LGBTQ+ Case Study

Here is a case study of a client who has received counselling to give you an idea of counselling content in a LGBTQ+ context.

I’m gay and looking for help with depression and anxiety. I had a difficult experience coming out and am dealing with prejudice in my family and the workplace. I feel overwhelmed, filled with shame. I don’t know who I am or who I should be anymore!

This enquirer presented with depression, anxiety, feelings of anger towards himself and others, feelings of suicidality and loss of a positive perception of self. The counselling revealed to him that the problem was outside of himself in society and other people. The enquirer came to realise he was introjecting these harsh values, judgements and behaviours from outside and began to think they were true; he then turned them on himself and would beat himself up through loops of negative thinking and consequently emotional turmoil. This manifested as depression, anxiety and anger. The lack of self-worth he explored meant he didn’t feel useful anymore and couldn’t lead a meaningful and purposeful life. During this process of counselling he  explored what was great about him, focusing on the strengths and gifts, looking after himself better (eating better, taking more exercise and finding a regular sleep pattern) and finding better ways of thinking, feeling and really getting to the heart of what he wanted to do and how he wanted to live and get out there and meet people that would support and love him the way he was. This was a great journey for him. He really got a lot out of exploring his femininity and masculinity honestly and with gusto. It felt normal and exciting getting to know himself. He wanted to know how he wanted to express himself. He came to value the feminine side in him and not devalue it like his family and workmates were doing. He worked through some very traumatic confrontations in the past from his adolescence and childhood that affected him negatively. He came to see them as they were – other people’s issues, not his. The analysis of gender felt great and he said he felt more authentic and many people around him (his good friends) really liked that. Some people around him did not like it and we had to explore how he wanted to deal with them so we talked about it and role played it which increased his confidence. He said it made him stronger and more resilient in life – being resilient and liking himself. He worked on this for about 18 sessions as there were some deeper psychotherapeutic issues from the past he needed to process.