Offices Located in Columbia, MD & Washington DC
(410)551-2455
A Certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE)

Our Mission

“Our Mission is to provide an array of assessments and treatment services that will improve the quality of life for children, adolescents, adults and families, and meet the needs of the community.”


Our Goal

“Our goal is to offer high quality clinical, diagnostic, and forensic assessments and treatment services using empirically validated, state of the art techniques. We will accomplish our goals by collaboratively working with our clients and using a multimodal approach.”


Our Philosophy

“Providing high quality professional care in a warm, sensitive, supportive, and collaborative manner; and understanding our client's unique background and challenges, optimizing their personal strengths and reducing psychological pain and suffering.”


 Mental Health and LGBTQ Inclusion 

2015 was a big year for the LGBTQ population on so many fronts. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the same-sex marriage laws, allowing legal partnership to be recognized under the federal government. President Barack Obama became the first United States president to use the words “lesbian,” “bisexual,” and “transgender” in his State of the Union speech. Kate Brown became the first openly bisexual governor in the United States in the state of Oregon. Caitlyn Jenner became the first openly transgender woman on the cover of Vanity Fair. Neil Patrick Harris became the first openly gay man to host the Academy Awards. So with so many advances within our society in the past year, are we even close to being done addressing the inequalities for the LGBGTQ demographic? With so much progression relating to sexual orientation and gender identity in popular media, there still continues to be many day to day concerns that are exclusive to the LGBTQ population and affect the overall mental health of these individuals.

So what implications does this have on the well being of LGBTQ individuals? What does this mean for a mental health professional’s role? By its very definition, a mental health professional is a person who has education and experience in providing counseling interventions to foster achievement and developmental goals by helping an individual recognize any emotional or behavioral processes that interfere with their overall well being. Therefore, recognizing the external factors, such as the lack of support from others, that may impede on an LGBTQ individual’s upward mobility is imperative to understand since they may greatly contribute to their presenting problems when they come to counseling.

The increasing need for multicultural practice in counseling/therapeutic settings has encapsulated many different facets of sexual orientation, but it seems to be lacking in professional training curriculums. As a member of the LGBTQ community, the areas that I feel may be overlooked include:

  • Questioning one’s sexual preference/sexual orientation
  • Finding an identity that is congruent with such preferences
  • Relating to others (support systems, friends, LGBTQ community)
  • Disclosing sexual orientation to others (family, friends, colleagues)
  • Adjusting to others after disclosing sexual orientation
  • Body image concerns, appearance (clothing changes, hair, etc.), and “passing”
  • Intersecting identities (race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender identity)
  • Discrimination in legislative policies and workplace settings
  • Harassment and bullying

 As I have undergone my graduate training in counseling psychology, I can’t help but feel like these issues aren’t addressed enough.

Given that these issues are highly complex and very intricately exclusive to this population, each of these concepts will be addressed in future blog posts to facilitate an open and honest conversation about sexual identity issues in the counseling setting. I hope to not only address these issues on a platform that enables positive identity formation, but to also bridge the gap between clients and therapists when these issues are brought to the session to increase the probability of successful treatment. 

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to contact me via email (ambmshee@gmail.com). 

 

 

Amber Sheets