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LGBT Addiction Treatment And Psychology: Benefits of Consulting a Specialized Psychologist

Gay, bisexual and transgender people have been persecuted, discriminated against, hated, and attacked throughout history. They have faced a lot of emotional struggles caused by society, which can be a reason for other problems like depression, apathy, or drug addiction. In this article, we will explain what’s the difference between biological sex and gender, why LGBTQ people need specialized terapists, and how to choose the best LGBT rehab centers.

In recent decades, fundamental rights and milestones have been achieved that have given rise to a more tolerant and pluralistic society. Proof of this is the removal of homosexuality from the “Diagnostic Manual of Mental Diseases” (DSM) of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) in 1973, and in 1990 – the disappearance of homosexuality from the list of mental diseases of the WHO. But despite these achievements, the LGBT community continues to be the object of hatred, discrimination and attacks today.

Therefore, it is important to accept the affective-gender diversity that exists in society. Each person creates their own model of relationships that will help them develop the ability to love and live to the best of their ability internally and interpersonally. It can be said that there are as many forms of relationships as there are people.

The difference between biological sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation

It is important to know the definitions of each of these terms to avoid confusion and better understand the needs of the group.

Sexual orientation

It refers to the emotional, physical, sexual, or romantic attraction that a person has for another person. This attraction can be to people of the same sex (homosexual), to people of the opposite sex (heterosexual), or be attracted to both sexes (bisexual).

We cannot choose our sexual orientation, so conversion therapy used to “cure” homosexuality is devoid of any meaning or validity.

Gender identity

Awareness of belonging to the male or female gender. A person may experience a gender identity different from their biological sex; this is what happens to transsexuals.

Biological sex

It corresponds to the gender we were born with, male or female.

What is affirmative psychology?

Affirmative psychology is a specialty within psychology that deals with a variety of issues that non-heterosexual or cisgender people (people whose gender identity matches their biological sex) may suffer from. The term “affirmative psychology” appeared in 1982 to address the pathologizing ideas of sexual and gender diversity that existed at the time.

In order for LGBT people to cope with situations that may arise, they are taught certain useful strategies and tools. A) Yes, everyone will be able to recognize their own sexual orientation and gender identity and you will develop an active coping style that will help you deal with social stigma.

Through this way of working, the therapist’s goal will be to make patients feel that they have entered a safe environment where their emotions, feelings, experiences and behaviors are validated in relation to themselves and the world around them. Therefore, the therapy of sexual and gender diversity is based on support and psychological intervention, the purpose of which is to alleviate the discomfort caused by fear, oppression and discrimination, both family and social, that they may have suffered.

LGBT addiction recovery

People who belong to a group may face different situations than other people. Thus, more specific and specialized care is required.

Specific areas in which psychologists and therapists from LGBT rehab centers work:

  • Acceptance of one’s own sexual and affective orientation, both homosexual and bisexual.
  • Self-affirmation and visibility of orientation and/or identity.
  • Overcoming injuries and consequences of LGBT-phobic discrimination.
  • Help transgender people in the process of building their gender identity.
  • Support for LGBT families.
  • Intervention in the process of family adoption.
  • Interventions in spousal relationships and affective bonds.

Being part of the LGBT community does not mean that you are different when it comes to seeing a psychologist or getting a drug recovery because everyone can have the same symptoms or problems of anxiety, depression, self-esteem, stress, etc. However, as reflected in the previous section, there are certain situations or problems that are specific to this community. Therefore, it is convenient to contact a psychologist who specializes in the problems of the LGBT community or LGBT addiction treatment.

The issue of trust, understanding and timely professional help is especially important for people belonging to the LGBT community. Due to the homophobia, biphobia and transphobia that still prevail in our society, there is always a risk of encountering psychologists who will not help, but on the contrary, harm. The same situation is with LGBT addiction treatment — you should always look for a specialized rehab with doctors who are aware of the struggles of the LGBT community. 

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