Coinneach Shanks: Psychotherapy in Dublin

lesbians, gay and bisexual people in psychotherapy

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Many clients who are thinking about exploring sexual orientation with a psychotherapist have understandable concerns about how they might be treated. I strongly believe that psychotherapy with lesbian, gay and bisexual people needs to take place in a neutral space where "everything has yet to be discovered". People can then begin to see their sexuality as something that comes from them, rather than received from cultural attitudes.
Prejudices against same gender unions can make it hard for individuals to establish a strong sense of self. This can harm attempts at relationships. So through acceptance, validation and support, I aim for a therapeutic alliance that can form a dynamic force in the ongoing experiences of clients. I believe that working at the symbolic level can help the evolution of a person's relationship to the self.
With lesbian, gay and bisexual clients, I aim for healthy individuated sexuality - where sexuality is a form of expression. In being genuinely comfortable with psychologically healthy sexuality of whatever orientation, the therapist and client can together pursue the goals of individuation:  wholeness, internal harmony, a steady and reliable self image, the possession of non-defensive attitudes and the capacity to develop intimate relationships.