Are you a member of the LGBTQ community who is thinking about finally coming out to family and friends? This is a big step and one you should be very proud of. Everyone deserves to come out on their own timeline. If you are ready, you are ready — but there is one thing you should consider doing before you officially come out: seeing a therapist. Here are a few benefits of enrolling in therapy before you come out as a member of the LGBTQ community.
You can talk through your options with a qualified individual
If you are just now coming out, you probably have not had a chance to talk about your gender and sexuality with a lot of people. It can be really helpful to do this with someone before coming out. A therapist who regularly works with LGBTQ individuals can be the perfect person to talk to. You know they are going to be supportive, and you can count on their advice to be helpful. You can tell the therapist about the ways you plan on coming out, and they can offer feedback and suggestions. Having someone else's ideas to draw on can be really helpful as you plan on coming out.
You willl learn tactics for dealing with those who are less supportive
When you come out, you always hope that everyone you tell will be supportive and validating. But in most cases, there is at least one person who is not as supportive as you would have hoped. A therapist can help prepare you for this experience. They can help you practice things to say when someone reacts negatively, and they can give you emotional strategies for dealing with the burden of feeling a lack of acceptance. This can help reduce or eliminate the trauma you experience when coming out.
You will have someone to talk with afterward
Even when coming out goes well, it is a really intense experience. Afterward, you may just want to unload and tell someone all about it. If you are already in therapy at this point, you'll have an understanding therapist who can listen to you talk about your coming out experience, offer perspective on it, and help you embrace your new life once you're out.
Coming out is an important step for LBGTQ folks. Before you come out, consider talking to an LBGTQ-friendly counseling service, like Encircle.