Lesbian Psychotherapists 2023: Everything You Need To Know

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Reviewed by Brittany, F., PhD

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Lesbian Psychotherapist

Feeling misunderstood[1], neglected, and judged by healthcare professionals is not a rare occurrence for members of the LGBTQ+ community. Many people experience a great deal of anxiety around healthcare because of this. 

Working with a psychotherapist is an intimate endeavor. When another person joins you to examine your life and your thinking, you become uniquely vulnerable. For this reason, hiring a lesbian psychotherapist can be an excellent choice if you are queer. 

Lesbian psychotherapists are unlikely to dismiss your thoughts and concerns, and they can more easily empathize with the struggles you might have. You can let go of fears about being judged when you are working with someone who has such a significant shared experience as you.

Lesbian Psychotherapists: The A-Z

Let’s explore why working with a lesbian psychotherapist might be a great choice for you. There are many unique approaches they might take with your therapy that you would not necessarily get from a straight therapist.  

A lesbian psychotherapist will prioritize certain aspects of care to help you feel safe and protected as you share your thoughts and feelings with them. Their perspective as a member of the LGBTQ+ community will allow them to accept and understand your needs on a deeper level.   

Lesbian Psychotherapist

What Are Lesbian Psychotherapist Services

Lesbian psychotherapists offer the same services[2] as other therapists do. They can offer talk therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT,) psychodynamic therapy, art therapy, and more.  

They can also offer more focused therapy regarding issues specific to the LGBTQ+ community caused by things like internalized shame, discrimination, and religious trauma. 

Benefits of Consulting Lesbian Psychotherapists

No Covert (or Overt) Bias

Even with the most well-meaning straight psychotherapist, there are likely to be biases[3] present in their thinking about homosexuality. It might be impossible to avoid certain prejudices when you are a member of a societal majority. 

Lesbian psychotherapists are less likely to have such prejudices, therefore protecting you from intentional or unintentional microaggressions[4].

Fosters a Better Therapeutic Relationship

Research[5] shows that being able to develop a trusting, collaborative relationship with your therapist is a key component to achieving success in therapy. If you are a lesbian, a lesbian psychotherapist is more likely to understand your needs and concerns and be compassionate about them. This helps to create a safe and therapeutic[6] space where you can work on your mental health. 

Understands Your Specific Needs

A straight therapist might not ever fully understand the impact that societal stigmatization, homophobia in your family, and other LGBTQ+[7] specific stressors can have on you. A lesbian who has lived with similar stressors probably will.  

A lesbian psychotherapist will also better understand your specific needs regarding low self-esteem, cultivation of intimate relationships, sexual and gender identity, and more. 

You Won’t be Pathologized

A lesbian psychotherapist will not treat you as if your sexual identity[8] is a mental illness or a problem to be solved. Instead, it will be seen as a natural component of who you are. Important, but not your entire identity, and there will be no attempts to “change” that aspect of you. Instead, they will help you confront any internalized guilt or self-condemnation and accept the totality of who you are.

How To Find Lesbian Psychotherapists

With a quick google search, you can find several resources to help you find a lesbian psychotherapist. There are options for both in-person and virtual therapy sessions. Pride Counseling, Talk Space, Psychology Today, and LGBTQ Therapy Space are just a few options that can help you find your perfect therapist. 

What To Look For In Lesbian Psychotherapist Services 

Make sure your potential therapist has plenty of experience working with clients in the LGBTQ+ community and see how open and comfortable they are when talking about sexuality and queer-specific issues.

Protect yourself and your confidentiality by making sure that your psychotherapist is credentialed. Only work with a licensed professional, whether they are a licensed counselor, licensed social worker, psychologist, psychiatric nurse, or psychiatrist. 

Conclusion

Finding a qualified lesbian psychotherapist might be your best chance to receive the level of compassionate care you deserve. If your sexuality and/or gender identity are not the same as the social majority, it can help to work with someone who understands the struggles of being gay. Finding a mental health professional with whom you feel safe is an act of self-care that could benefit you for the rest of your life. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to find a lesbian psychotherapist if I’m also a lesbian?

Not at all. There are plenty of allies in the world of psychotherapy that can give you excellent therapeutic assistance. What kind of psychotherapist you go to depends on your individual needs and comfort level.  

What should I ask someone before hiring them as my psychotherapist?

Ask about their licensing credentials. You might also want to know about how long they’ve been in the field and what kind of experience they have helping people in the LGBTQ+ community.

+ 12 sources

MIDSS adheres to strict procurement guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutes, and medical associations. We work mainly with peer-reviewed studies to ensure the accuracy of the information. We avoid the use of tertiary references. You can read about how we ensure the accuracy and timeliness of our content in our editorial process.

  1. Hafeez, H., Zeshan, M., Tahir, M.A., Jahan, N. and Naveed, S. (2017). Health Care Disparities Among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth: A Literature Review. Cureus. [online] doi:https://doi.org/10.7759/cureus.1184.
  2. Psychiatry.org. (2023). What is Psychotherapy? [online] Available at: https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/psychotherapy [Accessed 24 Feb. 2023].
  3. Bartlett, A., King, M. and Phillips, P. (2001). Straight talking: An investigation of the attitudes and practice of psychoanalysts and psychotherapists in relation to gays and lesbians. British Journal of Psychiatry, [online] 179(6), pp.545–549. doi:https://doi.org/10.1192/bjp.179.6.545.
  4. ‌Societyforpsychotherapy.org. (2016). Microaggressions in Psychotherapy | Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy. [online] Available at: https://societyforpsychotherapy.org/microaggressions-in-psychotherapy/ [Accessed 24 Feb. 2023].
  5. DeAngelis, T. (2019). Better relationships with patients lead to better outcomes. [online] https://www.apa.org. Available at: https://www.apa.org/monitor/2019/11/ce-corner-relationships [Accessed 24 Feb. 2023].
  6. ‌Liljestrand, P., Gerling, E. and Saliba, P.A. (2022). The effects of social sex-role stereotypes and sexual orientation on psychotherapeutic outcomes. [online] Journal of homosexuality. Available at: https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/The-effects-of-social-sex-role-stereotypes-and-on-Liljestrand-Gerling/ded52ed0f2d95383f58f11db2c3c223d2d13b73d [Accessed 24 Feb. 2023].
  7. Hafeez, H., Zeshan, M., Tahir, M.A., Jahan, N. and Naveed, S. (2017). Health Care Disparities Among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth: A Literature Review. Cureus. [online] doi:https://doi.org/10.7759/cureus.1184.
  8. Human Rights Campaign. (2019). The Lies and Dangers of ‘Conversion Therapy’. [online] Available at: https://www.hrc.org/resources/the-lies-and-dangers-of-reparative-therapy [Accessed 24 Feb. 2023].

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jennifer, T., BSN, RN
Medical Writer & BSN, RN
Jennifer is a certified medical writer and registered nurse specializing in plain language writing. She received certification in medical writing and editing from the University of Chicago in 2021, and She has been a practicing nurse for many years. She has written website and blog content for numerous physicians and women's health specialists.

ABOUT MEDICAL REVIEWER

Brittany, F., PhD
Occupational Therapist, Medical Reviewer
Brittany is the owner of a writing and consulting company called Simplicity of Health. She has written over 350 pieces of patient-facing content, published 4 books, created over 30 continuing education courses, and medically reviewed countless pieces of content for accuracy. Her media appearances include being quoted as a health expert in WebMD, Healthline, NBCNews, and Forbes.
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