Individuals who are heterosexual and cisgender can go almost anywhere to receive therapy. It is highly unlikely that they will encounter a therapist who will refuse to treat them because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. For those who are part of the LGBTQ community, however, this is a very real concern and patients are turned away for this exact reason. This can be a very discouraging fact for those who are in need of treatment, and it may deter them from seeking the help of a mental health professional altogether.

For those who are LGBTQ, there’s no reason to give up on your search. There are LGBTQ friendly therapists who are accepting of all people regardless of their identities. If you are in need of therapy but are having trouble finding a therapist who is a fit for your needs, here is a brief guide on how to find LGBT friendly therapists.

Determine personal preferences regarding therapy styles and therapist orientation

As with any therapist search, you first need to determine some of the basic aspects of the therapist you are searching for. For example, some questions you should ask yourself include, what type of therapy do they provide? Am I more comfortable with a man or a woman? What age range should they fall into? What type of history should they have when it comes to treating individuals in the LGBT community? Once you’ve worked through these questions and have come to a more defined conclusion of who you want, it’s time to ask an even more important question. Do I want someone who is accepting of LGBT individuals or someone who is part of the LGBT community?

While a therapist who is accepting of LGBT people will be able to give you a safe space to work through your mental health issues, someone who is part of the LGBT community will also be able to relate to your experience and provide you with helpful insight. In the end, however, the choice is entirely up to you and either can be a good choice as you weigh many factors in your decision-making.

Determine the type of issues you will be discussing

Each therapist has a special focus, regardless of whether they are LGBT friendly or not. Once you’ve figured out who you would prefer to hire for your therapy sessions, the next question is to identify what it is that you are going to be talking about. Are you only going to only need help with some of the stressful aspects of your life or are you going to need to dive deep into LGBTQ issues and how they affect your life and mental health as a whole?

If you are in need of basic assistance, many therapists can help.. However, if you are in need of therapy that addresses tough issues specific to being a member of the LGBTQ community, you are going to want someone who is well-versed in LGBT culture and who has treated multiple LGBT patients before or who is LGBT themselves. Keep this in mind during your therapist search.

Explore all of your options

Even though there may be less LGBT friendly therapists than not, that doesn’t mean you need to settle for the first therapist you visit. Much like other relationships, you may not necessarily connect with each and every therapist. A connection is an important part of the therapy process and you are going to benefit much more from your therapy if you connect with your therapist rather than simply just settling. Feel free to explore all of your options and only accept a therapist once you are sure that they are a right fit for you.

Finding an LGBT friendly or LGBTQ therapist can be an extensive process. To prevent you from being deterred by the search process or, from giving up after a short search, use the tips above to help you narrow down your choices and find the best LGBT friendly therapist who is right for you.

Author's Bio: 

Md Rasel is a professional blogger.