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LGBTQIA+ Affirming Psychotherapy in Chicago

Although sexual orientation or gender identity might not be a source of distress, many people do find that the social stigma of living as a minority can increase stress, worry, and trauma responses. Depth Counseling is dedicated to providing affirming care to the LGBTQIA+ community.

Gender sexual orientation

Although sexual orientation or gender identity might not be a source of distress, many people do find that the social stigma of living as a minority can increase stress, worry, and trauma responses. Some people discover internalized negative messages. The internalization of fear and negative judgment can amplify and reinforce external social pressures, creating intense suffering and mental health issues. Our gender-affirming therapists work with many individuals who identify as LGBTQ+ and are experienced in providing educated support, safe spaces, and gender-sensitive counseling to work through gender and sexuality-related experiences, in addition to aiding those who have suffered comorbid trauma.

Some common experiences include:

  • Experiences of micro-aggression, discrimination and/or violence.
  • Feelings of isolation, particularly in cis-het spaces
  • Intense oscillation between self-affirmation and severe self-loathing 
  • Confusion and frustration with regards to dating
  • Experiences of bi-erasure
  • A legitimate fear of being misunderstood or silently judged by helping professionals
  • Frustration and anger with lack of education about issues pertaining to the LGBTQ+ community
  • Self-doubt and shame regarding the “right way” to come out, transition, dress, and participate in the queer community or establish your identity as LGBTQ+
  • Ambivalence and uncertainty regarding big choices like coming out, pronoun/name changes, or considering hormones or surgery.
LGBTQIA+ affirming psychotherapy in Chicago | Depth Counseling

On a symptom level, you might feel:

  • Low self-esteem, loss of motivation, frequent fatigue, and lack of energy
  • Social withdrawal or self-isolation
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Substance use
  • Worry or rumination
  • Chronic or minority stress
  • Complicated feelings about (and brought on by) hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and other potential physical changes

In close relationships, you might find:

  • Difficulty communicating needs and expectations effectively.
  • Repetitive arguments without much resolution or clarification
  • Feelings of interpersonal distance (even when you and your partner are together)
  • A decrease in physical or emotional intimacy
  • Persistent feelings of anger or resentment
  • Feelings of being deeply misunderstood

How can psychotherapy help with experiences related to gender sexual orientation?

The first step, from a therapeutic perspective, is to create a non-judgmental space to explore your internal world. The overarching goal in our approach is freedom of expression. This might mean the freedom to explore questions around sexual and romantic relationships. It might mean the freedom to explore your internal sense of gender. It might mean the freedom to explore how you perform your gendered self-presentation. It might mean the freedom to work through your relationship with the LGBTQ+ community. It might mean a safe space to begin to understand body dysmorphic feelings. It might also mean the freedom to explore other issues which do not arise directly from gender or sexual orientation but which affect and are affected by them.

From this point forward, psychotherapy encourages a journey of self-reflection, vulnerability, and growth, including in areas of worry or trauma related to gender or sexual orientation. When the process is working, you will feel a sense of acceptance, collaboration, and open-mindedness. Each mental health professional in our team is experienced in helping individuals and partners of all gender identities, gender expressions, and sexual orientations feel safe and respected in exploring their internal worlds through individual or group therapy services.

How can Depth Counseling help?

The clinicians at Depth Counseling have unique training and experience in counseling for the LGBTQ+ community. They go beneath surface-level symptoms to uncover and work through the deeper sources of emotional suffering. Your LGBTQ+ affirming therapist will encourage you to explore the personal qualities that ground you and the private fears that hold you back and keep you from a more integrated and authentic experience of yourself. As the work progresses, you will deepen your emotional awareness, strengthen your mental health creativity, and bolster your courage to face new challenges.

As you work with one of the clinicians at Depth Counseling, you will notice:

  • Increased empathy for self and others
  • Increased insight and self-acceptance
  • Increased resilience
  • Expanded emotional awareness
  • Enhanced creativity
  • More effective communication with partner or partners
  • Expanded feelings of connectedness with self and others

Each therapist is dedicated to providing a safe space for people who identify as LGBTQ+ to express and overcome their struggles. We are passionate about serving our community through specialized treatment and diagnosis, empathic understanding, and client-centered care. We also offer LGBTQ+ couples counseling.

If you are having difficulties with issues related to gender and/or sexuality, Depth Counseling can help with LGBTQ+-friendly therapy in Chicago and we also offer group therapy sessions to improve your coping skills. Do not just wait for things to get better — contact us today.

Get professional LGBTQ+ therapy for individuals, couples and families

If you or your close ones are a part of the LGBTQ+ community and going through some sort of emotional distress, Depth Counseling is here to help. We understand the unique mental health challenges one may face. Whether you’re questioning your identity, handling coming out, or dealing with interpersonal relationship issues, our experienced therapists can provide a safe and supportive space for you to explore your journey.

We provide a supportive environment for individual therapy to understand your sexual orientation, gender identity, or coming-out process. If you and your partner are exploring identities together or facing challenges in your relationship, we can help you with talk therapy to address family dynamics and create a better life. Coming out to family or managing family acceptance can also be a complex thing. Through family therapy, we help you manage such situations. We’ll help you address internal homophobia or transphobia and handle any mental health challenges specific to the community through group therapy.

Our mental health professional team in Chicago is here to walk alongside you, celebrate your journey and encourage you to live your truth with confidence. Reach out to us today and let’s start creating a more fulfilling life.

Interested in Depth Counseling?

We would love to hear from you. Click here if you would like to learn more about our services or schedule to begin your first therapy session! Our team of compassionate providers is dedicated to providing you with the utmost quality of care for your mental health needs.

Some of our areas of specialty include:

Our Chicago offices are located in Ravenswood (2650 & 2656 West Montrose Avenue, 60618), and the Loop (122 South Michigan Avenue, 60603) in Chicago, Illinois. We serve adults and families from all over the Chicago area and beyond, including Evanston, Cicero, Hammond, Oak Lawn, Oak Park, and Arlington Heights. If you have questions or concerns, or if you would like help finding our offices, please let us know!

In Texas, our offices are based in Austin and Houston, and our clinicians offer therapy exclusively via telehealth.

About Us

Click here to learn more about our fantastic team of mental health clinicians. Our providers offer specialty services in both individual and couples counseling. In addition to psychotherapy, we also offer the chance to engage in Psychoanalysis—a specific long-term and intensive treatment model. Our practice draws heavily from Psychodynamic theory, which has been shown to be incredibly effective through multiple research efforts (see Shedler, 2010).

It’s not just in the name—Depth Counseling is about moving beyond basic counseling techniques to understand deeper parts of your psyche. Get more out of your treatment, and experience the healing power of Depth Counseling.

Learn More

To learn more about depression, anxiety, and other topics, please visit our blog; it is designed to increase public awareness and offer insight for those who may be seeking mental health services: