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Los Angeles Archives - Suzanne Wallach

Therapy For LGBTQ In Los Angeles

LGBTQ pride flag

LGBTQ is an acronym that stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning. The acceptance of individuals that identify as LGBTQ has risen steadily around the world since 1980. The 2018 Survey of American Acceptance and Attitudes Toward LGBTQ Americans found that 79% of Americans support equal legal rights for LGBTQ people, which is approximately a 28% increase from the 51% findings reported in 2006. Nevertheless, members of the LGBTQ community continue to be stigmatized and remain at increased risk for a developing mental illness. Individuals that identify as LGBTQ may seek counseling for a variety of reasons akin to those that are not members of the LGBTQ community (e.g., anxiety, grief, depression, PTSD, etc.). Additionally, LGBTQ individuals often struggle with and seek professional support for gender dysphoria and/ or sexual identity issues. Learning additional coping mechanisms, conflict resolution tactics, and effective means for integrating experiences can behoove any person. Therapy and treatment approaches that are free of judgment and inclusive of all are fundamental in LGBTQ-oriented therapy practices.

Therapy

Every individual is different and not all types of therapy will resonate with each person. Working with mental health clinicians that have received training and are familiar with the needs of LGBTQ members are better equipped to provide ample, tailored support. There are a variety of options available to people that identify at part of the LGBTQ community in Los Angeles, California. It is common practice for clinicians to integrate LGBT affirmative therapy into any treatment plan when working with an individual that identifies as a member of the LGBTQ community. LGBT affirmative therapy is a form of psychotherapy used to “validate and advocate for the needs of sexual and gender minority clients.” It can help empower an individual learn to effectively navigate the unique challenges associated with being a member of the LGBTQ community.

Due to the vast number of clinical providers in Los Angeles, beginning the search for therapy can seem overwhelming. There are, however, a variety of online resources that can help you locate a mental health provider in California. For example, Psychology Today has compiled a list of qualified mental health professionals with experience in providing services to members of the LGBTQ community in Los Angeles. It is important to note that all mental health providers are different and will offer support from a somewhat unique therapeutic perspective. Not all therapists will resonate with every person. Simply because a therapist has extensive experience working with LGBTQ members does not mean that particular mental health provider will inevitably be a perfect match. They only way for therapy to yield successful results is for the individual to feel comfortable with the mental health professional selected. 

Disclaimer: 

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health.  As such, please do not use any material provided above as a means to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment. 

EMDR Therapy In Los Angeles

EMDR written out

Psychologist Francine Shapiro developed Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy in 1987. According to the EMDR Research Foundation, “EMDR is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma. EMDR therapy includes a set of standardized protocols that incorporate elements from many different treatment approaches.” Though it was initially developed as a means to treat individuals suffering from anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic and/ or trauma, research has indicated that it has since become an effective means of treatment for individuals diagnosed with substance use disorder and other mental health ailments. EMDR incorporates a variety of principals from other therapeutic modalities, including behavioral therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

EMDR Basics

EMDR is based on the notion that physiological symptoms occur as a result of trauma or challenging experiences overwhelming the brain’s natural ability to heal. EMDR works to relieve one’s brain of certain coping mechanisms that have been developed to help an individual cope with a traumatic event or events. EMDR therapy facilitates the healing process through bilateral stimulation where an individual can revisit a previously experienced trauma and learn to re-process and reintegrate it in a way that is both healthy and disarming, alleviating physiological stress. EMDR is an eight-stage therapeutic process, which includes: 

  • Initial history discovery and treatment planning
  • Preparation
  • Assessment
  • Desensitization
  • Installation
  • Body scan
  • Closure
  • Reevaluation 

A typical EMDR session lasts between sixty to ninety minutes long. EMDR can be used on its own or used to supplement other types of therapy.

EMDR Therapy In LA

There are many highly trained EMDR practitioners in Los Angeles, California, which for some can make the search for locating a therapist, seem like an overwhelming feat. There are fantastic online resources that offer curated lists containing qualified EMDR providers, serving the Los Angeles area (e.g. Psychology Today). Often the best recommendations come by word of mouth. An excellent place to start your search is to consult your primary care physician as they should be able to point you in the right direction, and many may even offer recommendations from within their professional network. For some, openly discussing the need for a mental health professional with family and friends may not be comfortable, but for those that are open to broaching the topic with outsiders, asking family and friends for recommendations could be beneficial. It is advantageous to be mindful of the fact that even though EMDR practitioners follow a set of standardized EMDR protocols, each therapist practices with his or her own distinct style. 

Disclaimer: 

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health.  As such, please do not use any material provided above as a means to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment. 

ADHD Treatment For Children In Los Angeles

ADHD in blocks for children

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), previously referred to as attention deficit disorder (ADD) is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) as neurological disorder. ADHD is characterized by three main symptoms: inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Most children with ADHD experience all three symptoms. Prior to 1994 a teen with the main symptom being inattention would have been diagnosed with ADD, whereas now the formal diagnosis for this is: ADHD, Predominantly Inattentive Type. It may also be referred to as ADHD without hyperactivity or Inattentive ADHD. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is extremely common. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates nearly 3.3 million children between ages 12-17 have been diagnosed with ADHD. 

Signs and Symptoms

The signs and symptoms that can occur in a child with ADHD can begin in children as young as five years old. Symptoms will often range in severity and can differ depending on one’s gender. Below are examples of common symptoms that could arise in a child with ADHD, provided by the American Psychiatric Association (APA):

  • Failure to meet deadlines (e.g. does not complete homework on time)
  • Inattention to detail
  • Unable to engage in activities that require prolonged attention
  • Mind constantly wandering/ does not listen when directly spoken to
  • Misplaces belongings frequently 
  • Regularly and mindlessly fidgeting  
  • Little or no patience 
  • Easily distractible
  • Organizational difficulties
  • Excessive talking
  • Restlessness

A young person who is diagnosed with ADHD will exhibit at least five of the symptoms from the above list, lasting for six months long or longer, in multiple settings. The symptoms associated with ADHD that are experienced by a child will interfere with his or her ability to appropriately function in his or her daily life. 

Diagnosis

The diagnosis process for ADHD is rather complicated, as there is no single test for diagnosis, and symptoms will vary from child to child. The number of young people that are incorrectly diagnosed and subsequently prescribed medication for ADHD in America is huge. For example, it is not uncommon for symptoms of anxiety to appear as manifestations of ADHD, when in reality they are due to an anxiety disorder. The medications that are prescribed for teens that have ADHD versus those who suffer from anxiety disorders are vastly different. Furthermore, the types of medications that are often prescribed to a young person with ADHD can be detrimental to a child who has an anxiety disorder that does not require medication. It is essential to have a mental health professional evaluate a child that may be struggling with ADHD in order to obtain the proper diagnosis, so as to ensure the most effective treatment.

Treatment

There are many treatment options available in Los Angeles, California for a young person with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The best place to start is to consult your child’s pediatrician. Most pediatricians will be able to point you in the right direction and connect you with a mental health specialist that is within their professional network. Additionally, word of mouth recommendations can yield positive results, so it may behoove you to check with your family and friends and see if anyone has any recommendations. There are also a variety of online resources (e.g. Psychology Today) that can help you find a mental health provider specializing in ADHD in California. Every child is different and will require a customized treatment plan.

Disclaimer: 

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health.  As such, please do not use any material provided above as a means to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.