Therapy Blog for Orem, Spanish Fork & South Jordan

How Family Therapy Helps You Support Your LGBTQ Loved Ones

Family Therapy: How to Support Your LGBTQ Family Members

Did you know that family therapy can help LGBTQ individuals? If you have a family member who is a part of the LGBTQ community, you might remember when they first came out to you about their gender and/or sexuality. This might have been an

family therapy

announcement that was joyful and happy. Or, things may have been a bit more complicated. (Related article: How to Create a Stronger Family)

For one reason or another, your family may be navigating complicated feelings and experiences related to your LGBTQ loved ones. So, what is the best way to support your LGBTQ family and friends? How can you respond if someone comes out to you? And how can family therapy help? 

Today, you will learn all about LGBTQ individuals and what you can do to be supportive. Plus, you will learn how therapy can benefit members of the LGBTQ community and their families. 

LGBTQ Individuals and Their Families

Your LGBTQ family member has likely chosen to be open about their gender and/or sexuality because they trust you. And that trust is important! Members of the LGBTQ community face unique challenges. LGBTQ individuals have faced years of oppression and misunderstandings. (Related article: How to Support LGBTQ Children)

And because of these unique challenges, having a strong support system of close family and friends can be lifesaving for LGBTQ individuals- literally! A study found that LGBTQ youth who have the support of their family attempt suicide at less than half the rate of those who struggle to find family support after coming out. (Source: The Trevor Project).

So, what can you do to offer this lifesaving support to your LGBTQ loved one? Let’s talk about it. (Related Article: Family

family therapy

Therapy- Maintaining Good Relationships with Adult Children

Being There for Your LGBTQ Family Members

When a family member chooses to open up to you about their gender or sexuality, it might be hard to know how to respond. This is especially true if you live in a community or home where LGBTQ individuals struggle to find acceptance. Even if you are supportive of your LGBTQ family member’s gender and sexuality, you might be a little nervous to think about how others will treat them. And those feelings can make it hard to know what to say. 

But, here is the good news. If you focus on empathy, understanding, and compassion, your LGBTQ family member will feel your support. You don’t have to have the perfect response. In fact, sometimes a simple “thank you for being willing to share that with me. I love you.” is a great start. As long as your message is one of love and support, you have given the correct response. 

Deepen Your Understanding

Another great way to offer support to your LGBTQ family is to be open to learning more. Your loved one has likely spent many days, hours, weeks, and years learning about who they are. Now, you have a great opportunity to let them teach you. Be open to listening and hearing their experiences. Good communication is a formula for success when it comes to offering support to your LGBTQ family members. (Related article: Family Therapy: Family Meeting Tips)

Family Therapy Can Help

If you or your family seek extra support and guidance in this process, therapy can help. Family counseling can help you and your family members learn the ways you can best support your LGBTQ loved ones. In family therapy you will learn valuable communication skills that can help strengthen and support your family. 

Start family counseling today in Orem, South Jordan, or Spanish Fork.

Written by Lauren Adkins


Lauren Adkins

Writer for the Center for Couples and Families


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