues that all of us encounter in our lives that are unrelated to sexuality, sexual orientation, gender expression or gender identity, LGBTQ people navigate a world that is not set up to affirm or recognize the beauty of sexual and gender diversity; nor is it sufficiently inclusive of the needs and concerns of queer people.
Many LGBTQ people are encountering intersecting identity stressors related to race, class, as well as gender and sexual identity. These issues can become entangled and require a skillful and informed approach that is not blind to intersectional stressors of minorities.
To be clear, LGBTQ folks do not need services because they are LGBTQ. LGBTQ people experience higher levels of internalized oppression, family rejection and its economic and psychological consequences, systemic discrimination (such as the lack of workplace protections under federal law), and these realities push up the levels of mental health symptoms!
I continue to see the impact of affirmative practice in the lives and relationships of my LGBTQIA clients and hear the lackluster and harmful results of therapeutic practice that fails to comprehend the interweaving of mental health symptoms with oppression.
Common areas of concern include:
Workplace harassment and discrimination
Relationship and Intimacy Issues
Adjustment and life changes related to coming out and transitioning
Self esteem, depression, anxiety, substance abuse and trauma
Parenting and Co-parenting
Identity and Coming Out
Lisa Maurel, LMFT
CA Lic. 32416