• Lisa S. Larsen, PsyD

A Safe Place to be Yourself

As you know, there are many difficulties for a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender person living in a heterosexually-dominated society. Stigma has negatively affected people for many years. I hope that this will change in the next generation. I already see signs that young people are more accepting of their LGBTQQIA peers than in years past, which gives me encouragement. However, in some areas, transphobia and homophobia still prevail. That lack of acceptance creates social, psychological, and emotional challenges, such as…

· Identity struggles,

· Isolation, alienation, ostracism,

· Self-injury,

· Substance abuse,

· Rejection by one's spiritual community and/or family,

· Social rejection in general,

· Self-alienation (if you feel you're in the wrong body), and

· Harassment and/or violence from others.

I have helped many people cope with the challenges that come from being different from mainstream society. Along the way, I have seen quite a few negative consequences from people's attempts to cope with stigma and bigotry. Some people have internalized the transphobia and homophobia they experience in society. This internalized bigotry can impede a person's relationships with friends, lovers, and themselves.

These wounds can be hard to heal. It is important to have a place to let your guard down and experience deep acceptance. This can give you the space to start healing those wounds that keep you from having the relationships and life you want.

While I am not queer-identified, I have been successfully helping people in the queer community for years. People have told me that my casual style and empathetic, compassionate approach help them open up and let go of their fears of judgment. By creating a nurturing, nonjudgmental space, we can heal old wounds and create new solutions to your troubles.

I also have experience with people in the leather community and those who participate in nontraditional sexual practices (e.g., fetishes). In addition, I have worked with polyamorous lovers and people who have open marriages. People often receive negative judgment and face ostracization for these practices. Shame can make it lonely and uncomfortable to have preferences that do not match what mainstream lovers want. My basic feeling is that if your practices are safe, sane, and consensual, and minors are not involved, I welcome discussion of whatever sexual practices you engage in. Regardless of your particular flavor, I can provide a kind, open-minded, receptive, understanding place to talk. Please call 661-233-6771 to discuss your issues further.

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