Same-sex couples share many commonalities with heterosexual couples. The day-to-day activities of their lives often are similar, but the social context in which they live differs greatly, largely due to the influences of the dominant heterosexual culture and traditional expectations of gender roles within a relationship.
Although a person's sexual or romantic orientation or gender identity may not be a source of distress, people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender may find that the social stigma of living as a sexual minority is a source of stress or anxiety. When seeking counseling, whether for issues associated with one's sexual, romantic, or gender identity or for everyday concerns, finding a qualified mental health professional who has experience and familiarity with issues that confront the LGBT community can be critical to successful therapy outcomes.
Some of the problems common to all couples in distress are issues with communication, intimacy, handling conflict and family of origin issues. However, lesbian and gay couples face some special challenges. These unique challenges may include...
1. Coping with homophobia with in-laws, in the family of origin, and the larger society.
2. Resolving relational ambiguity in the areas of commitment, boundaries, and gender linked behaviours.
3. Developing adequate social support (the "families of choice").
4. Effects of internal and external homophobia.
5. Adoption and insemination: children, in general, bring up a variety of issues heterosexual couples do not share.
6. Coming out: there are inherent problems when one person is not out and the relationship is kept secret.
7. Differences regarding sex-roles in gay vs. heterosexual couples.
8. Dealing with your relationship at work: whether to come out, coping with co- workers who are attracted to you if you cannot reveal your relationship, the office Christmas party, etc.
At The Mind and Wellness Clinic, we offer a specially tailormade therapy, especially for the people who feel who fall in the LGBT community or are confused about their sexualities.