LGBTQ and Pride …
A Podcast about how a culture, and all of it’s people, change and becomes healthier with a little bit (or allot even) of pride…
LaRose in his “Random Thoughts From A Therapist” podcast talks about pride as an evolutionary process from vilification to mainstream and how “pride” can help the individual and global psyche.
Random Thoughts … is now airing on Spotify, Apple ITunes, Google Podcasts, RadioPublic, Stitcher, Breaker and Anchor It’s a controversial view about everything I suppose; but in my view it is touching on topics of controversy while asking the listener to consider third options. No, it’s not moral equivalence or even mutual understanding – it is about shifting biases, just a bit, sufficient so you and I can talk! TalkifUwant would of course WANT to do that!
The science related to brain variations in transgender populations suggests there is a biological factor at play for transgender. This can explain how it is that gender is not always evident in the XY chromosome (as some trans people attempt to test); instead brain variations in the brain appear to play out in what defines gender. The biology of the brain for LGBTQ (the trans exceptions are duly noted here) folks is like that of S.T.R.A.I.T. (notice there really is not an acronym of specialty based services for this group of folks) people. The memory center (hippocampus) and the emotional centers (negative is the amygdala and positive is believed to be in three other areas of the brain) are largely universal. Here, who you sleep with what you have in the way of genitalia can be looked at as a factor of being human – not necessarily unique.
Coming soon! I’ve been saying it for awhile now I know, but I really am working on feed about how LGBTQ, in mental health anyway, have been treated “special” long enough. The feed takes some time (and since I do my own digital work – as you can probably tell – it’s even slower)….The bottom line is this in LGBTQ therapy: except for increasing knowledge involving the transgender population – LGBT people do not really “need” special treatment – they NEED more scientific based mental health care. Like everyone. At least that’s my bias….
A bit of an intro to what’s coming …
LGBTQ populations deal with aspects of life impacted by the heteronormative and heterocentric paradigms. Centrism may be a bigger factor in care than what biology says about being gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, questioning or queer. Mental health experts have to treat people, increasingly like medical doctors do – based on science – not bias. Treating via a biased lens CAN harm clients; having bias, knowing what it is, disclosing it when care is potentially affected (positively or negatively) – these matter in all kinds of healthcare. You have to decide who to see and what works best, that is true too! LaRose sees eclectic mental healthcare as one way to impact biases and “over-specialization” risks to talk therapy (in a number of professional categories).
Does that mean that a therapist is fully trained and able to treat the unique factors that are evident in the LGBTQ population? Well, no and yes. Again, this is up to you in who you decide to see.
However, licensing boards are increasingly (as recently as 2017 with some lagging in the requirement even in 2019) making mental health licensure dependent on LGBTQ education. Universities and colleges who train mental health experts (most of them anyway) have been offering courses (and some require it) in LGBTQ curricula. The mental health “experts” are being required to get educated about LGBTQ populations to understand what is normal sex, normal sexual behavior, what the deviations that occur outside of hetero-sex. One day, LGBTQ treatment will be mainstream.
Why would specialization and specialty education be needed for LGBTQ? Sadly, in my view anyway, there are still mental health professionals in the United States (in 2019) treating people for sexuality – as if that is an illness, an addiction or some other indicator for mental health disorders. The point is, special treatment is not needed, even as training for the experts is needed.
Coming out is a thing. The variations in couple interactions, family roles and family composition, kinship networks and community support, the impact of religion and conservative mental health are factors – as well as matters involving the law and equality, issues of safety in general, domestic violence, substance use, suicide rates and what happens in the bedrooms in open and closed relationships plus knowing what life is about in transgender lives, understanding fluidity, pronouns and more indeed matter. Sexual behaviors, sexual language, erotic mapping, age disparities, coming out in your 40’s and 50’s from heterosexuality to a more congruent identity – and on and on the list goes as to what makes LGBTQ treatment “informed” – or not.
Finding a therapist who can work and speak competently in these areas will take some time – at least for now. So it is, buyer beware (and consumers of mental health, are indeed buyers). My view in saying that LGBTQ folks have been treated special long enough, is not a minimization of what a culture does to impact mental health – it is to say that mental health experts have to get up to speed – the burden should not really be on LGBTQ folks to accommodate.
Asking if a therapist is LGBTQ friendly is an okay question. Asking a therapist to talk about what they know in relationship to LGBTQ mental health is okay too. And having a therapist who can focus on care and symptomology vs. environment and biology will be key in overall improved outcomes, at least in my eclectic summary of things.
When I attended the Pride Parade in DC the professionals from Gilead were passing out Healthysexual bracelets. This concept helps move the discussions of “homosexual” and “heterosexual” sex to that of health sex. How cool is that?!?!W
When the mental health profession is not up to speed as a majority in treating LGBTQ, it could be that the industry contributes to its abnormalization. Implicit bias affects us all – it is the very nature of “implicit bias.” Again, buyer beware.
Specialization and specialties matter. Here’s a little feed about one of my own hypnosis….