Counseling for Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender (GLBT) Teenagers
Gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgender teenagers face their own unique concerns. The risk for depression and suicide among teenage sexual minorities is substantially higher than that of other teenagers. Gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender youths are also at an increased risk for experiences with violence such as bullying, verbal and physical harassment, and assault when compared to other students. Prejudice from society and their own families can make it very difficult for these teenagers to freely express who they are.
Teenagers who are sexual minorities also have to learn to prepare themselves to live in a world where they will certainly encounter discrimination and hate against them for who they are. It is essential for GLBT teenagers to have a supportive family environment and therefore the family is encouraged to participate heavily in the counseling process. Support for from parents and family is critical to mental health wellness. Research from the journal Pediatrics found LGBT young adults who experienced parental rejection were nearly 6 times as likely to have high levels of depression and 8 times as likely to have attempted suicide.
Issues of risky sexual behavior are also serious in this group. HIV is an especially grave issue in the gay community and because there is no risk of pregnancy gay teenagers may mistakenly ignore safe sex practices with the belief that they are not at risk for negative consequences.
Note: I do not advocate treatments that seek to change the sexual orientation of teenagers. It has been consistently shown in research that these so called "therapies" are harmful to them.
GLBT teenagers face unique challenges because of discrimination and negative attitudes towards this group. Through the counseling process teenagers learn to accept themselves, be happy, and cope with discrimination. If your GLBT teenager is the victim of discrimination please call Miguel Brown at 786-664-7426 or request a Consultation by filling out the form to the right.
By Miguel Brown