One of the most frequent psychological disturbances in our community is also one of the most treatable. Clients often enter therapy with an overwhelming sense of hopelessness and helplessness, common symptoms among many depressed persons. However, for those dealing with sexual orientation or gender identity issues, they are often left without a solid sense of connectedness to what would typically represent a person’s support system within our society. Treatment for depressed clients in the LesBiGayTrans populations includes reconnecting the individuals in significant ways to appropriate and healthy support.
This type of disorder can take many presentations from sleeplessness to eating disorders to low self-esteem, to obsessive-compulsive behaviors, to posttraumatic symptoms. For those in the LesBiGayTrans community, there is the added issue of learning to live at peace within the margin of society. Therapy can be very beneficial for those clients who feel they have lost a significant measure of control over their own lives or feel overwhelmed to a point where they cannot move forward in more normal functioning patterns.
Sexual orientation refers to the gender one finds oneself sexually attracted. It may or may not include acting upon these attractions. Being drawn to another human being is often more complex and dependent upon other variables than gender alone. Many times people will find themselves wanting to be sexually close to others more because of traits or characteristics of personality than simply another’s anatomical presentation....
Gender identity refers to how one perceives one’s own gender, from the inside out. This perception may or may not align with how one’s physical anatomy is constructed. It may, therefore, differ from how society might perceive the individual. Physical anatomy, made obvious at most births, does not necessarily correlate with how one perceives one’s own gender. In fact, the two may be vastly different....