Nevertheless, we also understand that there is more complexity to a person’s personality, history, and relationships beyond identifying as LGBTQ+. Our commitment is to value each individual as a whole person with curiosity and respect for all that makes them unique, while compassionately holding awareness of how identity-based mistreatment affects mental health.
People who identify as LGBTQ+ are more likely than heterosexual and cis-gender people to experience mental health difficulties. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) adults are twice as likely to be diagnosed with a mental health condition than straight/cis-adults, and LGB adolescents are five times more likely to attempt suicide than straight/cis-teens. Furthermore, nearly half of all transgender adults report they have contemplated suicide in the past year, compared to only 4% of the general population. Overall, LGBTQ+ people are at significantly higher risk for suicidal thoughts and attempts than the general population.
Many LGBTQ+ adults, teens, and children are fighting not only fight stigma based on their identities but fight mental health-related stigma as well, which increases the barriers to seeking help. The mental-health community has a troubled history of pathologizing LGBTQ+ “symptoms” instead of understanding the full context in which psychological distress occurs. Through research and advocacy from leaders in the LGBTQ+ community, the field has come a long way in its understanding of ethical and effective mental health care for marginalized populations. Tragically, there are still “professionals” who use harmful practices. Finding an affirming therapist can prove to be a challenge. At the Chrysalis Center, we consider ourselves LGBTQ+ allies and adhere to the most up-to-date ethical guidelines for competent treatment. We offer individual therapy for LGBTQ+ adults and adolescents, family therapy, and relationship counseling, which includes poly/consensual non-monogamous relationships.