• Lisa S. Larsen, PsyD

Deserving of Self-love

I grew up and went to graduate school in the San Francisco Bay Area. It is probably hard to imagine a place more accepting of people from all walks of life, all sexual orientations, and all gender identities. However, even in that rarefied community, homophobia, racism, transphobia and other forms of bigotry still existed. People were less open about it, sure, but it was still there. In my graduate school, we had a multicultural emphasis, so that we tried to be on the lookout for our own biases that might cloud our judgment and effectiveness as psychologists. I am still grateful to John F. Kennedy University for this emphasis. It has guided and shaped my career considerably.


However, when I moved to the Antelope Valley, which is about 50 miles north of Los Angeles, I was in for a shock. Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore! I encountered a lot more bigotry and fear of diverse people than what I was used to, and it was disheartening at first. I still worked with people from the LGBT community, but I heard much more drastic stories. Many young people were rejected by their family for being gender-fluid, transgender, gay, lesbian, or bisexual. Some were even kicked out, or disowned by their parents. It seemed that there was a need for acceptance and compassion even stronger than the Bay Area or Los Angeles, where people have a more open-minded and accepting attitude towards diversity in general.

As I worked with people who were afraid of coming out to their family, friends or workplace, it seemed important to make this available to people all over the state of California. There's probably a need all over the country and the world, but I am only licensed to practice psychotherapy in California for now. So that is where I am starting.

I know there are people in other small, semi-rural or rural communities who are, scared, sad, angry, anxious, depressed, gender dysphoric, etc. There are people who need help accepting themselves because they have been labeled as deviant, weird, sinful, wrong, and so on for something that is not even wrong with them.

Being different in a world that is so hell-bent on conformity is really difficult, and I want to help you cope with it. My wish for you, if you struggle with being accepted by those around you because you belong to the LGBT community, is that you love and accept yourself exactly as you are. You deserve that, and with that self-acceptance, you can command respect and be confident in achieving what you desire in life.

The question is, are you ready to take that step? I do psychotherapy through a HIPAA-compliant platform called SecureVideo. I would love to see how I can help you. Please call if you are ready now: 661-233-6771.

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