There are a variety of different reasons gay men seek therapy. From relationship distress to self-improvement, there is no right or wrong reason to seek extra support.
Find a therapist who empowers you
I recommend working with a gay therapist, however it’s more important that you find a therapist who empowers you. You deserve someone who will build you up and help you tap into your inner strength. It’s hard enough to take the first step and reach out to start therapy. It’s important you click with the therapist you’re working with.
The issues listed below are not completely unique to gay men, however in my experience they are themes that I have heard many times in our community. To borrow from the 12-steps, take what you like and leave the rest.
10 reasons gay men seek therapy
- I’m having relationship problems. When you’re struggling in your primary relationship, this can have ripple effects throughout your life. Whether you’re fighting more than you’d like or not finding the level of intimacy that you crave, you can make some changes to improve you relationship.
- I’m thinking about changing the way I use drugs or alcohol. Maybe you’re drinking more than you’d like or you’re concerned about the way you use drugs in social situations. Chances are you’re using for a reason and by coming to know more about it you can make the changes that are best for you.
- A partner or trusted friend told me to find a therapist. Sometimes those closest to us can see things that we can’t see ourselves. While it’s important to seek therapy because you want to make some changes, it can be helpful to listen to those around us. Maybe it’s your sister or your partner suggesting you get some support. Are they right?
- Feeling isolated. It’s easy to become isolated in the gay community. If your life doesn’t revolve around things of interest to the LGBTQ community at large, where do you fit in? Maybe you’re new to town or just ended a long-term relationship. Now might be the perfect time to get some support through that transition.
- Don’t feel like I fit into the gay community. The gay community is a group of people who bond over not fitting into the rest of society. Most of us know how it feels to be left out or picked last. You’re certainly not alone if you feel left out of the LGBTQ community. But maybe the feeling of being left out goes deeper.
- I always seem to pick the wrong guy to date. Most of us pattern our relationships after those we’ve seen modeled by our parents or friends. Did your parents have the type of relationship you’d want for yourself? If not, it may take some work to become clear about the kind of guy that is right for you.
- I have social anxiety. Social anxiety can be crippling. It can prevent you from being more involved or putting yourself out there and meeting more friends. There are tools and tips that can help with this and therapy can be a great starting point to get this issue under control.
- I’m thinking about making a big change in my career. Sometimes we achieve our life goals and that’s amazing. But then what? What do you do when you’ve achieved everything you wanted in your career or personal life? You dream about the future and become clear again about what is meaningful and fulfilling.
- I think my past is getting in the way of my present. Some of us have had difficult pasts. Whether it’s a past relationship or things from your childhood, trauma can get in the way of you living your best life. By facing the past you can become more clear about the life, relationships and goals that are best for you in the present. It can be hard work, but it’s worth it.
- I’m not able to get as close to people as I’d like. As LGBTQ people we often know how it feels to be left out or not fit in. But is there something more getting in the way of you having the kind of intimacy and relationships in your life that you want?
These are just a few of the reasons gay men may seek out therapy or counseling. If you’re considering making a big change if your life, find some support. You don’t have to do it alone!