First of all, here are some stats for you…

The average age at which people come out as gay, lesbian or bisexual has fallen steadily over the last four decades, according to Stonewall, the gay rights group. This means that people are likely accessing lgbt counselling earlier in life.

A poll for Stonewall of 1,500 people who were already out found that among the over-60s the average age they had come out was 37. But those in their 30s had come out at an average age of 21, and in the group aged 18 to 24 it was 17. (Study obtained from the Guardian)

This means that in the midst of the tumultuous adolescence/young adult period, LGBTQ+ youth have to deal with one big ass additional stressor other than just their sexual orientation. There are a couple of concerns around it, but most centre on how to define oneself, and around acceptance.

At Shift, we define love as “knowing” and “accepting”. So in order for LGBTQ+ individuals to have self-love, they must both know their orientation (even if it is fluid) and accept it. It all starts with self-love. Sometimes, no matter how many pride parades and gay celebrities there are, barriers to one’s acceptance of their sexuality can crop up. Why? For the same reason as other kinds of negative views of one’s self, exist whether someone is male, female, nonbinary or genderqueer – limiting beliefs.

Depending on the environment a child is raised in, they develop either positive or negative concepts of self, gender dysphoria, gender role confusion or other gender identity issues. They are internalized often early, and sometimes in conjunction knowledge of sexuality.

For example, if a young boy grows up in a home rampant with criticism, he may internalize the belief “I am at risk”, in response to this non-nurturing element. Later on, when he contemplates coming out, after discovering his true orientation, this cognition “I am at risk” may hinder his ability to do so. He may feel self-doubt, anxiety, or a variety of negative emotions from the combination of a stressor (coming out to his family) and the activation of limiting belief.

LGBTQ2+ Counselling Edmonton & Calgary

Societal reaction to people who identify as lesbian gay bisexual (LGBTQ+) community members is varied and vast. Negative reactions to orientation or gender identity can be triggering and reinforce limiting beliefs. Removal of limiting beliefs with the Shift Protocol, which systematically reduces and/or eliminates Limiting Beliefs using Reconditioning via Exposure & Integration (REI) (more commonly referred to as Reprocessing) can enhance one’s ability to be themselves. We want a world where everyone feels they belong. They are worth something and they are good enough. A support group where diversity is respected and flourishes – Custom Built Realities.

ShiftGrit Psychology & Counselling has a number of therapists who are knowledgeable in Gay & LGBTQ+ issues,  and Gender Identity Disorder. Please contact our offices today in order to book an appointment for mental health services including LGBTQ+ counselling service. We have offices in Calgary: 587.352.6463 and in Edmonton: 780.705.6463. You can also opt for our online counselling option, which might make things a little easier!