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LGBTQA+ Pride Month Self-Acceptance:
A Message from Boston Evening Therapy Associates

LGBTQA+

We Support You. We Stand With You.

June is LGBTQA+ Pride month, and the team at Boston Evening Therapy Associates stands in solidarity with our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Asexual, Gender Non-Comforming, and Non-Binary community, as well as with any and all of those folx who define themselves in the way that feels right and authentic to his/her/their identity.

While the human desire to live true to one’s identity is as natural as breathing, we appreciate, and are sensitive to, the unique struggles facing our LGBTQA+ community. Whether it is getting your pronouns right, connecting you with the best resources, or offering the kind of support you most need when you need, the team at Boston Evening Therapy Works would like to remind you that:

You are not alone.
You are welcome here.
You are accepted.

We are privileged to serve you and the LGBTQA+ community this June during Pride month, and with pride every other month of the year.

The inability to accept, tolerate, love, and be proud of one’s self is in one form or another a primary area of mental anguish and suffering.  It is also at the heart of a majority of circumstances in which people seek psychotherapy. From greeting cards to fortune cookies, we are told again and again that we must “love ourselves.” It is so easily said, but so hard to accomplish.

This is no accident. It is very hard work to accept all of ourselves. While successes, achievements, friendships, and romances are relatively easy to embrace (though not always, as in cases in which we convince ourselves we are “undeserving” of these things) it is the failures, dead ends, frustrations and enormous ambiguities of life which pose such a mighty challenge when we ask the question “Who am I,” and “Am I a good person, worthy of love and acceptance?”

While not only asking but answering these kinds of questions presents a “mighty challenge,” it also presents an immense opportunity. We have a chance to tap into our deep strengths that might be flexibility, gentleness, patience and kindness. We have a chance to tap into compassion — compassion for others and especially for ourselves.

Like any new habit or hobby, self-acceptance is no different. We don’t begin as experts, and have to do the heavy lifting it requires — there are no shortcuts to falling in love with oneself. To recognize and accept that, like muscles we exercise in the gym, we can choose to enhance, strengthen and emphasize certain traits and characteristics that remind us of who we are, and how we are worthy of genuine positive self-esteem. We must both learn to be kind to ourselves, and unlearn how to be negative (or at least, diminish unhealthy amounts of negativity wherever we can.).

The Role of Therapy in Self-Acceptance

Psychotherapist and Buddhist scholar Tara Brach refers to the painful doubts that emerge as the “trance of unworthiness” and the relentlessly destructive power of this trance over time can be emotionally devastating. It is the job of therapist and patient, working closely together to identify, slow down, stop and ultimately reverse, this form of thinking and being.

It is the work of the therapist and patient together to have the courage to recognize and name these “unforgivable parts” that live in all of us. To recognize with profound relief that these parts do not make us horrible, unlovable, unforgivable…..but merely human. And to see that striving towards the highest and best parts of ourselves with courage and determination makes us transcendent.

We are privileged to serve you and the LGBTQA+ community this June during Pride month, and with pride every other month of the year.

For therapists focused on LGBTQA+ clients, you can read more about: Jennifer Shaw, Emily M. Balasz, Anindita ChatterjeeBhaumik, Dyanne London

Original date of publication: September 18, 2013

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