Spain is one of the countries with the lowest rate of homophobia and transphobia in Europe , something that, although it is a reason for joy, does not imply that this kind of discrimination against these groups has disappeared, much less the traumas that causes a society to reject you for your gender identity or sexual orientation.
Heterosexual and cisgender people have never had to deal with problems such as having to tell their parents what their sexual orientation is or having to explain to them that they do not feel identified with the biological sex with which they were born because it is taken for granted that they are heterosexual and that their gender identity corresponds to their biological sex. Issues like these can lead these people to suffer from anxiety, depression and multiple psychological problems derived from not accepting their environment . These problems are what have caused the people of this group to try to overcome their traumas, fears and complexes with the help of mental health professionalscausing specific therapies to be created for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals. If you want to know a little more about this, continue reading this article.
What is LGTB affirmative psychology?
A few years ago, some sciences considered homosexuality and transsexuality as a type of mental illness, luckily times have changed and people have evolved and those who put such labels are a minority. However, homophobia and transphobia continue to exist , which has led psychology to create new challenges to try to help people in this group to feel better about themselves and to end the traumas that may have caused them. society.
This is why LGTB affirmative psychology has emerged, a field of work that focuses on the needs of non-heterosexual and non-cisgender people . Its applied aspect, affirmative therapy, aims to understand the mechanisms of the construction of the LGTB identity and, based on them, help people with problems derived from discrimination and the social pressure linked to it.
These are some of the objectives that LGTB affirmative psychology aims to achieve:
Treatment of the sequelae of homophobia and transphobia
Unfortunately, even in countries with the highest acceptance rates for homosexuals and transsexuals, there are currently still attacks with physical or verbal violence against these people . Many of these aggressions start from childhood, at school and even at home and continue into adult life on the streets or in different establishments. It is undeniable that attacks on this group continue to exist and that on many occasions these attacks reach the point of causing death or leaving sequels for life.
All of this can cause psychological disturbances such as anxiety or depression, or body dysmorphic disorder, to be triggered in people . In addition to this, going through these traumatic experiences can lead these people to not be satisfied with their own body, to blame themselves for what has happened and try to justify it, and even to isolate themselves and have even more doubts about their own identity . A true professional must understand what it means to go through these kinds of situations that often become continuous among the LGTB community and therefore is one of the goals of LGTB affirmative psychology.
Advise when deciding to be a father or mother
Motherhood and fatherhood are socially linked to very strong roles, which is why it is normal to hear in different media and citizens give their opinion on who should raise a child or how they should do it. Often, in the more conservative sectors of society, having a homosexual couple have children becomes a debate that could rather be said to be a war of homophobic insults.
If to this we add the factor of sexual identity and gender identity and consequently the tendency of society to discriminate against minorities that go outside the norm, as well as the existence of legal and institutional barriers, this can cause that among the LGTB collective they feel reluctant to the idea of having a child or that they feel frustrated by all the obstacles that exist to achieve it . This is why psychologists have to help these people in this process, first so that they realize that they can raise a child like any other cisgender and heterosexual couple and second, to accompany them to endure the anxiety caused by the fact of having to fight to get it .
Search for one’s own space in LGTB environments
Nor should we forget that within the LGBT community itself there are many sub-groups and that sometimes there may be discrimination among them . This can cause that many people are not able to find your site and your identity within the collective.
Although doing psychotherapy is not really enough to solve this, the truth is that affirmative psychology can help these people to avoid feeling bad unnecessarily and that victims of discrimination are aware that they have nothing to feel ashamed of, helping them to understand that these attacks are a social problem, not a problem of how they are. In this way, it is also possible to contribute to making this group truly inclusive by accepting unconventional forms of sexuality and expression of gender identity.
Acceptance of one’s identity
Another purpose of LGTB affirmative psychology is that these people accept themselves as they are, that they feel comfortable with their sexual identity and that they do not treat it as a taboo subject , but that they normalize it and can feel free to express them in their sexual relationships, with their family, friends and even on their social networks.