Celebrating Our Past, Embracing Our Present: LGBT+ History In Therapy

Written by Emma Evans

February 21, 2024

Celebrating Our Past, Empowering Our Present: Embracing LGBT+ History Month in Therapy

February marks the annual observance of LGBT+ History Month, a time to remember the struggles and triumphs of the LGBTQIA+ community. But as therapists, we can weave the rich tapestry of this history into our practice, creating a safe space for clients to explore their identities and reclaim their narratives.

This year’s theme in the UK, “LGBT+ in Medicine and Healthcare,” shines a light on the vital contributions of LGBTQIA+ individuals in these fields, while acknowledging the historical and ongoing challenges faced by the community in accessing equal healthcare. This theme resonates deeply within therapy, where we strive to foster holistic well-being for all.

Here are some ideas in how we can honour and integrate LGBT+ History Month into our therapeutic practice:

Acknowledge the Past, Embrace the Present:

Educate yourself: Stay informed about current events and historical milestones impacting the LGBTQIA+ community. Read books, articles, and listen to podcasts from voices within the community.

Create a welcoming space: Ensure your office and interactions reflect inclusivity and understanding.  Use gender-neutral language, and be mindful of micro-aggressions.

Start conversations: Openly acknowledge the significance of LGBT+ History Month and invite clients to share their thoughts and experiences. This opens doors for exploration and validation.

Celebrate resilience: Highlight the historical figures and everyday heroes who have fought for LGBTQIA+ rights. Share their stories, emphasizing their courage and perseverance.

Challenge negative narratives: Help clients unpack internalised stigma and societal biases that may be affecting their mental health. Offer support in reframing negative self-beliefs.

Promote self-acceptance: Encourage clients to explore their identities authentically and celebrate their unique contributions to the world. Affirm their right to define their own narratives.

Advocate for change: Educate yourself about current legislation and policies impacting the LGBTQIA+ community. Offer resources and support clients who wish to get involved in advocacy efforts.

Build community connections: Partner with local LGBTQIA+ organizations to connect clients with support groups, events, and safe spaces.

Be an ally: Use your platform to educate others and challenge prejudice. Speak out against discrimination and promote inclusivity in your personal and professional circles.

Let’s use LGBT+ History Month as an opportunity to go beyond celebrating. Let’s create a future where therapy serves as a catalyst for empowerment, fostering self-acceptance and advocating for a world where every individual can thrive authentically. Remember, therapy is not just about addressing challenges; it’s about amplifying voices, honoring histories, and empowering clients to claim their rightful space in the world.

Additional Resources:

Published : Feb 21, 2024