Technological advances mean advancement in therapy for the LGBTQ community

Top Quote Thanks to technological advances, people seeking counseling or therapy via telephone or video conferencing can now do so easier than ever before. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) February 06, 2012 - Technological advances like videoconferencing and the ever-expanding capabilities of the Internet come together with sociological advances in the realm of LGBTQ rights to create a booming new addition to the telepsychiatry industry - LGBTQ telephone and video therapy.

    Tetty Gorfine, a psychotherapist for the past 30 years, recently created Connections in Therapy, LLC, a resource of professionally trained LGBTQ and LGBTQ-friendly psychotherapists from around the United States to provide services to members of the LGBTQ community who might not otherwise have the opportunity to meet with supportive therapists.

    "We are here to serve the whole LGBTQ community," says Gorfine. "What I've found is that many people are living in places where LGBTQ or LGBTQ-friendly therapists are few and far between. These people end up feeling like they have nowhere to turn for help around issues of sexual orientation or gender identity. But because of the amazing technology of today, people are able to actually reach out and seek counseling or therapy, either through the telephone or videoconferencing options like Skype."

    And, according to recent articles from and The New York Times, studies have shown that telephone or video therapy has the same amount of benefits as traditional counseling.

    Additionally, says Gorfine, "There is research that shows that certain people who would never go into a therapist's office are interested in accessing counseling services via telephone or Skype."

    Dr. Gregory Simon, a psychiatrist and researcher at Group Health Cooperative in Seattle, Washington, says, "People may be more willing to talk about things that are embarrassing or stigmatizing if they're not interacting face to face." He agrees that alternatives like telephone or video therapy represent "enormous potential" for psychotherapy clients without access to in-person care.

    In the case of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals or transgender people, this could mean living in an isolated area without access to LGBTQ resources and LGBTQ-friendly therapists, necessitating an increased desire for anonymity for reasons of privacy or even personal safety.

    "Some people don't care if their therapist is straight or otherwise," explains Gorfine. "But if someone is dealing with coming out or having questions about their gender identity, it is better for them to go to someone who can be supportive - someone who 'gets it' instead of someone who thinks that they're sick. Some clients feel that a lesbian or gay therapist will have more knowledge of their issues and need less explanation about their lives, and that can be a very good reason to meet with a therapist who is LGBTQ themselves."

    "Over the years I've gotten phone calls from people who would say 'I live in Iowa or Montana and there's nobody for me to talk to. Would you consider doing telephone therapy with me?' And I've had many clients tell me their horror stories," says Gorfine. "Just last week a (gay) client of mine told me that his parents had him institutionalized at one point because the therapist he was seeing thought that he was sick and needed help at that level just because he was gay. In other cases, I've heard of therapists who have attempted to perform anti-gay therapy, and I've also heard from clients who describe the look of shock and horror given to them by therapists when they come out as gay or trans. And these kinds of situations happen all the time."

    For more information about Connections in Therapy, LLC visit or check them out on Facebook.

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