There are many things heterosexual counsellors may think they understand, but without in depth learning they fall short of basic knowledge of what it means to be LGBTIQA+.
Our approach to LGBTIQA+ counselling
LGTBIQA+ communities experience various forms of subtle discrimination. This happens to individuals and to groups.
Open homophobia is still a reality and right now, those identifying as Trans are fighting a difficult and sometimes upsetting battle for rights, acceptance and simply being allowed to live their lives in the way they choose.
Old attitudes and prejudices die hard, even if they are apparently masked or publicly suppressed. We have come a long way but there is still a long way to go.
All that means it is not surprising that finding a LGBTIQA+ counselling practitioner or gay psychologist is still very hard in Australia.
We constantly ask ourselves ‘will this person get me’ or understand the journey of coming out, internalized homophobia/biphobia/transphobia or ongoing discrimination I face?
Some people forget it wasn’t so long ago that there were still therapists offering ‘treatment’. Some still subconsciously hold that view. Therapy only works when the therapist and the client can get on each other’s ‘wavelength’. If there’s doubt, subconscious prejudice, stereotyping, suspicion, mistrust or simple ignorance, then therapy is generally ineffective.
So, finding a sympathetic counsellor is not as straightforward as it seems.
Our issues in the LGBTIQA+ community are unique. This means we need gay counselling or LGBTIQA+ counselling from a professional who really understands. If you have not walked in our shoes, you can’t really relate to some of our experiences as well as someone who has.
Our team makes us unique
Safe Place Therapy counsellors are experienced in working with many different people who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and also those who identify as non binary. One major cause of mental distress and mental problems is trying to reconcile who you really are, with how the world or significant others choose to see you.
This starts in childhood as we begin to awaken to ourselves as us, not simply an extension of other people. Then when we hit the teenage years, we already have all the usual Teen coming of age issues to deal with. These are complicated by further identity issues. Then once we are fully adult, all the relationship issues are ours to face, in a world that often hasn’t yet fully caught on.
Some very conserviate communities continue to be unsympathetic or even hostile. It’s especially difficult when we feel we are trapped in that dilemma.
As we draw towards our later years, some of us find we have led lives where we wanted to – or in some cases had to – be other than our true selves. There comes a point where many of us decide that enough is enough.
So, LGBTIQA+ counselling is for anyone and everyone who wants or needs it. It doesn’t matter your age or your circumstances.
Your gender and sexual orientation is one part of you. How you identify should be respected and celebrated. You are you and no one should be encouraging you to be anyone else.
This means learning what pronouns you would like us to use or opening up the conversation if you are dealing with gender dysphoria or are curious about your sexuality.
We always come to counselling with kindness, understanding and an open heart and mind to hear your story and support you!
Our team is more than just ‘gay friendly’. We are part of the LGBTIQA+ community. We are in your corner.
Individual sessions cost $130 BUT you can organize a mental health care plan to reduce this cost. A Mental health care plan reduces the out of pocket meaning after the rebate you pay $55.
If finances are difficult we can organise a lower cost or bulk billed sessions upon request. This means no cost to you.
Get the mental support you need and reach out today!
Counselling available through Zoom/Skype or you can come to our offices in Mill Park or Footscray.
You may have experienced the above or something else but the point is it is important to reach out if your struggling. Safe Place Therapy is here to be in your corner and work with you.
Get the mental support you need and reach out today!
Therapist and Founding Partner
Stuart is an openly gay Mental Health Social Worker passionate about working with the queer community and everyone in it.
He has extensive experience in counselling gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans and queer people and offer real support for you in your situation.
Stuart’s straight forward and down to earth approach is relieving to clients who just often need someone in their corner.
He is willing to have a chat over the phone first if you’d like to speak before making a time.
Reach out today for your mental health.
Counsellor | Social Worker | Clinical Hypnotherapist
Coby is an openly gay therapist, and he is exceptionally passionate in mental health practice.
He has extensive experience working with LGBTIQA+ clients from various backgrounds and cultures, helping individuals, couples, and families to identify their inner strengths, maximising their potentials and abilities to strive for success throughout their life journey.
Coby is down to earth, honest, reliable, and practical in his approach to counselling and contemporary psychotherapy. He communicates fluently in several languages including English, Mandarin, Malay, Cantonese, Hakka, and Bahasa Indonesia.
Sophie is a queer-identified counsellor who is passionate about working with the LGBTIQA+ community. She knows how wonderful it is to have a therapist you don’t have to educate about your gender or sexuality.
She has extensive experience supporting clients through the range of issues that can affect our community – coming out, gender dysphoria, family issues, internalized homophobia – and everything in between.
She acknowledges how intersecting identities might affect your experience of being LGBTIQA+, such as being First Nations or having a disability. In the counselling room with Sophie, you can expect a warm and down to earth approach.