Learn about Gender and Sexual Identity
Both our gender identity and sexual identity make up a fundamental part of who we are. Some people identify with a different gender from the one they were assigned at birth. Gender Dysmorphia involves a conflict between the gender an individual identifies with, and the one they were physically assigned. For people with Gender Dysmorphia, this conflict can involve being uncomfortable with their body, expectations of social gender roles, or both.
The experiences, and sometimes struggles, of those with who have conflicting feelings about their gender vary hugely. Whilst some individuals recall intense feelings from a young age and express they have always felt trapped in the wrong body, others become confused about their gender identity later in life, sometimes even after getting married and having children. In the latter case, this is often not because the individual has suddenly changed their mind, but because they have previously tried to deny or ignore feelings around their gender identification. As an adult, coming to terms with gender identity confusion can seem impossible. If you have grappled with anxiety and confusion about your gender identity, you may be terrified of the impact this will have on your family, and even your career. Seeking the support and advice of a psychologist is often the first step.
On the other hand, sexual orientation/identity is completely separate, and distinct from, gender identity. Sexual identity refers to a person’s thinking about who they are romantically and sexually attracted to. Sexual orientation ranges along a continuum, from exclusive attraction to the opposite sex, to exclusive attraction to the same sex, and can therefore also be a source of confusion and sometimes, distress. It is not uncommon to feel under pressure to identify with one sexual orientation. However it is becoming openly accepted that sexuality is more fluid, and individuals may be anywhere on the continuum. If you are experiencing distress as the result of confusion surrounding your sexual identity, fear of stigma and/or disapproval of family and friends may be stopping you from facing these feelings. Alternatively, you may feel confident that you understand your sexual identity but need the help of a professional to communicate this to family and colleagues.
Due to the difficulties members of the LGBTQIA+ often face, there are high rates of mental health concerns, including depression, anxiety, and drug and alcohol addiction. However, when able to live out their daily lives with both a physical embodiment and a social expression that most closely matches their internal sense of self, LGBTQIA+ individuals live successful, productive lives, indistinguishable from anyone else.
If you are struggling with either gender or sexual identity concerns, seek help from a psychologist. Some of the ways your someone.health psychologist can help include:
Providing talk therapy to explore feelings of confusion and distress
Providing expert advice on the experiences of individuals who face similar concerns and obstacles
Developing strategies with you to reveal gender and/or sexual identity changes to family and friends
Providing family therapy to allow you to discuss feelings and decisions in a safe and supportive environment
Discussing and exploring options for your future, such a gender transitioning – e.g. medical options, changing the use of pronouns at work etc.
Situations unrelated to the event that made you feel angry often become negatively impacted by your mood
Gender & Sexual Identity Psychologists
Meet the someone.health psychologists currently available to see new clients for counselling on gender and sexual identity.
Emma has experience working with children, adolescents and adults with a range of presenting concerns. She has extensive experience working with clients who may be struggling with adjustment and mood disorders, anxiety disorders, interpersonal difficulties, trauma, eating and body image concerns and psychotic illnesses.
Wendy will work with you to develop the skills necessary to effectively manage challenges and enhance your emotional wellbeing. Wendy has developed methods that assist clients to empower themselves and restore their quality of life. She has seen first hand how patients become empowered with improved emotional intelligence and psycho-education.
Chris has experience working with a diverse range of clients. This includes working with people with anxiety and depression, PTSD and trauma related recovery, relationship issues, family dysfunction, grief and loss, low self esteem and interpersonal difficulties and much more.
Nicole has worked in a broad range of settings. She is a proud military psychologist with over 30 years total service in the Australian Army in various roles. She is a Solomon Islands and Afghanistan veteran. She has a particular professional interest in providing intervention to people suffering from anxiety and anxiety-related concerns.
Eva has over 20 years experience as a psychologist and she is committed to making counselling therapy a compassionate and collaborative process, so you feel supported throughout the process. Conducting sessions with genuine positive regard each client is valued for who they are.
Nick has experience working with a diverse range of clients, including children, adolescents and adults. He also has extensive experience working with people with post -traumatic stress and anxiety disorder, including survivors of natural disaster s who may be recovering from bushfires cyclones and floods.
Nick has a keen interest in working with people experiencing anxiety, perfectionism, procrastination, low self -esteem and interpersonal difficulties.
Areas that he has worked in extensively are treating Depression/Anxiety, Alcohol and Drug issues and Clients presenting with Employment and Personal relationship relationship issues.
He has a research interest in managing major mental illness through therapeutic treatment addition to medication. He also has an interest in Aboriginal and first nation’s health.
Jeanette has 27 years of experience as a psychologist. She has worked in private practice, as an Employee Assistance Provider (both internal and external) and as a teacher of counselling in a private counselling college.
Jeanette has gained a lot of expertise working in many areas of psychopathology over the years and continues to enjoy ongoing professional development, offering a service of value.