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Relationship Therapy for LGBTQ+

by: Dr. Dino Zuccarini, C.Psych.

Living and loving in the social margins of a heteronormative world can create complexity in the relationships of individuals from the LGBTQ+ community.  In our early years, recognition of being different than members of your family of origin and peers can create significant attachment and self fears. We all need a sense of acceptance, emotional validation, approval, and admiration if we are to develop a strong sense of self and connection to others. Individuals from LGBTQ+, in many instances, may face abandonment, rejection, punishment, and abuse just for being different. These types of traumatic experiences create fears and distrust in others, mainly when early attachment figures are the individuals who are the source of rejection, punishment, and abandonment. Rejection also fills individuals with a deep sense of shame that comes with deep feelings of unlovability, insignificance, and worthlessness.  

The internalization of these experiences can create difficulties when fears, shame, and past hurts limit the capacity to trust and connect others. The clinicians at CFIR work to build more secure, resilient identities and strengthen interpersonal relationships in the LGBTQ+.  They support you to unpack the emotional residue of early distress in attachment and/or with pears and the impact of this residue on your attachments.