Coaching and support for LGBTQIA+ and their families
I have learned from my psychotherapy practice that not every problem requires a clinical diagnosis and intervention, particularly problems rooted in context and community. As a result, I am introducing Gentle Woods Coaching.
Therapy is clinical. It is more about understanding WHY. Coaching focuses primarily on WHAT (concrete problem) and HOW (what action to take to move forward). Coaching is time-limited and usually lasts 6-8 sessions.
I specialize in using my lived experience and supportive techniques to help LGBTQIA+ adults who live in small or rural communities traverse the unique challenges that small town queerness presents.
I know how it feels to be in a small community as a queer person. I grew up in a town of 4500 in the 90s and now live in a community of about 10,000. That will sound tiny to some and huge to some- it is all relative! But in speaking with other queer folks living in small places, I've noticed that we all have one thing in common- a smaller queer community to draw support from. In some places it is hard to find community at all (not because it isn’t there, but because it is more hidden.) This can feel lonely, othering, or otherwise challenging.
In our coaching sessions, we will work together to answer questions like:
What does it mean to be queer in this context?
What does queer visibility mean to me and how visible am I going to choose to be?
How do I cultivate a sense of power and safety?
How to cope when you are “their gays”- when a community says that they support you personally, but philosophically and politically are unsupportive.
When your family accepts you but your community doesn’t
When your community accepts you but your family doesn’t
How to cope with the unspoken- are they being kind to you because they accept you, or so that they feel better about themselves (i.e. a conservative community member is kind to use and uses this act as an example of what a good Christian he is when talking with friends)? Does it matter?
How do I date in this community?
What do I do if my partner and I have different comfort levels around visibility?
What can I do to support my LGBTQIA+ family or community member?
How can I make my community better for other LGBTQIA+ people?
We may be a good fit if:
You are LGBTQIA+ of any age and are looking for guidance and support, feeling isolated, or are struggling with the social experience of your identity in a small community.
You are a parent or family member of a LGBTQIA+ youth and are unsure about how to best support their journey, or need a nonjudgmental place to explore your feelings around their identity.