LGBTQ+ Affirmative Therapy

When living in a world where ‘straight’ is the baseline, it’s hard not to feel like your lifestyle is abnormal if you don’t identify as heterosexual.

Too often, your experiences are perceived as the outlier.

Because of this, you don’t always feel like it’s worth it to let people in and share what’s going on with you. You just want to talk to someone who gets it.

And, not forcefully nodding their head to make it seem like they’re listening. But rather, someone actually understands and asks helpful questions.

If these sound like your experiences, it could be time to start LGBTQ+ affirming counseling from a new perspective.

You’ve experienced hatred or shame as a consequence of your sexual orientation, it might feel even more daunting to reach out for support.

“Will I be misunderstood and disappointed?” It’s happened in the past, so I have a reason to think it’ll continue. “Will my problems be understood under a heteronormative lens?” My problems don’t make sense if someone looks at them through this lens. They’ll miss so much. “Will my therapist be uncomfortable about my sexuality?” For once, it would be nice not to water down or leave out major parts of my sexuality.

Unfortunately, you’ve had to ask yourself these questions before seeing a therapist because this has been an issue in the past. However, I am not here to continue to feel that way. Instead, I’m here to break that cycle and be a damn good therapist in LGBTQ+ affirming counseling.

A couple sits next to each other on a couch embracing each other. They are happy after starting marriage counseling in Dallas, TX with Rethink Therapy.

Common Reasons Folks Start LGBTQ+ Affirming Counseling

LGBTQQIP2SAA folks may benefit from Individual Therapy, Couples, and/or Sex Therapy. In my experience as a therapist, here are some common reasons people pursue LGBTQ+ affirmative counseling

Our Approach to LGBTQ+ Affirming Counseling in Texas

When working with members of the LGBTQ+ community, We use affirmative therapy. This is an approach to therapy that embraces a positive view of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) identities and relationships. Additionally, it addresses the negative influences that homophobia, transphobia, and heterosexism have on the lives of LGBTQ clients.

We consider that not every issue an LGBTQ+ person experiences are a result of their gender identity. Further, I don’t assume that your identity is a problem for you.

We pride ourselves in having a wealth of experience working with the LGBTQ+ community. We am aware of and sensitive to LGBTQ+ specific issues. In LGBTQ+ affirming counseling, you can turn your internal conflict and doubts into self-compassion and grace. Turn pain into empowerment.

 

Our Experience With LGBTQ+ Affirming Counseling

We have been an Ally and a part of the LGBTQ community for as long as we can remember. We have not just been an Ally and a part of te community, but we have had the honor of being a trainer in University settings teaching Psychology Interns and Marriage and Family Therapy students how to work with LGBTQ+ individuals in a therapeutic setting.

In addition we have staff that have been a facility advisor for the Gay-Straight Alliance at Texas Tech University helping the campus LGBTQ+ community gain visibility on campus and minimize hate and prejudice that the LGBTQ+ folks experience on campus.

As a result of our work, Jennifer Gay has been honored by receiving Texas Tech University’s ‘President’s Excellence in Gender Equality Award’ and ‘Ally of the Year Award’ for her work in the community.

A sign reads, "this must be the place." This reflects concepts discussed in discernment counseling in Dallas, TX with Rethink Therapy.

Meet Our Therapists

Begin LGBTQ+ Affirming Counseling in Texas

Your life can be full, and happy and amazing. You don’t have to live in hiding or in some kind of half-life anymore. When you get started with me as your counselor, you have someone on your team. From our Dallas-Fort Worth therapy clinic, we have helped many folx going through exactly what you are right now. In fact, we can help you wherever you are in the state with online therapy in Texas. When you’re ready to being LGBTQ+ affirmative counseling, schedule a consultation!

Jennifer Gay

LMFT-S

While my formal training and education provided a solid foundation for my development as a therapist, I attribute most of my professional growth to my clients. I have chosen to pursue trainings and education that are directly applicable to the clients I am working with and the experiences and concerns that they are bringing into therapy. If you ever hear a therapist tell you that they have learned all they can or that they have all of their own shit together all the time – run for the hills! I will never know everything there is to know about therapy, have experience working with everything that clients bring, and be competent in everything in my work – but I will do my hardest to continue my growth and learning to do the best I can in my work with you.

I am a systemically trained therapist, which means that I view each person in the context of their experiences and relationships around them, both past and present. I also work from a collaborative therapy lens, and so I believe that each client is an expert of their own lives and experiences while I am an expert on the process of therapy. I see myself as walking beside you on your journey, whether or not we know where the path leads. My goal is to get you to a place where you can walk this path on your own, but along the way I will guide you, I will support you, and I will challenge you. Even if you feel overwhelmed or unsure about what you want from therapy, or what “change” you want to see, it’s OK! We’ll figure it out together.

So if I am the expert, “what do you know and how can you help me?”, you may ask.

Specialized Training

To meet the needs of the couples I have been seeing, I completed my training in discernment counseling. To meet the needs of many of my individual clients, I completed Phases 1 – 3 of Brainspotting, which I have found incredibly helpful in addressing trauma, anxiety, disordered eating behaviors, grief, and struggles with gender dysphoria, among other concerns. I have also attended a specialized training in Expansion Brainspotting, which focuses on improving athletic performance and creativity, and strengthening our desired states of being and getting us closer to our ideal states; it has also been very helpful in working on strong suicidal ideation and feelings of hopelessness.

As a result of my experiences with Brainspotting, I have also been pursuing education on growing my understanding of the neurobiology and neuroscience and working with trauma and various dissociative experiences (including PTSD, BPD, and OSDD/DID).

As a result of my work with queer and trans clients, I have discovered a lot of overlap in gender diversity and neurodiversity – so I am working on my growth as a neurodiversity affirming therapist.

My clients

In my work with different clients in different settings, I have experience with a wide range of individual and relational concerns. However, I have a specific passion in working with people who may fall on the margins or be seen as “outsiders” in many different ways, especially given that we live in Texas.

Specifically, I do a lot of work with LGBTQIA+ folks, including working with people who are transgender or gender diverse. I work with folks who fall into various non-traditional relationships: consensual/ethical non-monogamy, open relationships, polyamorous relationships, swinging, etc. I work with folks in the kink/BDSM communities, or those who practice kink/BDSM. I also do a lot of work with folks who have distanced themselves from their religious upbringing for various reasons, or who practice less dominant religious and/or spiritual approaches or who are atheist/agnostic/secular/nonreligious. I am knowledgeable and affirming in my work with all these communities.

Belonging to any of the above communities doesn’t necessarily mean that something is “wrong” with you, but having to deal with the discrimination, hatred, and lack of support or understanding from people around you or the society at large is not easy. Many of the clients I see also seek me out because they know that I won’t use their identity, relationship status, kinks, spirituality/religion or lack of it as a problem that needs to be fixed or that is causing their depression, anxiety, relationship problems, and so on.

The relationship between therapist and client is crucial to positive outcomes.

One of the strongest and most consistent predictors of positive outcomes in therapy is the relationship between us. As such, it is important to me that you feel that you feel connected and supported in our work together. I know that I will not be the best fit for everyone who reaches out – and that’s ok! Our initial consultation, as well as the first few sessions, can give you a good sense of our therapeutic alliance together.

contact me

Neli Morris

PhD, LMFT-S

Normal is just a setting on the washing machine.

And I don’t know about you, but I hardly ever even use the “normal” setting when I do my laundry! While there are a lot of messages in our society and in our immediate circles around what is supposed to be “normal,” I am here to help you find your “normal,” not the culture’s/society’s/family’s version of normal.

My Experiences & Approach

While my formal training and education provided a solid foundation for my development as a therapist, I attribute most of my professional growth to my clients. I have chosen to pursue trainings and education that are directly applicable to the clients I am working with and the experiences and concerns that they are bringing into therapy. If you ever hear a therapist tell you that they have learned all they can or that they have all of their own shit together all the time – run for the hills! I will never know everything there is to know about therapy, have experience working with everything that clients bring, and be competent in everything in my work – but I will do my hardest to continue my growth and learning to do the best I can in my work with you.

I am a systemically trained therapist, which means that I view each person in the context of their experiences and relationships around them, both past and present. I also work from a collaborative therapy lens, and so I believe that each client is an expert of their own lives and experiences while I am an expert on the process of therapy. I see myself as walking beside you on your journey, whether or not we know where the path leads. My goal is to get you to a place where you can walk this path on your own, but along the way I will guide you, I will support you, and I will challenge you. Even if you feel overwhelmed or unsure about what you want from therapy, or what “change” you want to see, it’s OK! We’ll figure it out together.

                                           

Specialized Training

To meet the needs of the couples I have been seeing, I completed my training in discernment counseling. To meet the needs of many of my individual clients, I completed Phases 1 – 3 of Brainspotting, which I have found incredibly helpful in addressing trauma, anxiety, disordered eating behaviors, grief, and struggles with gender dysphoria, among other concerns. I have also attended a specialized training in Expansion Brainspotting, which focuses on improving athletic performance and creativity, and strengthening our desired states of being and getting us closer to our ideal states; it has also been very helpful in working on strong suicidal ideation and feelings of hopelessness.

As a result of my experiences with Brainspotting, I have also been pursuing education on growing my understanding of the neurobiology and neuroscience and working with trauma and various dissociative experiences (including PTSD, BPD, and OSDD/DID).

As a result of my work with queer and trans clients, I have discovered a lot of overlap in gender diversity and neurodiversity – so I am working on my growth as a neurodiversity affirming therapist.

My clients

In my work with different clients in different settings, I have experience with a wide range of individual and relational concerns. However, I have a specific passion in working with people who may fall on the margins or be seen as “outsiders” in many different ways, especially given that we live in Texas.

Specifically, I do a lot of work with LGBTQIA+ folks, including working with people who are transgender or gender diverse. I work with folks who fall into various non-traditional relationships: consensual/ethical non-monogamy, open relationships, polyamorous relationships, swinging, etc. I work with folks in the kink/BDSM communities, or those who practice kink/BDSM. I also do a lot of work with folks who have distanced themselves from their religious upbringing for various reasons, or who practice less dominant religious and/or spiritual approaches or who are atheist/agnostic/secular/nonreligious. I am knowledgeable and affirming in my work with all these communities.

Belonging to any of the above communities doesn’t necessarily mean that something is “wrong” with you, but having to deal with the discrimination, hatred, and lack of support or understanding from people around you or the society at large is not easy. Many of the clients I see also seek me out because they know that I won’t use their identity, relationship status, kinks, spirituality/religion or lack of it as a problem that needs to be fixed or that is causing their depression, anxiety, relationship problems, and so on.

The relationship between therapist and client is crucial to positive outcomes.

One of the strongest and most consistent predictors of positive outcomes in therapy is the relationship between us. As such, it is important to me that you feel that you feel connected and supported in our work together. I know that I will not be the best fit for everyone who reaches out – and that’s ok! Our initial consultation, as well as the first few sessions, can give you a good sense of our therapeutic alliance together.

Contact Me

Kaylin Hernandez

LMFT-A

Meet Kaylin

Aren’t you tired of being compared to the generations that came before or after you? Being judged and criticized for what you are or are not? Comparing, being compared, and never feeling like you are good enough.  I’ll admit, I’m guilty of this too. 

I grew up in a big, loud, and most of the time, chaotic Mexican family, I know what it’s like to be afraid to ask questions, to speak up,  and to try to do things differently. Because if I did, I would be faced with the question from everyone, including myself of, “who do you think you are”?

As the oldest in my family I always cared deeply for everyone (it was my job), and I forgot about taking care of myself, sound familiar?

In our families, which often carries in to our adult lives, we often struggled to feel seen or heard, and are made to feel like your emotions don’t matter, or they are just plain misunderstood. Which ultimately leaves us feeling like we’re alone in this big and sometimes terrifying world. That s**t is hard!

As a human (who happens to be a therapist) I recognize that the world I grew up in was vastly different than those around me, however, the emotions are almost universal.

Wether you are an adolescent or an adult, you are probably experiencing  significant changes and transitions in your life – and in case no one told you…Change is normal and you are not alone!

Through our work together I will support, empower, and walk with  you as you navigate this big, scary, fun, messy, and beautiful world.

Contact Me

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