Many individuals experience the negative effects of social stigma. Group therapy can be an excellent way for young adults facing stigma to build self-esteem. This is especially true for young lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ+) individuals who may experience increased anxiety in social situations. Fortunately, group therapy with 12 South Recovery can help. In group therapy sessions, members of the LGBTQ+ community can practice handling social situations more effectively, finding ways to respond to others in ways that protect themselves and support their identities.
Why Do Some Individuals With LGBTQ+ Have Low Self-Esteem?
Many young adults who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community lack self-esteem. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), recent studies have shown that LGBTQ+ individuals of all ages experience more problems with their mental health, substance abuse, and substandard well-being in comparison to heterosexual peers. This is attributed at least partly to the fact that social stigma is challenging to manage.
Many individuals can be negatively affected by experiencing violence and harassment from others. Witnessing social stigma can trigger great fear in individuals who are part of the LGBTQ+ community as well. The truth is that stigma against LGBTQ+ people can be deadly. Therefore, such individuals often lack self-esteem and are hesitant to open up about their identity. Different forms of violence may include:
- Physical assault
- Suicide-related behaviors
What Is Group Therapy?
Facing social stigma can be difficult for anyone in the LGBTQ+ community. It can be even more challenging for those with a dual diagnosis of substance use disorder (SUD) and a co-occurring mental health condition. For example, many young LGBTQ+ commonly develop problems with depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to the negative and discriminatory behaviors of those in mainstream society. This can also lead to substance use and misuse.
According to the publication Group Therapy by Akshay Malhotra and Jeff Baker, group therapy is an effective treatment option that allows peers to gather and confide in one another. This type of therapy can help young LGBTQ+ individuals learn how to cope with past emotional trauma, depression, anxiety, and PTSD caused by social stigma. During group therapy, individuals discuss their difficulties, strengths, and goals for the future.
Group therapy can be a highly effective treatment route for young LGBTQ+ individuals facing problems with their self-esteem and overall level of confidence. This type of therapy can provide comfort and relief for those who have kept their identity a deep secret.
Build Self-Esteem by Participating in Group Therapy
Suppressing the emotions associated with stigma and societal pressures can be detrimental to an individual’s mental health. Opening up to like-minded individuals can take the weight off of one’s shoulders and garner much-needed support. What’s more, group therapy can help expand an individual’s support circle. The group format can also bring new opportunities and resources for additional support moving forward. Further benefits of attending group therapy may include:
- Developing improved communication skills
- Observing different perspectives
- Having increased confidence
- Developing improved self-esteem
- Enhancing self-discovery
- Feeling safe due to confidentiality guidelines
Build Self-Esteem With 12 South Recovery
Choosing mental health treatment can be beneficial for LGBTQ+ individuals. Speaking with a mental health specialist in group therapy can help teach individuals the tools needed to stay confident, build new strengths, and appropriately respond to social stigma. It can be helpful for everyone to bounce ideas off each other. What’s more, people can learn self-help strategies to better manage the triggers that can lead to substance abuse, self-harm, and inappropriate ways of dealing with mental health problems.
Areas of Focus Within 12 South Recovery
12 South Recovery offers several treatment options to help young LGBTQ+ individuals navigate their mental health journey. Our mental health professionals work hard every day with their clients to develop individualized treatment plans that provide exactly what each person needs. This approach can be especially helpful for individuals who need a more intensive treatment plan to address significant issues.
We offer many different levels of care for LGBTQ+ individuals who are facing problems with both substance abuse and co-occurring mental health conditions. Their mental health treatment programs address conditions related to social stigma that include:
- Grief and loss
The Many Ways Group Therapy Can Help
Committing to mental health treatment can improve many areas in an individual’s life. A young LGBTQ+ individual may have faced difficulty in their workplace, home environment, academic setting, and relationships with loved ones. Discussing these problems in group therapy can help an individual find relief and helpful guidance.
Additionally, accepting emotional support from family and friends can make a world of difference. Sometimes group therapy can feel a bit uncomfortable for some individuals. This can often make someone feel discouraged from continuing therapy. However, it is essential to communicate any questions or concerns with the therapist or treatment facility to improve one’s overall experience moving forward. No one’s path to healing is the same. We strive to honor everyone’s journey and hold their hand as they chart their own path toward wellness and recovery.
The negative effects of social stigma can greatly reduce your self-esteem if you are an LGBTQ+ individual. At 12 South Recovery, we are a leader in Orange County mental health care. We know how to help those in the LGBTQ+ population achieve greater health and wellness. At the core of 12 South Recovery is our client-centered focus on each individual’s unique mental health needs. With our in-house team of expert therapists, we strive to provide compassionate, individualized care using the most cutting-edge, evidence-based treatments. In group therapy, the growth of one individual can often help inspire other group members to face their own challenges using similar strategies. Call 12 South Recovery at (888) 830-8374 to learn more about our services.