LGBT Therapy in London & Online

Functioning in a heteronormative world as an LGBT individual means facing discrimination and stigma, minority stress, lack of support system or coming out. These challenges can put queer people at higher risk of developing mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.

At Therapy Central, we offer LGBT counselling that aims to improve your wellbeing by working in a safe space with non-judgmental, compassionate, qualified psychotherapists who can understand your situation and specific needs. If you’re struggling with your gender identity, sexual orientation or loneliness, remember that you are not alone. Starting therapy can significantly enrich your life as you’ll learn tools to manage emotions, reduce anxiety and increase acceptance of your sexuality. These skills, in turn, will empower you to find a fitting partner, open up to your friends and lead a fulfilling, authentic life.

Don’t hesitate and contact us for a free 15-min consultation today.

Discover LGBT Counselling

What Is LGBTQ Counselling

LGBT counselling is therapy adapted to the unique needs and challenges of LGBT individuals where therapists choose different approaches according to each person’s specific situation. Throughout the therapeutic process, you can discuss your gender identity, sexual orientation or other issues related to your particular social context. It is an opportunity for you to explore the relationship with yourself and others, understand the nature of your problems and learn different ways of navigating work, family and social life.

LGBT counselling is not to be mistaken with sexual orientation change therapy, more commonly known as conversion therapy. The latter is a dangerous and horrible practice that has been discredited by the American Psychiatric Association and the World Health Organisation. The UK government committed to banning conversion therapy as well, which we at Therapy Central fully support. Whatever our sexual orientation and gender identity might be, it is not a problem that needs to be changed or fixed. It is who we are, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

What are the most common mental health issues LGBT people face?

Being queer does not mean having mental health issues. However, navigating life in a heteronormative society, not knowing anyone like you, not seeing any representation of LGBT individuals in media, and being rejected by others can make you feel like you don’t fit in. It’s only natural to feel lost or face loneliness. While anyone can develop mental health issues, LGBT people experience additional challenges, such as discrimination, prejudice, homophobia and stigmatisation, making them twofold more vulnerable to struggling with issues such as:

What are the causes of LGBT Issues?

LGBT people are more prone to developing different mental health issues due to living in a primarily heterosexual and cisgender society, which often means being subjected to hostile and violent attitudes and struggling with minority stress [1]. Here are some of the main unique factors that can contribute to developing mental health problems for LGBTQ+ individuals:

Discrimination & Stigma

This 2017 Stonewall report shows how 20% of LGBT individuals in the UK have been victims of hate crimes, with 80% deciding not to report these crimes. 

Bullying and victimisation of LGBT youth causes 55% of queer teenagers to feel unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation, and 37% due to gender expression.

In adulthood, queer individuals continue to suffer from employment insecurity, housing issues or the breach of basic human rights. The overall challenges of discrimination and stigma can lead to developing or exacerbating mental health challenges such as chronic stress or anxiety…

Lack of Support System

Being a part of a minority is, by nature, a unique but often alienating experience. Sadly, many young people who decide to come out to their families and friends face further prejudice, rejection and even homelessness. LGBT youths are at a higher risk of becoming homeless compared to heterosexual and cisgender teens [2]. Dealing with all these challenges can be incredibly difficult, with no support system or friendship to lean on. Lack of support can make us feel lonely or ostracised, which in turn might escalate, causing issues such as low self-esteem or even self-harm.

Coming Out

Coming out is the term that describes sharing your gender identity or sexual orientation with the people around you. Since we live in a society which assumes the heterosexuality and cisgenderism of everyone, coming out is an act characteristic solely of LGBT individuals.

Coming out can be an empowering, pivotal experience or a nerve-wracking, unsettling event, or both. LGBT individuals who choose to disclose their identity might be shamed by their families, abandoned by their friends or embraced and celebrated just as they are by others.

Disclosing one’s identity or orientation is a process that is different for everyone. There’s no one right place or time to come out. It’s entirely up to you to decide whether you want to come out, and if yes, to whom and when. While it can be scary, hiding who you are will further push you into the negative spiral of shame and internalised stigma.

Remember that you are not alone, and there’s no need to make such a decision on your own. It might be beneficial to go through this process with the assistance and support of a licensed psychotherapist. It’s undeniably a big decision, and processing it in the safety of the therapeutic setting can be highly beneficial as you can:

  • explore different scenarios of the aftermath,
  • contemplate the potential gains and risks,
  • and establish the best ways of communicating this news to your loved ones.

How are the issues of LGBT individuals maintained?

If left unchecked, these issues can quickly turn into a vicious cycle. Imagine being a queer “closeted” teenager from a small town who’s being bullied at school. The daily experience of prejudice and discrimination would only make you want to alienate and hide your identity from other people, not to mention the harmful effects of constantly fearing for your own safety.

Unfortunately, while avoiding everyone or self-medicating with drugs can bring short-term relief, it doesn’t solve the problem. Quite the opposite – it makes you more prone to developing an addiction, internalising the stigma, having low self-esteem or struggling with depression and anxiety.

What are the Benefits of LGBTQ Counselling?

LGBT Therapy can be a beautiful opportunity for you to explore your identity, orientation, thoughts and feelings in the safety of a therapeutic setting. Discussing different adverse life events or hardships with someone who will make you feel accepted, supported and affirmed for who you are can help to:

  • Deepen the relationship with yourself and your loved ones
  • Feel empowered to express yourself freely to others
  • Boost your self-esteem 
  • Lower stress levels
  • Reduce your symptoms of low mood and anxiety
  • Support your mental wellbeing
  • Increase your assertiveness skills
  • Increase the overall quality of life

Additionally, LGBT Therapy, just like any other, can provide you with tangible tools to cope with different challenges. Your therapist will select these exercises and techniques that best address your specific needs and issues and equip you with skills essential to deal with the challenges of life.

Does LGBTQ Counselling Work?

Yes, LGBTQ counselling works. Evidence tells us how it can help with LGBT issues, specifically:

  • Cognitive Behavioural therapy is effective in treating depression and minority stress [3].
  • various psychotherapeutic interventions decrease substance use, depressive symptoms and social isolation  [4].

LGBTQ counselling can be particularly helpful as a safe space within which you work with a therapist who:

  • understands your unique challenges and needs,
  • uses correct pronouns, making you feel more validated
  • treats you with empathy and unconditional acceptance.

For those of you who might not feel accepted by your family members, it’s an opportunity to gain a corrective emotional experience.

When Should I Get Counselling for LGBTQ?

There is no wrong time to start the therapeutic process for anyone. Simultaneously, there’s no need to wait for your life to get too painful or stressful. If you’re an LGBT individual getting LGBTQ counselling might be a good idea if your issues started affecting your ability to work, have fulfilling relationships or enjoy your free time. Additionally, you might want to consider starting therapy if you’re overwhelmed by having to face many difficulties, such as:

  • Struggling with low self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Dealing with excessive shame or fear for your safety
  • Negatively affected by your history of bullying and stigmatisation
  • Unable to accept your sexual orientation or gender identity
  • Trying to come out
  • Suffering from gender dysphoria

Our therapists specialised in LGBT Therapy

All of our therapists are qualified psychologists, psychotherapists or counsellors registered with several professional bodies. These include the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), the British Psychological Society (BPS), as well as, BACP, UKCP and BABCP.

Our therapists use CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), psychodynamic, humanistic and integrative approaches tailored around your needs to help you deal with your unique challenges and reach your goals.

Dr. Sheetal Dandgey

Clinical Director, Counselling Psychologist

Dr. Anna Hovris

Counselling Psychologist

Dr. Samantha Harris

Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Karin Kihlberg

Counselling Psychologist

Dr. Yasmeen Jaina

Counselling Psychologist

Tatum Aspeling

Clinical Psychologist

Dr Gail Freedman

Counselling Psychologist

Marisa Poggioli

Counselling Psychologist

Dr. Lynelle Roberts

Counselling Psychologist

Dr Sidra Chaudhry

Counselling Psychologist

Maryam Keshavarz

Psychotherapist

Stacie Hill

CBT Psychotherapist

Dr Nicholas Sarantakis

Counselling Psychologist

The british psychological society
logo hcpc
Logo BACP
logo UKCP

Testimonials

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Therapist l had was absolutely brilliant with me. He had patience with me and bit by bit l gained a little of confidence to try and get out and go on the buses.

He deserves an award and if l could l would in the beginning l thought how is this person going to get me back on public transport but he did he gave me the confidence l lost and now have back.

I will never forget him and what he has done for me. I wish him nothing but the best in his life.

(Patricia)

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My therapist was excellent. I highly recommend her and I am truly thankful for my sessions, I left feeling confident and positive.

The mental tools, systems and approaches I have been able to develop with her and use in my life have been hugely beneficial.

Thank you to all at Therapy Central.

(John)

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Therapist really gave me the space to talk and express my feelings and fears in a very comforting environment.

She was there not only to listen, but challenge my thinking, guide me during the uncertainty I was experiencing and give me useful and practical tips to improve my mental health and wellbeing. Highly recommended!

(George)

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Working with the therapist has been a life-changing experience. Each session has been invaluable, helping me gain a good understanding of CBT methodology enabling me to incorporate ways to combat stress and anxiety in my daily life.

The Therapist shows that she really cares and has the ability to make you feel calm whilst discussing any personal issue. 

(Richard)

Fees & Insurances

Therapy, Counselling and CBT sessions are 50 minutes long and are usually held at regular weekly time slots.

Free
15 Minute Initial
Phone Consultation

£80 - £125
Psychological Therapy/
Counselling (Self-funded)

£115 - £150
Couples Therapy/
Family Therapy

Covered by
Your Private Healthcare Insurance Provider

Our therapists are registered with several insurance providers, such as AXAPPP, Simplyhealth, Bupa, Aviva, Cigna (UK/US), and WPA. If you wish to use your personal or employee private healthcare insurance to cover your sessions, please highlight this in your contact form below.

LGBT Therapy in London and Online

If you are looking for LGBT therapy in London or online, at Therapy Central, we can help you learn tools and techniques that will enable you to open up, accept and cope with different thoughts and emotions. Our therapists create a safe space where you can feel free to be your beautiful self. Together, you can work on these goals that can best bring fulfilment and balance into your life.

Get professional help with LGBT issues in London and online today. Contact us for a free 15 min consultation to check if our services would fit your needs.

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    FAQ

    What happens after I make an enquiry?

    After receiving your enquiry, we’ll contact you to organise a FREE phone consultation. You will tell us more about your specific circumstances and needs and ask any questions you have. Then, if you want to proceed with therapy or counselling, we’ll match you with the therapist(s) with the best expertise to help you with your challenges and send you a list of their available appointment slots. If you’re satisfied with one of these, we can then go ahead and book your first appointment. You can also request to work with a specific practitioner, and, depending on availability, we’ll try to accommodate this.

    What happens at my first appointment with the therapist?

    Your first session will likely be different from future appointments. You and your therapist will get to know each other and will begin to build a working alliance. It will be a chance to have the confidential space to express your circumstances, feelings and thoughts and being listened to with depth, attention, empathy and without judgement. Your therapist will likely ask you more about your reasons for seeking therapy and any symptoms you’re experiencing. You may also be asked questions about your past and the history of your issues, as well as how they currently impact your life in the present. Finally, your first session may be a powerful place to discuss what you would like to achieve with therapy and agree on the length, methods, and treatment approaches.

    Is online therapy effective?

    If you choose online over in-person therapy, rest assured that this has been proven to be just as effective as regular face to face therapy, and in some cases, even more effective. Also, choosing online therapy brings additional benefits, for example, avoiding long waiting times, greater flexibility with appointments, and you won’t need to travel to our practice. You can enjoy online therapy from the comfort of your home.

    How long the Therapy/counselling sessions last?

    Therapy/counselling sessions last 50 minutes and are held at regular weekly time slots. On occasions, we can allow some flexibility. You can discuss this with your therapist.

    Do you offer reduced rates/concessions?

    We offer low-cost rates at £60 per session to people with a low income, unemployed, students and NHS workers. Please highlight in your enquiry if you would like a concession rate and how you qualify for this. Depending on the availability of our therapists, we’ll do our best to accommodate your request.

    Do you have a cancellation policy?

    We have a 48 hours no-fee cancellation policy. However, you will be charged for sessions missed without giving the full notice.

    Our Practice in Central London

    Our comfortable and confidential therapy rooms are conveniently located 3 min walk from Oxford Circus station, in Central London (see map below). Change starts with Talking!

    Further Reading

    References

    [1] Negative and Positive Factors Associated With the Well-Being of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning (LGBTQ) Youth.

    [2] Prevalence and Correlates of Youth Homelessness in the United States.

    [3] Efficacy of affirmative cognitive behavioural group therapy for sexual and gender minority adolescents and young adults in community settings in Ontario, Canada.

    [4] Psychotherapeutic interventions for LGBTQ + youth: a systematic review.

    Members of:

    We're registered with AXA Health, AXA therapists, AXA counselling, Aviva, Vitality, Cigna, BPS, HCPC, BABCP
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