LGBTQ+ mental health: giving voice to gay shame
Regardless of our varied clinical practice and approaches, we share one thing in common; knowingly or unknowingly, we all have clients who may identify as LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Queer or plus). But how well do we really understand their needs?
Based on Simon Mark’s practice as an LGBTQ+ counsellor, group therapist and own lived experience, we will explore the unspoken and often misunderstood mental health crisis taking place amongst the LGBTQ+ community.
Despite recent legal equality, research points to disproportionately high numbers of LGBT children and adults experiencing depression, low self-esteem, anxiety, poorer sexual health, alcoholism, addiction, suicidal ideation and sometimes, early death.
The reasons are linked directly to the experiences that many (not all) LGBT children share growing up in a heteronormative society. Bullying, internalised homophobia and hypersensitivity can contribute to a core sense of shame, leading to a split psyche and poor attachment in relationship to themselves and others.
Drawing together the latest psychotherapeutic research, historical and cultural LGBTQ+ context and case studies from Simon’s group work and individual clients, the day will outline how we can fully understand the problem, in order to better support our clients.
Simon Marks is an MA qualified, HCPC registered Dramatherapist, Drug and Alcohol Counsellor and LGBTQ+ group facilitator. He specialises in LGBTQ+ mental and sexual health, addiction and recovery. His work centres towards healing and re-parenting the inner-child, and recovering the authentic self.