The Importance of Queer-Competent Mental Healthcare

What makes a provider Queer-Competent? Where can LGBTQ+ people find someone who will understand their experiences?

Starting therapy can be a challenging process for anyone. How do you know if a therapist is the right fit? One of the most important characteristics of a successful therapy journey, is to feel like you are fully heard, understood, and seen.

Many LGBTQ+ individuals find it difficult to not only find a therapist that is able to do all three, but someone who they can feel comfortable opening up to. With continued stigma and discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals, Queer-Competence in your mental health provider is as important as ever.

So what makes a provider Queer-Competent? While there are courses and certification programs available, there is no consensus on what qualifies as true Queer-Competence.

At Violet, we take four key components into account when thinking about Queer-Competent care:

1) While Queer-Competent providers may or may not be LGTBQ+ themselves, they possess extensive experience working with the LGBTQ+ population, or have made it their clinical specialty. Many providers are specialized in serving a subset of the Queer Community, especially since it's so diverse.

2) Queer-Competent providers have an unconditional, positive regard and support for their patients’ gender identities and sexual orientations.

3) Queer-Competent providers integrate minority stress and resilience factors into their treatment, addressing both barriers to treatment and mental health, as well as areas in which patients are thriving.

4) Queer-competent providers incorporate building LGBTQ+ community support systems, as well as positive identity-related activities and growth as part of treatment.

When you’re considering a therapist, it can be helpful to look at how well they incorporate these components into their practice. At Violet, we’re building a community of queer-competent mental health providers.

We work with each provider to learn about their strengths, weaknesses, and areas of expertise. With this insight, we help our Community find and book therapists that are the right fit for them. After all, therapy is a journey that’s most fruitful in the company of a provider that sees the whole you.

Interested in investing in your mental healthcare? Find and book a Queer-Competent therapist here. Are you a provider that’s interested in serving more of the queer community? Send us your information to join here.

-- Made of Millions