Q: I think I’m depressed, but my last therapist seemed a bit homophobic. How do I find a therapist who is gay-friendly?
A: This is an important question since therapy is always more effective if you feel comfortable and safe speaking with the clinician. Sadly, it can be especially difficult to find a gay-friendly practitioner in some parts of the country. One useful place to start is the Internet. For example, clinicians listed in the Provider’s Section of this website are interested in being identified as gay-affirmative. If no one in your immediate area is listed, try contacting the person listed who is nearest to your location to see whether he or she can recommend someone more conveniently located.
It is also worth contacting any agencies in your area that provide services to the lesbian and gay community. Even if they don’t provide mental health services themselves, the staff there may know of gay-affirmative clinicians. If you have insurance and are looking for someone in your network, check with the insurance company to see whether any of the providers have identified themselves as gay-affirmative.
Once you have identified someone to consult with, I encourage you to be as open as you can about your concerns related to finding a gay-affirmative clinician. Therapists may choose not to identify themselves as lesbian or gay, but they should be willing to discuss with you whatever concerns you have about finding a gay-friendly clinician.
the match is a good one, they should also be able to offer you some
reassurance that they are sensitive to the needs of the gay and lesbian
community. Good luck.
by Glen E. Heiss, PhD