Therapy is crucial for our mental health, yet some people still look at it as unobtainable due to financial struggle. There are also still myths around Therapy that say you’re weak if you need to go, you’re less of a man if you want to talk about your emotions, and that Therapy is only for “other people who are broken.”
In today’s episode, host Calan Breckon unpacks all you need to know about Therapy with licensed marriage and family Therapist, Jake Myers, who’s also founder and CEO of LGBTQ Therapy Space and writes a regular column for Queerty.com.
Together they explore questions like:
- Why is it important LGBTQ+ peoples have access to specialize therapists from the community?
- What are some of the old myths about therapy that just aren’t true?
- How long does someone usually go to therapy?
- Where can someone find funding or support if they don’t have the means right now to cover the costs of Therapy?
By the end of this episode, you’ll have broken down the myths about Therapy and you’ll have the knowledge on how to start (or continue) your own Therapy journey.
Guest: Jake Myers
– Connect with us –
– Therapy Options –
- Inkblot Therapy – Canada Based
- Mind Beacon – Free Therapy for Ontario Residents
- Open Path – Affordable Options
- Psychology Today – search for clinicians that take insurance OR have sliding scales
- Good Therapy – Sliding Scale Therapists
- Try looking up local counselling centres like Southern California Counseling Center or the Los Angeles LGBT Center.
Hello. Hello everybody. Welcome to another episode of gay men going deeper, a podcast by the gay men’s brotherhood, where we talk about all things, personal development, sexuality, and mental health. Your host today is me Calan Breckon and I’m going to be talking with special guest Jake Myers all about therapy. I love it. Jake Myers is the founder and CEO of LGBTQ therapy space.
The first LGBTQ owned and operated online therapy platform designed for LGBTQ plus clients. He’s a licensed marriage and family therapist and is dedicated to providing an affirmative and welcoming space for LGBTQ plus individuals and couples to navigate life’s challenges. Jake also writes a column, ask Jake for queerty.com today. We’re going to be exploring questions like why is it important LGBTQ plus peoples have access to specialized therapists from the community?
What are some of the old myths about therapy that just aren’t true. And where can someone find funding or support if they don’t have the means right now to cover the costs of therapy. There’s going to be a lot more questions, but those are just the ones we’re going to start off with. So let’s jump into today’s episode. Hello, Jake. Thank you so much for joining me.
I Thank you so much for having me. Awesome. So how about you start off and tell a little bit more about, you know, where you started in and who you are and what you do. Sure. So I am gay. I started my journey, you know, in therapy and I went to a local LGBT center in Los Angeles. I mean,
when I was in my twenties and I really felt lost, I really felt confused. I felt, you know, a little bit broken and my experience of therapy really changed my life. And it started a journey of healing and self discovery and feeling good about myself. And so I actually pivoted at one point from like a corporate job in marketing over to becoming a therapist and got licensed in California as a licensed marriage family therapist,
which just means basically like any licensed therapist. And, and then, you know, with the pandemic hitting, most of our practices went online as therapists, as you can imagine. And, you know, offices went away and mine included and I started seeing clients over telehealth over the over zoom or over the internet and realized that like, it didn’t seem that much was being lost.
Like the experience was really just the same. I felt just as intimate with my clients and nothing was really being missed. In fact, it actually opened up a lot of like conveniences. Like, you know, you can just pop onto a session. You can be in the comfort and safety of your own home. You can, you know, scheduling and rescheduling is easier.
You don’t have to get in a car and drive in traffic and figure out parking. Or, you know, I see a lot of LGBTQ clients and like maybe some of them are, you know, in the coming out process are still closeted and they might have felt too uncomfortable going into an office and now they can reach out to someone online. So,
and then I realized that there seem to be like something missing in the market in terms of a platform online, directly targeted to the LGBTQ community by the LGBTQ community to match people with an therapist that really understands them. So that’s how my company came about LGBTQ therapy space during the pandemic to provide that Amazing. I love it. And everything you were saying,
I was like, yup. Yup. Yup. Because I really, I had always known about therapy now. I was like, oh yeah, I’d like to do that. And then once the pandemic hit, I was like, oh yeah, I need to do that. And so I found my therapy. I was working with a company at the very,
very beginning of the pandemic and they gave us five hours for free using a company called inkblot therapy.com. And I was like, oh, Hey. And so I went and I checked it out. And your first session is like, your first half hour session is to meet whoever the therapist is. That’s free until you figure out like who your matches. Cause they like to make sure you find your perfect match.
And then after that, it was like, okay, you can do half hour sessions, hour sessions, 90 minute sessions, and just use the five hours, however you want. So I kind of blew through the five hours in half hour sessions and then after it was done, I was like, I need to keep going. So yeah, online was amazing because you don’t have to waste time getting there and getting back.
And like, you can save so much time. It is just as intimate being online as it is in person. And it just like, even more so, because if you need to like turn off your screen and maybe have a little bit of cry, if that’s something you need to do or after the session kind of just curl up in bed and like be with your feelings that is just,
it’s so much easier and accessible. So I thank you for, for doing all that. I’m excited for you, that you started your journey into self discovery and learning about yourself. It’s exciting. Oh yeah. Well, that’s been a journey since like, I’m going to say like 13, 14 years going on now. So that’s been a big journey,
but therapy has not been part of that journey, but my therapist, Sheila shadow Sheila, she, she listens to the, I guess she’s. Yeah, she’s absolutely amazing. And, and the aha moments that I’ve had from her just by putting things into a different perspective, cause I’m pretty good at seeing different perspectives. We do this podcast, we do a lot of coaching our own practices,
but to have somebody come into my world and allow me to see different kind of points of view is really eye opening and has really shifted a lot of parts of me that I didn’t even know were there, or that needed to shift. So I’m curious, let’s start off of what is your definition of therapy? So I believe similar to what you were saying that therapy is a mechanism to explore and understand ourselves better and see what might be getting in the way of the life that we want or feeling the way that we want to feel.
And you know, like you talked about how, like, you know, you’ve been doing a lot of exploration, but there were still some things you didn’t really like see about yourself until you started the therapy process. And something happens with like an objective person there to hear you and see you and understand you completely, where you’re able to uncover things that you might not have seen about yourself and understand yourself better,
like blocks maybe or unconscious sort of mechanisms that we put into place to protect ourselves. Perhaps like things, you know, that we don’t even realize that we’re doing that might be getting in the way of, you know, let’s say like somebody who’s wondering, like, why can’t I find a boyfriend or why am I, why do I mind myself like quick to anger?
Or why do I always feel like the world is against me? All of these things that maybe we’re playing a little bit of a part in that we don’t even realize and talking it through with a therapist can help us see those things about ourselves. So that’s sort of how I see it as really like exploration and understanding of ourselves. Yeah. And I will,
I will agree with that because it definitely is a process of kind of getting to know your therapist. There is the safety building and it’s going to take a little while to get there. Some people get there faster, some people get there slower. I take a little bit more time to get there. I know for me, I, I went for an,
a specific kind of reason cause we were building, you know, this podcast and they came in going deeper membership and, and the free peer support group that came in brotherhood. And so there was a lot of kind of working on a lot of business stuff and dealing with everybody’s stuff, coming into the group and kind of finding the rhythm of it and all of that kind of stuff.
So I really went for more of an outside kind of problem. And then we did dig into like old stuff and pass stuff that and traumas that happened. But it wasn’t until I went home for a holiday to visit my mom and kind of uncovered a lot of new things that were hiding that I didn’t know. And I had stopped going to therapy cause I find kind of,
there’s a rhythm to it. You don’t always need to go, which we’re going to talk about, but I took a little bit of a break cause I was like, cool, I’m in a good place. I’m in like the cool plateau. And then you hit another spot and you’re like, okay, now it’s time to go back again. And then the more recent time has been like mind blowing because I find that you kind of go the hill and then you hit the spot where you’ve plateaued.
And you’re like, okay, I can’t do that anymore. I need to kind of just like exist in the energy I’ve found. And then you go along and then you hit something else that’s kind of bigger or throws you off balance. And then you’re like, okay, now it’s time to go back. So in saying that, how do you find,
you know, working with people and what is there like appropriate amount of time? Normal people would go to therapists because some people go every week and then some people go a couple of times, some people go their lifetime. Some people only go for a chunk of time. What’s your experience with that? Well, first of all, I really liked what you were saying about like you went in for one thing and then you started discovering all sorts of other things that maybe you could work on or look at or,
you know, process. And I think that’s a really important point because you can come into therapy for anything. And often I find that like the actual issue or what’s really needed to be addressed is something completely different than the person even comes in thinking that they’re coming to therapy for. And so that’s, that’s the amazing thing is like, you never know where it’s going to lead and you can,
you don’t have to have like, even, you don’t even have to know why you’re coming into therapy. Like you could just go to like be a better person or learn about yourself and see where it leads. And you may end up addressing like the thing you came in for, and then that’s enough and you, you finish and you decide you’re fine.
Or you might realize, which is usually what happens. That there’s other things that you didn’t even realize were getting in your way or issues or whatever that you, you want to work through. So in terms of how long it’s so depends on what you’re coming in for and how you’re feeling and like, you know, the means like if you have the finances to keep going,
and I think, you know, like some people can come in for like a specific issue and be done in like three, four sessions. And that’s great. They’ve kind of figured that out, they’ve got a solution, they know where they’re going and that’s fine. And it can be short-term therapy. I think where I find the most excitement is a little bit longer term therapy where you can,
the client and therapist kind of develop a rhythm. You can get in the groove and you can go deeper and uncovered more and more things about yourself and how they pertain to your day-to-day life. So it can be ongoing. It can be weekly. We have a lot of clients that come every other week to like, because you know, they’re like, I can’t really afford to come every week and the time to make that time in my schedule.
So I’ll come in to come every other week. That’s fine too. It’s really it’s up to the client and there’s no requirement as far as like how long you need to be in or how much you need to go. Yeah. Cause everybody’s different, right? Everybody’s on a different journey. I’m talking to you about like affording and all that kind of stuff.
We did have the question of what, where can somebody find funding or supporting if they don’t have the means to cover the therapy as there may be programs or, you know, things that they can do to kind of get that access. Sure. So LGBTQ therapy space, we are, we are in the U S right now, and we’re like in 10 states and growing and maybe,
you know, maybe one day it will be even beyond the U S we’ll be up in Canada. I hope. But our price is for some states, it’s a little bit on the higher side for other states it’s more average or lower depending on kind of the culture of this, you know, how the state used therapy and stuff. We don’t take insurance.
We only allow for out of network coverage, meaning like if you have out of network coverage with your insurance, we give you a super bill and then you can submit it and get partial part of the money you spent reimbursed. Now we totally understand that not everyone can is in that place where they can afford to pay out of pocket weekly therapy. So I really think there’s a lot of great options out there for that.
One is you can go to like a local counseling center in your city or town. They often have low fee therapy on a sliding scale where they assess how much you make. And they look at your pay stubs and they say, you know what, you’d only have to pay $10 a session or $15 a session. And they go based on that, there’s also some services online.
There’s one called open path.com where you can you pay a membership, a small membership to join. And then you’re given access to therapists that have a sliding scale that they can take a lower fee in my own personal practice, outside of LGBTQ therapy space. I also have a sliding scale. So I take some people at a lower rate just to give back some and,
and allow for that. So those are probably the best things. Or if you do have insurance, you could look to see if you have any therapy coverage in network and like psychology today. Dot com has a lot of therapists that you can look and see if they take insurance. So that’s another option, but really, I think the most important thing is beyond like fee is really finding the right fit.
And, you know, I personally, I feel that like having an LGBTQ therapist is really healing at some point in your journey. It doesn’t have to be like always, I’ve had therapists that are not in the LGBTQ community also, but as I started my journey with that, and there’s something about being like authentically seen and understood and not judged for being who you are and being gay and not having to feel like you’re less than or different,
that can be really healing to, to talk to someone who gets it and understands the experience because no matter how progressive our childhood was, or like parents that really didn’t have an issue with being gay or whatever there’s messages we internalized as kids love. Like, there’s something wrong with you. If you’re on the playground and you’re a little bit feminine or you’re,
you’re seeing you seem gay, we internalize these messages like, oh, there’s something bad about me that I need to hide or not show people because I’m going to be judged or made fun of or whatever. And that kind of can affect self-worth and self-esteem, so it can be really useful to work through that at some point in your journey, Oh, fully,
I’m going to touch back just on the finances part, because I learned that here in Ontario, that therapy is actually a medical expense for your taxes. So keep if you’re in Ontario. And I think it’s, it’s different across all the provinces in Canada, as I’m sure it is in the United States as well, but keep those receipts because you might be able to claim those on your taxes,
even though you don’t have a business or anything like that, like it has nothing to do with being a business owner. It’s just your personal medical expenses, just like dental and Canada. Like keep those receipts that can go on your personal, you know, taxes. So if you have a bookkeeper or if you have somebody that you work with to do your taxes,
like keep those receipts for that medical stuff, because you can claim that at least in Canada, you can claim that. And a lot of people just have no idea about that. So look it up wherever you’re calling or wherever you’re listening from to see if maybe that can be something. Cause I know we have like acupuncture and therapy and massage and all these things that I had no idea about because even though I’m a business owner,
I don’t have coverage for myself. So as soon as I learned that, I was like, well, hut, damn, I’m going to be taking advantage of that. And now jumping back into what you were saying about how important it is to find an LGBTQ therapist. I was really interested in curious, because when they came across your therapy space or the therapy support,
I was like, hold on. This is like, you know, LGBTQ based therapy. And I am, I’m led to believe that everybody who is part of the program is also part of the community themselves. Right? So I was like, it’s like, my therapy is all online. You can go on, you can like do all of these like little surveys to find out who your best match is going to be.
And then it matches you only make a gay. And so it’s absolutely mind blowing and amazing. And do you know, you kind of explained the importance of it. And I do believe that we do as like, you know, a population as a community experienced so much trauma, you know, depending on where you grew up and all that kind of stuff,
but we’re also, you know, in north America, we’re kind of in the bubble of, we’ve gotten certain rights and other things that we kind of got to that place now where it’s now our responsibility as a community to go, okay, now we need to start healing these traumas so that the next generation doesn’t have to deal with this because each generation kind of gets further along and further along.
It’s a process, right. But we completely forget about like, you know, our, our community in other countries where it’s still illegal, where you can still be killed, where, you know, you can still go to jail for loving us, you know, loving same sex. Like it’s, it’s crazy. And so that collective trauma comes with its own baggage because even though it’s not,
you know, maybe affecting your everyday life, it’s still something you see about in the media. It’s still something you hear about. And so that puts it into your head that it’s like, okay, there’s still something wrong with me, you know? And unless you work with somebody to kind of unpack that stuff and to see if anything’s even maybe there,
maybe you don’t have it, maybe that doesn’t belong to you, which is fine, but there’s a lot of unconsciousness that goes along with a lot of these traumas. So let’s dive in deeper as to like what your experience has been for having, you know, another gay man being your therapist and having that dynamic of really, truly understanding and seeing you in that lens,
You hit a really good point with like that. A lot of it is unconscious. Like we may feel like I don’t have any issue with being gay around. I’m like, I’m obviously I’m gay. So why would I be homophobic? Or why would I have issues with being LGBTQ? But there are unconscious messages. We have internalized as kids of like,
of like, oh wait, this is something I can’t just talk about. Like you’re not allowed as a little kid, even probably today to be like that boy is cute on the playground and not be ashamed or like what or questioned or, you know, and it’s just, there’s a heterosexism in our society and that is a trauma. It is a trauma that,
and it creates a lot of like internalized shame. And you may not even realize how it’s affecting you, but it may just be like, there’s ways that you’re a little bit hard on yourself as a gay person or you’re, you’re trying to be perfect, like kind of overcompensate. Yeah. Or you’re beating yourself up a lot. Like that’s a huge theme.
And I work with mostly gay men and it there’s a huge theme in like being hard on ourselves and beating ourselves up and wanting to be perfect. And it’s, it’s, it’s like in reaction to this feeling, this unconscious message we, we internalize of like, I’m not good enough, so I need to be the best to be. And that could be,
I need to have the perfect body and get all the guys at the, you know, the gym or I need to be the smartest, be the most successful. It’s a very common kind of thing. Or we’re self destructive sometimes. Like we don’t, and we don’t even realize why, or self-destructive like drinking too much or people doing drugs, drugs,
or, you know, unsafe sex or whatever things that we do to sort of like cope. There’s a lot of unconscious stuff around. So talking to another gay person who gets all that is mind blowing and healing because you can kind of unpack it and work through it, realize how it’s showing up in ways you never even realized, and then not re not live in that space.
And also like there’s a little bit of a shorthand with gay men. Like, you know, that we understand certain issues like sexual things and sub communities, bears Cub, like, you know, all of that kind of thing in the gay community at the bottom shaming. Exactly. Exactly. So it’s nice to have somebody that you can just feel comfortable with and not feel like you have to explain what it means or what it’s like to be a game person as well.
Yeah. I want to touch on the perfectionism part because that is such a huge one that I see in the community of like this unconscious, you know, feeling of like not being good enough, not being worthy enough. And so we externalize that in perfectionism and we go, okay, if I can just be perfect, if I can just do all the things perfectly and my life be perfect and everything,
then maybe I’ll be worthy of other people’s love. Maybe, you know, even though the world says I’m wrong, I will be worthy of it because everywhere else in my life, I am perfect. And we kind of are like the overachievers. And I see it time and time again, because you know, so many gays have really great jobs and,
you know, by the great clothes and look amazing and go to the gym and like we have such excrutiatingly high standards for ourselves and for the community that it kind of breeds into this idea of like, you know, body shaming is such a huge problem in our community. And it’s like everybody categories categorizing themselves in that way. And then, you know,
I I’ve have many friends from many different spectrums, but then I see people who have the perfect bodies and all of these things and they still don’t feel like they’re good enough. And it’s because they played into the idea of what they thought they were supposed to be for the community in order to be perfect. And now they’re lost as to like, well,
why, why don’t I feel better? Why don’t I love myself more? Why don’t I have the confidence? And it’s because that stuff isn’t going to come from the outside that needs to come from the inside. And that comes from working with, you know, people like therapists and coaches, and they kind of take you on that journey of more self discovery.
And so that’s just a huge, huge thing and a huge topic. We’ve talked about multiple times on the podcast. You’re so right. And like, if there’s never, it’s never enough, right? Like you can have a perfect body and you, and still not feel like it’s enough or there’ll be some other thing that you’re obsessing about. That’s not perfect.
Like, you know, oh my hair or this or that. And it’s like, it’s never, there is no thing as perfect, right? Like it’s an ideal that doesn’t really exist. So why do we beat ourselves up every day to try to reach this? And then, you know, never feel good enough. Like that’s, that’s not a way to live.
I always find that the nitpicking and the being perfect is a cover for not wanting to see or do the real work because that like therapy and that kind of, it, that shit scary, like for somebody to actually face their stuff, they rather do all the other things and do the perfectionist things and work out at the gym and do all of these other things rather than actually taking the time to sit down and be with their own thoughts or to like unpack those thoughts with a therapist.
Exactly. Yeah. There’s a lot of judgment judge judgment in the gay community, towards others and towards ourselves. And it comes from just not feeling good enough. Even if you think you have a lot of, self-confidence like, there’s something getting in the way of that. Yeah. So this kind of leads into the next question. What are some of the myths that surround therapy that used to be,
or that still exists? That just like aren’t true or what you hear from people and be like, that’s outrageous. I think one of the biggest ones probably if not the biggest one is that to go to therapy, it means there’s something wrong with you. It means that you have to fix a problem. It means that it’s a weakness of some kind that you’re too damaged to deal with life on your own or something,
or that you’re supposed to like pull your boots up by your bootstrap and just get through it. And like, and that that’s somehow the stronger, a better way to be in the world. And that’s actually not true. Like it’s so much takes so much more strength to be vulnerable and face. Like you were saying face ourselves, face our issues, share that with another person in a confidential contained space and work through those things.
It’s, it’s strong. It takes so much strength. So, you know, I really think like the most successful people, the most well adjusted people, everyone needs therapy to like, you know, to stay in that place. And if you’re feeling less, if you’re feeling like there’s something wrong, it’s takes strength to go and work on it. Right.
There’s so many people that choose not to work on themselves and drink too much, or just act out in some other way, self destructive way, or just sink into depression or anxiety. And they don’t know why. So that’s a huge myth, I think. Yeah. And I think for the gay community specifically like gay men is we also grew up in this hyper-masculine world of like,
you know, going back to the perfectionism. Okay. Well, you know, I’m not the perfect masculine man that I, the world’s told me I need to be, so I need to be perfect. And then that also plays into, okay, well, I can’t go to therapy. You can’t do all the things I can’t ask for help at such a problem.
And, and thinking that like, you do need to ask for help that you’re somehow innately broken or something’s wrong with you, which is all complete bullshit. Like we all need community, we all need support. And I also want to be upfront your friends and your family should not be your therapists and they should not be your sounding boards or your partner.
Like your, your relationship should be first and foremost, a fun, enjoyable space to be in, to be with that person. They should not carry the burden of being your therapist as well. And that’s why I think it’s so important to have therapy because you don’t want to put all that heaviness and weight on another person that doesn’t belong to them. That it’s not their responsibility.
You know, I had this conversation with my mom when I went back home and there was just a lot there because we have such a packed history and you usually do with family that I was like, I, you know, I came out after we kind of had a conversation there’s crying and all this stuff. And I was like, I love you.
And I want to help you, but I am not supposed to, like, I’m not this person for you. I can’t be this person for you. This doesn’t belong to me, this heaviness and all this stuff where, you know, I go to therapy, I think that you should go to therapy. And I set her all up, but I did all this stuff.
I was like, you can do it at home in your own privacy, you know, put all this stuff in there. We found out that our company pays for a certain amount. And I think it’s really important that people recognize that it’s great to have friends and share and talk and communicate. And yes, they need to be there for those moments,
but for the real digging and like to have that, I think that it’s really important to have a third party who’s removed, who is also trained to unpack a lot of that stuff, because I think that a lot of friendships would become stronger and not as much fighting or, you know, that kind of up and down stuff. If you just had a therapist who you could say all that stuff to and unpack it with,
instead of putting it all off on your family members, because family and friends, because that stuff doesn’t necessarily belong to them. Good for you for having the courage to say that to your mom and like not, you know, like to not take that on and encourage her to, to go to therapy because a lot of people it’s like there’s codependency and a lot of us as well,
and it takes strength to be able to say that so good for you. And I totally agree that, you know, I’ve heard people say like, oh, I talked to all my friends about my issues. Like I don’t need a therapist. And it’s like, you’re just venting to your friends. Most likely there’s no challenge there. There’s no, like,
let me look and see what my part of this situation is or how has this really affecting me? And like, and a lot of times friends are there to just sort of like, co-sign what you’re saying and agree. And like, oh yeah. And maybe you see sometimes it’s need some gentle, challenging, or, you know, questioning that an objective person is trained to do.
And you won’t judge that person. And you know, if they do that, because it’s like in this very safe space of therapy, you’re not going to see our therapists ideally like out in your life. Right. So like, you don’t have to worry about having difficult conversations with them because it’s like, it’s separate. Yeah. Cause your friends, like,
you know, if your friend is that person who wants to challenge you a little bit and go, okay, well, why are you thinking like this? Or why are you doing this or what you’re going to then slip into defense mode and be like, you’re supposed to be my friend. You’re supposed to agree with me on everything. And you know,
that causes that tension that, you know, doesn’t need to be there for me. I want my friendships and my relationships to be fun and enjoyment spaces predominantly. And then of course there’s always going to be, people are messy. Like human beings are messy and none of us are perfect. So there’s going to be the mess that comes along with that.
But if you can unpack a lot of that or the majority of that with a therapist, who’s I like to think of my therapist as my personal cheerleader, because who else are you going to be able to talk to? Who really listens, who really is focused on you? There’s such an energy when somebody can be present like that. That is so shifting in and of itself that a lot of friendships,
like I see so many people like, you know, out with their friends and they’re all on their phone or they go for dinner and they’re on the phone. I have a rule, just a personal rule. If you’re out for a meal with me in any regard, your phone is either in your pocket or like face down on the table. And if you have to answer,
or if you have to look at it and disengage, then you have to pay the bill. Like, because I want to spend quality time with you. And that includes no screens involved. And I think that a lot of people have you use it as a security blanket and there, and it’s breaking down our actual communication skills. So having a therapist really be present with you and forcing you out of that security blanket spot and go,
Hey, there is some shit here that we need to take through, but this is a safe container, a safe space. Let’s do it now so that you don’t do it out in your everyday life is so important. The word that’s coming to mind is really being seen, like therapy can provide you to a place to be seen completely and fully. And sometimes like in your life,
friends have their own issues. They’re dealing with they’re on their phone, they’re distracted or whatever, and you don’t get that experience. And I think as, especially as gay people, we grew up having to often many of us hide who we really were in order to be accepted or not stand out. And, you know, we, we hit that part of ourselves for some part of our life most before we came out.
And so now we need even more to be seen fully for who we actually are and accepted. And that’s, I think, you know, an LGBTQ therapist is the best person to do that, which is why I wanted to create LGBTQ therapy, space.com as the place to help you find that person for you. That’s a good fit. Yeah, Definitely.
And it’s, it’s so important. I’m curious how many different types of therapy are there and what’s your approach to therapy? Cause I know that there’s different types that work for different people. I tend to be sort of eclectic, they call it, which means I use a little bit of this, a little bit of this and a little bit of this.
I pull from various theories or theoretical orientations to match where the client’s at and, and, and, you know, be in alignment with what field they feel works for them also. So there’s a whole bunch of different sort of like modalities, but the best therapist, I think kind of pulls from various modalities. So there’s cognitive behavioral therapy, which focuses more on like your thinking patterns and how,
how, the way you think about things affects how you feel. And then trying to modify the way you think about things to change the way you feel there’s psychodynamic or psychoanalytic therapy, which is more like digging into our past and our traumas and how those traumas shaped us and why maybe they’re still playing out today. There’s, you know, a whole bunch of different things.
So, but I think all of that is relevant. I think there’s, you know, there’s some therapists that have more of like a spiritual approach and talk about mindfulness and meditation or getting in touch with our bodies because sometimes we don’t pay attention to what’s happening in our body. There was a big one for me. Yeah. I’m a, me too,
actually, like I was dealing with a lot of anxiety at one point in the last few years. And it was very much in my body. Like I wasn’t, I didn’t think I was worrying that much, but yet I was having this like somatic reaction in my body with like, felt like an elevated heart rate. I wasn’t sleeping. Well, it felt like this energy in my body.
And that was all. Cause I was like pushing down my feelings and into my body and not like really paying attention to that. So there’s all kinds of things. And we at LGBTQ therapy space, you can look and when you go onto the site, you fill out a questionnaire and then you can actually pick which therapists in your state might be a good fit for you.
And then we read your questionnaire, look at who you wanted or who you decided might be a good fit for you. And then we match based on availability and who we think would be a good fit for you. So that’s another kind of benefit of our service is like, we look at what you’re dealing with and what you’re saying. And then say like,
you know, this person would actually be the best fit for them. So, but really it’s about trying different therapists out and feeling like you’ve found the right fit for you. And that really is like about just how it feels in the room. Like, do you feel comfortable and at ease and safe and easy to talk to that person or does it feel forced and they don’t really get you and awkward.
Cause if it’s the latter, it’s probably not the best therapist for you. So we actually offer a 10 minute free consultation with any possible therapist that you might have at LGBTQ therapy space so that you can get a sense of like, you know what, like this feels good enough for me to schedule one session and see how that goes. Yeah. And that’s,
that’s another cool thing. Like you don’t have to commit to like six months of therapy right away. Like you can be like, you know what, I’m going to do this free consultation. If that goes well, I’m going to schedule one session. All you have to do. And then in that one session at the end of that, you can decide,
you know what, I think I want to schedule another session or let’s put it on the calendar for every other week or every week or whatever, but you don’t have to do that until it feels right for you. Yeah. And, and thanks for saying that, because I know for myself, I kind of used it up intensely because I want to use my five hours.
And then when I started going and paying for myself, I was like, okay, well how much do I need? And then I also came to that space, like I said, like, oh, you know, I can take a little break and kind of hit that plateau. And then, you know, something comes up. You’re like, okay,
it’s time to go back. And so now it’s more intense right now, like every week, but then that probably will taper off to like every other week or maybe once a month. And then I also think it’s important to say to people that you might not work with the same therapist for the whole time, like your life is long and that there are important aspects of changing it up when you feel like if things are getting stagnant or that you’re kind of just doing the same thing over and over again,
or is becoming a little bit too repetitive or whatnot that you and your therapist can both look at each other and go, I think it’s time for you to move on. Like I think it’s time for you to find somebody different who has different thoughts and different approaches because you know, you can learn so much from so many different spots. Like don’t get so stuck in the box of like,
but this is wearing safe because you don’t grow when you’re feeling in that safe little bubble. The growth happens when you’re outside of that comfort bubble. And that can look like finding a new therapist or finding a new modality. I know you were talking about physicality and that’s been a huge one for me. And my therapist is that I, you know, grew up in a very up and down household,
divorced household. I never felt safe. And that safety kind of played out in my body too. I didn’t feel safe in my body because my exterior wasn’t safe. And so learning grounding techniques of like, okay, well when those negative thoughts come up in my head that were planted there from somebody else, then I, instead of complaint, instead of playing into those negative thoughts and getting angry and letting that flare up,
I just get up and I do like a strong yoga pose because that does multiple things, but it also grounds me physically in my body where I can go, I’m safe here and it’s reteaching me how to be safe in my body. So there’s definitely different techniques and different aspects that you can work with. And I know another thing somatic experiencing, I think it’s about Dr.
David Levine, Dr. Peter Levine, Peter Levine. And that, that is a lot more of a physical, like kind of putting you into that physical aspect of like training your body and to then take you from, you know, the negative experience into a safety experience. So there is tons and tons of different options out there. And for the Canadians who are listening,
we have, I know in Canada and Ontario, we have inkblot therapy. Like I said, that’s mine. And that they have intro half hour sessions that you can do. So if you’re in Canada, give that one a try. I think right now they also have a bonus for women. I know that this is gay men, mostly listening, but the women in your life,
your besties to gap house, you can offer it to them because they get an hour for free. Plus I think their intro half hour is also free, but the women can get an hour right now because they’re just really focusing on women. So I think it’s just important to throw that out there. What else did we want to jump into? We’ve already talked about how long people go to therapy,
different types of therapy, where somebody can find support, oh, this is the one that I wanted to ask. What’s your advice for somebody looking for the best or right. Match for a therapist? What kind of things should they look for? Should they pay attention to, and how does that journey look? Well, I like, I’ve had a bunch of different therapists in my life and I think it’s good to,
like you said, to try different people, try different things. Everyone brings a different perspective, a different modality, and there’s always new things to uncover from in different ways. The most important thing I think to look for is to, I really feel seen and understood by this person. So if it’s like, they’re not quite getting me or they’re talking over me or they’re not hearing me like that,
that’s a red flag for me. You want your therapist to see and understand you because they can’t help you fully, unless they really see you and get you and understand what it’s like to be you. And even honestly, sometimes just being seen and understood is enough. Like we don’t even have to figure out what the solution is necessarily. It just like helps to feel like,
oh, I’m not alone in whatever I’m dealing with this anxiety or this depression or this like unsatisfied feeling in the world or in my life. Like they get it. And it’s like a deep, like exhale. Like when somebody gets it, like, ah, like I’m finally, it’s finally, I’m not alone in this and somebody gets it. So that’s the biggest thing to pay attention to,
I think is like, how do you feel in the room with this person? And do you feel like they’re getting you, you, you know, like some people might go a different strategy and look at like, what’s their degree or what school did they go to? I actually don’t think that is as important because it’s about like energy and there’s energy between two people.
And there’s like things, people that flow together and there’s people that don’t, and sometimes it’s a numbers game. I mean, you know, it’s like dating. It’s like you, you might go on a date and like, somebody is a perfect on paper. Like they’re attractive. They have this job. They like have this history, but it’s like,
there’s just something not there, no spark or no chemistry. And obviously you don’t want to fall in love with your therapist. And that’s not the goal here, but there’s a similar kind of like energy that you, you know, you want to have. That’s like, it feels like a connection you want to feel like there’s a connection between your therapist.
And so I would, I encourage people, like if you’re not feeling that right away, you might want to give it another session to see if that changes. And if it doesn’t then go to somebody else, you know, like there’s no obligation to stick with someone who you feel isn’t a match. Yeah. And I agree. I think as specifically what you said about like where they went to school and all this other stuff,
to me that falls back into the perfectionist game and if that’s what you’re mostly focused on, you’re still trying to be perfect. You’re like, well, if I’m going to be not perfect, I’m going to be perfect to therapy. I’m going to find the perfect therapist. And that absolutely is not the way to approach it. And that’s not what you want to do here.
It’s, it’s completely down to energy. You can find somebody who went to like, you know, not community colleges are great, but this super simple, never even heard of community college that is, they might just have the it factor that you need in your life right now. And that could just be an energetic connection. And for me, the most important part is what you said,
like a great therapist is a great listener. They listen to you. I know that like, I, I’m a good listener in my everyday life, but when I’m with Sheila, I noticed like if I start talking or she starts talking at the same time, just cause there’s, sometimes it’s a little bit of a leg she’ll stop immediately and always gets me to talk first.
And that like, it’s very new for me because I’m usually the one who’s doing that because so many people, you know, are just, they don’t stop talking. You know, there’s some people who just like, can’t stop talking. It’s like word vomit that comes out. Would you probably need to talk about in therapy. But those are like very,
very important parts of muse. If you’re a great listener and you actually hear me and listen to pay attention, huh? Life-changing like, I had that same exact experience where we would both start to talk at the same time. And then the therapist would always stop and go like, no, no, you go. And like, that was like, ah,
like, I guess I’m the one that needs to be heard here. Like I would get to speak and be seen. And that is so healing sometimes. Oh, hugely. Because I think a lot of therapy for me is just talking it through with like stuff that I wouldn’t talk to like friends or other people about, but just talking it through. Because when you think about it in your mind,
it’s one thing. But when you actually it’s the same as writing, when you say it into the world, you can hear what it actually sounds like you go, oh, I can hear what that sounds like. Or, and the same of when you write stuff down, it gets you out of here and it puts it out into the world and you can go,
huh? I can look at it a little bit more objectively now and I can actually see like what I wrote. Like I find w a great exercise that I have people do is like, if they’re really angry or struggling through something specific on like, write, write it out, like, just write out all the anger and all the things you want to say and say all of the bad words and do all the things and get it out of your body first.
And then that way you can look at it objectively and go, okay, what’s really hiding here. Like, what’s the lessons, what’s the other stuff I need to take a peak at. Totally. And I think the best way to, for those kinds of insights to happen is to be as honest as you possibly can in therapy, like the more deeper and darker you get and honest about what you’re feeling or what you’re experiencing,
the more you’ll get out of it. And it’s, it’s, you know, it should feel like a safe space where there’s no judgment about what you’re saying. And it’s just a place where you can try to be honest. And that could even be like, you know what, I don’t, I’m telling your therapist, you know what, I don’t think you’re fully getting what I’m saying like that,
that can even be healing to like, advocate for yourself and be like, no, you’re not getting it. Or, you know, like, or even switching therapists, if they’re not getting it, like you got to be the advocate of yourself. Yeah. So we’re, we’re coming up close to the end here, but I’m curious, is there any other major things or major points that you want to say before we start wrapping things up on today about therapy?
No, I think, you know, like we’ve covered most of it. I just, I just want to say, you know, I’m really, I’m excited to be on this venture of LGBTQ therapy space because it’s really, I think it’s first, the first of its kind like I haven’t really seen a platform for online therapy that’s directly for, and by the community,
if it’s on an, you know, a national level and I’m excited to be part of it. I love writing articles on Queerty about various issues that gay men have and, you know, a lot of them around sexual stuff or relationship stuff. And, and I love this whole journey of like exploring yourselves. And I want to invite as many people as I can into the process.
I’m so excited that you had me on to help get the word out there about how awesome therapy is, Which is why reshow. Cause when I saw the articles on Queerty, I was like, oh, this is, this is something that I’ve been waiting for and I haven’t seen anywhere else. And I think it is really important to spread that message of like,
this is a LGBTQ space specifically for, and by the community, which hasn’t really BC being seen and for a community that has gone through so many traumas and struggles and we deal with so much shit. Other people just don’t deal with that is as important to be seen in those ways, because you don’t really feel seen until somebody says, I get you.
I I’ve been there. I fully understand the experience that you’re going through. And to just sit with you and let you express yourself through that, knowing that they truly do understand the experience that your lived experience. And a lot of therapists say like, oh, I’m LGBTQ allied or friendly or, and that’s great. Like, I think it’s important to have allies,
but there’s something about having like a truly authentically LGBTQ therapist that there’s an under, there’s a shorthand. There’s an understanding that is like no other. So that’s why, you know, we wanted to create this space. Perfect. So if somebody wants to check out your stuff, where can they find out more about you and more about LGBTQ therapy space? Yep.
So they can go to LGBTQ therapy, space.com. There’s a get started section that explains how it all works. And you can fill out a questionnaire, answer some questions, and then we’ll match you with who we feel is the best choice for you based on who you might’ve suggested or your other answers to our questions. And then you can have a free 10 minute online session just to kind of touch base and see,
you know, how that connection is, how it feels and decide if you want to schedule a first paid session or not. And we’re actually adding a section on the site about me this coming week, so about our founder. So there’ll be some stuff on there about me as well, but also check out my column on Queerty. It’s usually it’s a regular column called ask Jake where,
so if you Google Queerty Q U E R T Y, ask Jake, you’ll see my articles. And you can ask me a question. You can reach out to LGBTQ therapy space on social media as well on Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn. And ask me a question. I’m happy to answer it on QWERTY or just directly to you, or I’m happy to,
you know, get you started on your journey of therapy. Awesome. Is there a space for people to be like, Hey, I listened to you on the gay men going deeper podcasts. That’s why I’m booking over here. There is a question in the questionnaire of how you heard about us, so that that’s a great, I’d love to hear how people kind of found their way to us.
And you know, I want to help. We’ll be promoting this show as well on our social media and everything. So we want to get, get it out there as much as possible to Awesome. Well, hopefully you get a lot of guys who’ve listened today, who, you know, we’ve, we’ve kinda like opened the doors a little bit for them in demystified therapy.
And we broke down those barriers of like, you know, you are not broken. You are not, you know, there’s nothing wrong with you. It’s just something that I think everybody, even if you’re a happy go, lucky in your life is amazing and perfect, which nobody says. But like, even if that’s you, I think it still is important to have a therapist just to bounce ideas off with just to be heard and to be seen in a different way.
You’ve never experienced before Everyone has struggles. Like everyone, there’s no way you can be alive in this world and not have struggles. And especially the last year and a half, two years with the pandemic, like so many people felt isolated. I mean, there’s studies about how mental illness has gone up in the last two years. There’s more depression, there’s more anxiety.
Gay people are feeling more isolated and we especially need to community because of the fact that we are, you know, have a certain place in this world that makes us stand apart and we need others like us to feel seen and understood and whole. So, you know, like if you can do it, if there’s a way to still stay connected online and you know,
have therapy sessions, that’s, that’s what I was trying to create. And even if you decide not to do therapy, I encourage as much connection as possible. Like, you know, cause it’s a lonely time right now. It’s isolating. There’s a lot of lockdowns. There’s a lot of uncertainty like who knows what’s going to happen. If there’s going to be another variant of this,
you know, pandemic. And so all we can do is try our best to stay connected and take care of ourselves. You know, therapy is self-care, it’s like we, we, it’s a gift to yourself of like, I’m going to take care of myself and look at my stuff and work on myself. Yeah, exactly. Well, thank you so much.
I want to tell the listeners, if you are looking just for a support space online, make sure to join the gay men’s brotherhood peer support group, which our free group that we provide. And if you’re listening and you loved this, give us a star rating. It’d be great. If you give us five star, leave us a little review. We’d like to read them at the beginning of episodes.
So give a little shout out to you. And if you’re watching on YouTube, give us a thumbs up, hit that subscribe button, share this episode with people. That would be fantastic to just spread the word. Cause I think that this isn’t just relevant for gay LGBTQ plus people. I think that this episode is very relevant for just everybody, anybody at large,
but I think you’re right Jake and saying that, like, I think that we, as a community do struggle a lot more or maybe more predisposed pre have a predisposition to being alone or feeling lonely. And that having a therapist see you once a week or every other week helps that kind of subside and you can feel more seen and therefore you feel less lonely.
Cause that’s, you know, it’s just validating. So I want to thank you again so much for being on today’s episode. We’ll make sure that all of the things we talked about today, all the links and everything will be in the show notes for you all and that’s it for today. So peace love rainbows. Everybody have the best day ever, and we will catch you next time.