Members of the LGBTQIA+ community are more than twice as likely to experience mental illness. When seeking mental health care, it is important to find an informed, inclusive provider. Here are some ways to make sure your therapist hits the mark.
What to look for in a therapist’s profile:
- The therapist’s pronouns – especially if the website doesn’t have a built-in option to list them
- Provider sexual identity and/or gender (if that is something you have a preference for!)
- Specific mention of being an ally or serving the LGBTQIA+ community. Some directories like Psychology Today, offer options such as Trans-Allied, Gay-Allied, etc.
- LGBTQIA+ specific certifications or trainings
- Descriptions of their style or approach. Do they mention non-judgement? Inclusion?
Questions to ask in a consultation or intake appointment:
- Are you supportive of the LGBTQIA+ community?
- How do you support your queer clients?
- Are you comfortable writing a letter of referral for transgender care?
- Can you help me feel more comfortable in my sexual/gender identity?
- Do you provide gender-affirming care?
- What training do you have in LGBTQIA topics?
- Are you a member of the LGBTQIA community or an ally?
Look for clear and confident answers, warm tone, and comfort in discussing sex/gender-related topics.
After the consultation:
- Does your therapist’s intake forms ask for your preferred name, pronouns, and sexual/gender identity?
- Does your therapist use your correct pronouns?
- Does your therapist ask about your partner?
- Does your therapist show comfort with talking about sex or gender/sexual identity?
- Does your therapist display pride flags in their office or graphics online?
- Does your therapist’s office have a gender-inclusive bathroom?
Remember that inclusive, supportive providers exist – and you deserve their care!