Affirming Therapy . . . Beyond Welcoming
We’re often asked, “So what do you mean by LGBTQ-affirming therapy?” A good question. At first glance, therapy for someone who identifies as LGBTQ is exactly the same as for someone who does not. We are all susceptible to the same anxieties, broken hearts, stressors, depression, family tension, and all those other emotional and mental health concerns that are sometimes a difficult part of being human.
Our sexual and gender identities are just two of the many lenses through which we experience life. But how influential those lenses can be! How much they shape our understanding of ourselves and the world through which we move! Being a member of the LGBTQ community is not one’s only identity, by any means. Yet it is an important facet, and one that your counselor must fully understand to be most effective in supporting you.
Our staff has been researching and serving the needs of LGBTQ people for over 20 years. Thankfully, there are a growing number of counselors who desire to be welcoming and supportive. Unfortunately, not all are prepared with the training and experience to be truly affirming and effective in meeting your needs. Sanctuary Counseling goes beyond promises of acceptance to provide competent, experienced, and affirming therapy services to the LGBTQ community.
It’s not just something we are prepared to do once in awhile, it is an intentional and dedicated part of our practice. We are proud to note that more than a quarter of our clients identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, asexual, questioning, queer, transgender, gender-fluid… or somewhere in between.
We look forward to welcoming you, affirming you, and supporting you on your journey to being your whole and best self.
Transitioning? We Can Help.
There’s SO much more to transitioning than hormones and surgery.
Our staff has been supporting and researching the transgender community for over 20 years. We understand your needs and are here to help you navigate this important time in your life. Sanctuary has never been interested in “gatekeeping,” and the most recent WPATH Standards of Care give us that freedom. We encourage you to educate and empower yourself by reading these important worldwide guidelines before contacting any professional.
Sanctuary is here to assist you as you explore options, make decisions, and venture forward into a new chapter that will touch every aspect of your life. We are an actively contributing member of WPATH, the world’s premier organization for transgender health, and we present our work regularly at national and international conferences. Whether you are actively transitioning, or are just beginning to explore your gender identity and expression, you can feel confident that you are getting the expert, compassionate support you need and deserve.
Youth and Adult LGBTQ Support Groups
Different Experiences, One Community
Most of our group members tell us that they come to Sanctuary Counseling to connect with community. Perhaps you are searching for support within a group that truly understands. Perhaps you are interested in lending your own insights to support others in the LGBTQ community. Perhaps you are looking for resources or other important information. Whatever your needs, we invite you to join us as we all experience a sense of connection and community within a safe and affirming group setting. Click here for more information about our groups!
PRE-REGISTRATION FOR ALL GROUPS IS REQUIRED. Please call us before planning to attend: 610.385.3155.
A Haven of Safety…
Sanctuary provides affirming counseling services specifically encompassing the unique experiences and stresses faced by LGBTQ individuals, couples, and families. We strive to provide a safe place for members of the community to receive counseling and support.
In addition, our licensed psychotherapists provide affirming counseling for children within LGBTQ families, as well as youth questioning their sexual and/or gender identities.
Active in the Community…
Sanctuary Counseling has been an active supporter and participant in the Reading PRIDE Festival since its beginning in 2007. We look forward to celebrating Reading Pride with you at each festival and at the many fantastic events Reading Pride holds all year round. We also offer our presence and support to the Chester County Pride festival of 2016 managed by the LGBTea Dances, of which our founder and Clinical Director Heather Kramer Almquist is a board member.
Heather Kramer Almquist, Sanctuary’s Founder, has been a presenter at the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference and the WPATH Biennial International Symposium where she lectured about supportive therapy techniques for working with gender-variant children. Heather also values her activism and support of many LGBTQ organizations including PA Diversity Network, Equality PA, PFLAG, and many others.