GLBTQ – Substance Use/Abuse

     Substance/sex use and abuse impacts some GLBTQ individuals greatly.  They get themselves in personal, and sometimes legal, difficulties because of the role that substance/sex plays in their lives to mask depression, shame, guilt, or to provide confidence and self-esteem.

     I work with LGBTQ individuals to address their feelings of shame, depression, guilt, or self-esteem issues to directly decrease or eliminate their problematic substance/sex use and abuse.  

     Having a high, active sex life is not the same as problematic sexual behaviors.  I work with individuals to sort out the difference and ensure that sexual activity is not contributing to negative self-perceptions.  Sex is fun and healthy and should promote a healthy perspective and feelings about yourself.  If it doesn’t there is a problem.

     The use of drugs/alcohol is frequently tied directly to sexual activity and issues of self-esteem for GLBTQ adults and adolescents.  Identifying the relationship between all of these helps provide options so that drug use/abuse can be decreased or eliminated and sexual activity can be healthy.

     Some GLBTQ individuals have benefited greatly from the 12 Step model and want to participate in that and use that framework in their therapy.  I am 100% supportive of that.  

     Other LGBTQ individuals feel that a 12 Step model is not for them or they feel they have had bad experiences in the 12 Step tradition.  You can still participate in therapy and reach your goals to decrease/eliminate drug use and abuse and incorporate healthy sexual practices in 1 to 1 therapy.  Getting healthy is the goal.  How you do it is an individual choice.  I frequently and successfully work with individuals with this mind-set.