The insidious trauma that many in this community face can be devastating. When we are children, we are dealt countless microaggressions and invalidations. We are taught to be ashamed of who we are and we internalize this. Some of us fear coming out for fear that these micro aggressions turn into macro ones. I can empathize. And I can also help empower you. We need less accepting and more affirming! I favor a person-centered and narrative approach to help others re-write their story.
Men are less likely to seek therapeutic services due to stigma. And statistics tell us a lot about how men may view mental health. For many men, minimizing and bottling up are typical ways of dealing with mental affliction. But for a man who feels he is weak because of this stigma, could lead to unhealthy coping strategies. For gay, bi, or men who have sex with men, another layer of stress and shame may be added due to negative stereotypes and discrimination. Substance abuse, suicide, violence can all stem from lack of support.
As a gay Latino man, I have come to be passionate about this subject. Masculinity, and machismo, have too many rigid rules. There is too much to expect from men, too much “shoulding.” As a consequence, many men learn to become emotionally blunt. Suppressing emotions can be disastrous which can only make matters worse when a man suddenly explodes after holding them in too long. This could lead to shame, relational issues, rage, and violence.
I find this approach really resonates with the LGBTQ+ community. This can be a very empowering approach because in therapy I really want to help others take back their lives and rewrite them as they see fit. Challenging the dominant narrative can be invigorating. Externalizing what afflicts us can be liberating. And reauthoring our lives can be exciting. There are always exceptions to problems as well. I can help you find them, however small they may seem.
Empathy, non-judgement, regarding the client in a positive way, using active listening skills. These are the hallmarks of employing a person-centered approach. People want to feel like they are being listened to, validated, and that their story resonates with someone else. Therefore, this approach really resonates with me because it just makes sense to know that someone else can understand where you are coming from without making you feel ashamed or judged.
Sometimes it is necessary to dig through our past to uncover what may be at the root of what could be ailing us in our present. This is psychodynamic therapy. The unconscious in us may be untapped, therefore holding answers to who we are. It may be unpleasant at times, but I will be with you every step of the way as we historicize your life to help you transition out of the past that may be preventing you from entering into a brighter future.