How to Find an LGBTQ+ Affirming Therapist in Toronto
One of the key components of the therapeutic relationship is your therapist’s ability to create a non-judgmental and safe environment.
Whether you’re seeking out therapy to explore feelings related to your gender or sexual identity, or you simply want to ensure that you will feel validated when seeking help for another challenge, you deserve a therapist who will not only support but celebrate your identity.
Here at KMA, we’ve been matching our clients with their ideal therapists for over 14 years. Whether your best fit is a therapist at KMA or somewhere else, we’ve created this list to help you find them.
By the end of this article, you’ll know what an LGBTQ+ Affirming therapist means, how to identify your goals in therapy, and how to reach out to potential therapists in Toronto.
What Does LGBTQ+ Affirming Mean?
Being an LGBTQ+ affirming therapist goes beyond simply accepting clients who are part of the LGBTQ+ community. It involves creating an environment where clients can freely and safely explore their identities without feeling as though these identities are being pathologized.
An LGBTQ+ affirming therapist is someone who:
- Respects and prioritizes your confidentiality and privacy
- Is open-minded and accepting of gender and sexual identities
- Supports and advocates for your rights regarding your gender and/or sexual identity
- Understands not all the challenges you’re facing are related to your gender or sexual identity
- Is educated about LGBTQ+ identities and orientations (whether or not they hold these identities their self)
Now that you understand what an LGBTQ+ affirming therapist is, you can take these four simple steps to find the best therapist for you.
4 Steps to Find an LGBTQ+ Affirming Therapist in Toronto
1. Reflect on Your Goals in Therapy
When seeking out therapy, it’s important to understand what you want to get out of the experience.
You may be seeking therapy for a variety of reasons, but some common goals include:
- Feeling better about your life
- Finding a deeper sense of purpose in life
- Reducing feelings of stress, anxiety, or depression
- Unpacking feelings about your gender or sexual identity
If you’re seeking support for challenges like anxiety or depression that aren’t related to your gender or sexual identity, you may feel adequately supported by a therapist who affirms LGBTQ+ identities.
However, if you’re interested in more deeply exploring your identity, you may prefer to connect with a therapist who is part of the LGBTQ+ community.
Understanding your therapy goals will help you to narrow down your search for a therapist – especially when exploring therapists’ areas of expertise.
2. Explore Therapists Who are Part of the LGBTQ+ Community
It’s up to you to decide whether you’d like a therapist who is part of the LGBTQ+ community or who is an ally of the LGBTQ+ community.
If you’re looking to unpack your feelings about your gender or sexual identity more deeply, you may want to speak with someone who can not only empathize with what you’re going through but has experienced something similar first-hand.
Exploring LGBTQ+ identified therapists on Psychology Today can be a great place to start – many therapists have detailed bios that outline their areas of expertise alongside a summary of their own experiences.
Regardless of whether you’re interested in speaking to a therapist who is part of the LGBTQ+ community, it’ll also be helpful to understand what type of therapist you’d like to speak to.
3. Learn About the Types of Therapists in Toronto
There are several types of therapists in Toronto that can support you in your therapy journey. They have different areas of expertise, as well as different scopes of practice
Types of therapists in Ontario include:
- Social Workers
Understanding the different types of therapists will help you to find a therapist who has the skillset best suited to your needs.
4. Reach Out to Potential Therapists
Once you understand what challenges you’d like to address in therapy and what kind of therapist you’d like to address them with, it’s time to reach out to potential therapists.
Many therapists will say on their website whether they’re LGBTQ+ affirming, but it can be helpful to ask directly if you’d like more information about what that means to them.
Some questions to research or ask a new therapist include:
- How do they support LGBTQ+ clients, and what experience do they have supporting LGBTQ+ clients?
- What are their therapeutic approaches/what type of therapy do they offer?
- Will they be able to help you identify and meet your goals in therapy?
- What is their cost per session, and do they take your insurance?
- Do they offer virtual and/or in-person sessions?
Having a list of questions to ask a therapist in your first session (or before you book a session) can help you to feel more in control of the therapy process.
Next Steps to Finding an LGBTQ+ Affirming Therapist in Toronto
After reading this article, you now understand what an LGBTQ+ affirming therapist means and an understanding of how to find the best LGBTQ+ affirming therapist for your therapy goals.
Here at KMA, we’re passionate about helping clients to find the best therapist for them. Whether you think your best fit could be here at KMA or somewhere else, this article will support you in finding them.
If you’re not yet ready to book an introductory appointment, read these resources for more information:
- If you’re still unsure about therapy, read: Will Psychotherapy Help Me?
- To prepare for your introductory session, read: 3 Helpful Tips to Prepare for Your First Therapy Session
- To learn more about finding the best therapist for you, read: How to Know if Your Therapist is the Right Fit