There are many couples therapists in Portland, OR, and as a gay, lesbian, trans, queer couple, you might be wondering if it's essential to find someone specializing in LGBTQ issues. Isn't any couples therapist good enough? In short, the answer is...No!
LGBT couples are not like other couples. We face things every day that straight couples don't have to deal with, like neighbors that give disapproving looks, anti-gay rhetoric on the news, or a long history of fighting for our rights to have legalized marriages! Our dynamics as a couple are also different. Couples therapists who are not Affirmative Therapists conceptualize their couple clients and their presenting issues by how men and women communicate differently, love differently, and are generally just different. That is the typical approach by non-affirmative therapists. That's great...if you're not lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, asexual, etc.
Therapists at Rebel Heart Therapy in Portland, OR are trained in Affirmative Therapy. Affirmative Therapists understand and celebrate gay culture. We know how internalized messaging and inaccurate information can seep into your relationships and create problems. We will help you identify these problem areas and work with both or all of you to create healthy relationships where your individuality and identity can be recognized and celebrated.
Things some counselors might miss, but Rebel Heart"s Affirmative Therapists will include in their understanding of your struggles:
the internalized homophobic messages in your relationship, resulting in you and your partner(s) staying stuck
the nuances of being LGBTQ, resulting in missed opportunities to help you understand yourself and your partner(s) better
how social justice issues within the community impact where you can go on dates or engage in public displays of affection safely, invalidating a genuine fear LGBTQ couples have to face
how some relationship milestones, like marriage, have been hard-fought and won, resulting in your celebrations being chunked together with couples that didn't have to march and riot to earn them
Follow this blog series as we look at how specific LGBTQ couples (gay, lesbian, bisexual, etc) are different from other couples!