LGBTQ Couples Counseling

All couples deserve support when they are in distress. If you are like most LGBTQ couples, you’re seeking counseling for the same reasons most non-gay couples do: personal or relational issues unrelated to your sexuality. Problems with communication, intimacy, money, work/life balance, extended family, and in-laws affect all couples.

But gay and lesbian couples face ongoing stressors that may occur as a result of bigotry, prejudice, and social isolation. These challenges can become even more complicated when combined with concerns about, or differences in, race, religion, age, ethnicity, eduction, world view, family support, and life circumstances. 

Same-sex couples may face obstacles in addition to those of heterosexual couples.

Issues that may come up for gay and lesbian couples include:

• Overcoming self-criticism

• Unresolved trauma

• Coming out

• Gay parenting

• Monogamous relationship support

• Non-monogamous relationship support

• Processing internalized homophobia

• Overcoming self-criticism

• Striving for perfection

• Self-esteem

There’s also positive news. You may already know that LGBTQ couples bring unique strengths to their relationships. According to Dr. John Gottman, world-renowned for his extensive research and model of couples therapy, straight couples can learn from gay and lesbian relationships. Often:

• Gay/lesbian couples are more upbeat in the face of conflict than straight couples.

• Compared to straight couples, gay and lesbian couples use more affection and humor when they bring up a disagreement, and partners are more positive in how they receive it. 

•  Gay and lesbian couples are more likely to remain positive after a disagreement.

• Gay and lesbian couples use fewer controlling, hostile emotional tactics.

• Gay and lesbian partners display less belligerence, domineering, and fear with each other.

• Fairness and power-sharing between partners is likely more important and more common in gay and lesbian relationships.

• In a fight, gay and lesbian partners have a tendency to accept some negativity without taking it personally.

• Unhappy gay and lesbian couples tend to show lower levels of “physiological arousal,” indicating that they are better able to soothe one another.

Read more about Gottman's 12-year study on same-sex couples:

The right therapist can make a difference. Choosing a couples therapist with experience and added sensitivity to LGBTQ challenges is a meaningful decision. You deserve a therapist who makes you feel safe, respected, and hopeful about creating the connection and intimacy you seek together.  I’ve worked with many gay and lesbian couples during my 20 years in practice. Ask me more about my background to see if I might be the right fit for you.

Click here for more about my approach to couples counseling:

1850 Lee Road Suite #103
Winter Park, FL 32789
(407) 701-6441

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