Why Therapy Is Crucial For Families With LGBTQ+ Members

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The topic of LGBTQ+ existence has been divisive of families even though nothing’s wrong with it. We’ve come a long way in educating ourselves about the community, but we’re still so far from fully embracing it. For one, there are still biases present nowadays. Members of the LGBTQ+ community suffer from sexist attacks and discrimination almost daily as well.

Yes, we’ve been progressing toward embracing all sexual orientations, gender identities, and expressions (SOGIE). However, we still have a lot of work to do. Up to this day, some families disown members who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ spectrum. Others still treat having these SOGIEs as a joke or disease. Even those who welcome the members of the rainbow community sometimes exhibit sexist behavior.

If you’re lucky, your family doesn’t fall under these situations. But for many, it’s an entirely different reality, one not as inclusive and loving. Still, you must consider attending therapy if you’re part of the LGBTQ+ community or have a relative who is. You and your family will benefit immensely from seeing a therapist.

Addressing And Resolving Problems

Not all families have harmonious relationships. This is an unfortunate truth. A loving and welcoming family who work on their problems is the ideal situation. But not everyone gets the chance to experience it. Therapy can help you address this. The first thing on your therapist’s agenda would be to encourage talking between family members. With some prompts and guide questions, they’ll let all of you talk about your feelings and experiences.

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Your therapist will also try to reveal problems between you and your family. That way, you’ll be able to address them instead of leaving them to worsen. This stage will also help determine what your family feels about your identity. Then, your therapist can proceed to unpack and address whatever issues and concerns you divulge.

It’s important to discuss these things to know how to resolve them. This is even more crucial if your family has any problem with being a member of the LGBTQ+ community. But with all this, don’t be afraid to tell your therapist if you feel overwhelmed or confronted. After all, your well-being is their top priority.

Correcting Behavior And Improving Habits

Together with resolving problems within your family, therapy will also aim to correct untoward behavior and improve habits. Your therapist can help your family members improve, especially if they exhibit actions that remain insensitive to the LGBTQ+ community. It may come in the form of jokes made at the expense of your SOGIE. Or perhaps it comes out as them not accepting your preferred name and pronouns or the way you dress.

Whether you think it’s something big or minuscule, therapy can help address it. This part is essential for your family, even if you feel there’s no need to change anything. Your therapist will help you figure out these mistakes. They’ll also guide you in moving forward in the right direction. Moreover, they may suggest some activities or direct a conversation between you and concerned family members.

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Remember, your therapist will recommend what they think would be best for you and your situation. From behavior to habits, they’ll help break the unfavorable factors and strengthen the good aspects. All this will aid you and your family in moving forward with the right mindset and actions.

Processing Emotions And Establishing Connection

Understanding and processing your emotions is a large part of therapy. After all, you can’t be okay if your emotional health isn’t doing well. With that said, your therapist can help you and your family members talk about your emotions. They may encourage a discussion regarding how your family members feel about your identity. But remember, this isn’t to make you feel cornered. Instead, it’s to help your family start embracing you and your community.

It may feel awkward, or tensions may even run high, but this is all for you and your family’s well-being. Discussing these things will strengthen your relationship with each other. Furthermore, it fosters unbridled honesty and understanding between you and them. It may not be easy to spill your feelings. But it’s a vital step toward establishing a genuine and sensitive connection with your family.

Understanding Advocacies

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Therapy won’t just help you deal with problems and issues. It will also guide you in moving forward with purpose and direction. And a big part of that would be to understand and exercise your advocacies.

As part of the LGBTQ+ community, you need to understand the advocacy of your people. It’s also practical for your family members to learn about it too. After all, that would help them know what your community is and what it stands for. By knowing about your advocacy, they’ll be able to stand beside you as an ally who understands your plight.

Your therapist can guide you in learning about these advocacies. They can also refer you to other resources that could help you learn more about it. They’re not going to stop at community-level advocacies either. Your therapist will also help you discover your self-advocacy. They’ll aid you all in learning how to convey your thoughts and feelings for you to express and know yourself better.

To Wrap Up

It’s a challenge to be part of the LGBTQ+ community. And it becomes much more difficult when your family harbors the same prejudice society throws at you every day. While things may seem bleak and unchangeable, therapy can make a difference in opening your family’s eyes to your plight.

First off, your therapist can help your family address your problems, particularly those that involve your SOGIE. With this, they can guide you in talking it through and resolving it healthily. In addition, your therapist can aid you in identifying behaviors and habits you and your family need to change. From the tiniest acts of courtesy to the most conflicting views, therapy can help you destroy what’s disagreeable. Likewise, it can strengthen the habits and behaviors beneficial to you and your community.

Your therapist will also guide your family in processing your emotions regarding your SOGIE. This step will help you foster an honest and genuine connection with them—one sensitive to your struggles and needs. Finally, therapy will help you move forward with direction by letting you and your family understand your advocacies. This is gravely beneficial for you, the community, and society in general. 

Acknowledging you need help definitely won’t be easy. But remember, this is for all of you. No one should be left behind, especially you. And having your family join you in your journey may make it easier for you.