Gay Sexuality

Each person reaches a point in their life where they begin to experience their sexual development. For many this occurs at puberty, generally from the age of around 11. The vast majority of people will experience predominant attraction towards the opposite gender. For a small minority, roughly 5% of men and 3% of women, the natural attraction will be predominantly towards the same sex. Some may experience bisexual attraction towards both genders. This attraction is determined by many factors which are not fully understood but are part of nature and not within our control. We know that factors such as genetics, hormonal balances,  birth order, etc. all play some part yet are not a complete explanation in themselves. We also know that environmental and cultural factors can play a role in helping a person to identify and express their sexuality and sexual orientation.

For many gay and lesbian youth the teenage years are a very difficult period in their lives. Feelings of shame are not unusual as homosexuality is still often negatively portrayed in our society. Many issues can arise such as loneliness, isolation, depression, low self-esteem, suicide, addictive behaviours, and self-harm. During this period the teenager and young adult often struggles to 'come out', or in other words to come to terms with accepting their sexual orientation. This process can continue throughout life as many layers are encountered in personal, family, work, social, and public spheres. The negative stereotying and lack of positive reinforcing images of homosexuality has led to widespread homophobia in our society, much of which has been internalised by the young gay or lesbian.

Counselling and psychotherapy can help gay and lesbian clients to explore these issues, many of which can present at any stage in life. They may prevent happier and more fulfilling relationships from developing as well as place obstacles in the way towards living a happier, more fulfilling life.

There has been much misunderstanding of homosexuality in the medical, psychiatric and psychological professions in the past and it is important that therapists themselves are properly trained in this field. Lesbian and gay clients should ensure that the therapist they choose is affirmative of gay and lesbian sexuality and lifestyle. It can be extremely damaging in therapy if a therapist works from a model of sexuality that is outdated or that subscribes to viewpoints that suggest sexuality can be reorientated through therapy. It is therefore recommended that you ask the therapist if they have done relevant training in this area before you commence therapy.

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Therapists

rachel-murphy-psychotherapistRachel Murphy
085 111 1181
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Trish Toal Counselling PsychotherapistTrish Toal
086 274 3385
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William Monks Counselling PsychotherapistWilliam Monks
086 385 5332
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Eve O'Kelly, Counselling & PsychotherapyEve O'Kelly 086 853 9963 send-email

Mark O'Dwyer Counselling PsychotherapistMark O'Dwyer
086 796 4747
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Stephen vaughan Counselling PsychotherapistStephen Vaughan
087 235 6377
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