Tag Archives: psychotherapy

June 25

Gay Affirmative Psychotherapy

A high priority for many gay men is to find a psychologist who knows and understands your world. Psychotherapy works best when you feel free to talk about everything. I’m committed to ensuring you’ll have an accepting and understanding experience so you can feel comfortable bringing your whole self into therapy.

Gay affirmative therapy takes the perspective that gay and straight people are absolute equals, but the world is not organized to recognize that fact. Growing up in a homophobic world is traumatic and invalidating in both overt and subtle ways. Taking in homophobic attitudes from family, school, and the world at large can have a negative impact on personal growth and development. The aftermath may include low self-esteem, social anxiety, depression, and difficulty with trust.

photography by Angela Taormino for Geoffrey Steinberg Psy.D. - all rights reserved June 03

Integration of Social and Sexual Identities for Gay Men

If you think back to when you were in the closet, you may remember how important it seemed to keep your feelings of attraction hidden. Alternatively, your mind may have protected you from the stress of hiding by repressing your sexual feelings, making them unknown to yourself. Significant anxiety typically accompanies either hiding or repressing sexual feelings, due to the fear that others might detect and judge your true desires, or that those desires that a part of you deemed unacceptable might break through into your conscious awareness. Once your personality has become organized around a split between sexuality and social identity, the mere act of coming out does not automatically put the pieces back together, nor diminish the anxiety associated with the intersection of your social identity and sexual feelings. The persistence of a divided self can interfere with both social and romantic relationships.

photography by Angela Taormino for Geoffrey Steinberg Psy.D. - all rights reserved May 28

Social Anxiety and Gay Men

Social anxiety is one of the most frequent concerns I encounter among gay men in my practice. It makes sense if you think about it. Prior to coming out, most of us feared others would reject us if they knew the truth about who we are. Unfortunately, for those whose families did reject them or whose peers bullied them because of their sexual identity, this fear proved to be accurate. Coming out does not necessarily eradicate the fear of rejection. Sensitivity to rejection may persist into the present day while socializing with other gay men. Though the focus of concern may shift away from the fact of being gay to some other area of insecurity–for example, body image–the fear itself is similar in experience and resultant isolation.