Affirming Counselling

Six questions to ask to gauge if your mental health provider is 2SLGBTQ+ affirming

1. Do you regularly work with 2SLGBTQ+ people, or would I be one of the first?

  • Whether or not you want to be one of the first 2SLGBTQ+ individuals a provider has worked with is up to you, but it may offer information about your provider's work experience and expertise relating to 2SLGBTQ+ individuals.

2. Does your office have gender-inclusive bathrooms?

  • Whether or not gender-inclusive bathrooms are important to you, how your provider answers this question can tell if they are an ally or not.

3. Do you have any 2SLGBTQ+ employees on staff?

  • Not all workplaces will and not all people feel comfortable being out at work. How your provider answers this question may be telling.

4. Have you taken any professional development on best practices to support 2SLGBTQ+ people?

  • Looking for a provider who has taken professional development can indicate they are familiar with 2SLGBTQ+ experiences. Taking professional development does not guarantee that the provider will be completely affirming.

5. I struggle with _____________________, do you have experience working with that?

  • No provider knows everything about every experience. You can ask your provider if they have any experience working with what you are seeking support for. For example, “I am struggling with my gender identity, do you have any experience working with that?”

6. Are you aware of the challenges 2SLGBTQ+ people are facing?

  • An affirming provider will be aware of barriers and discrimination 2SLGBTQ+ people face and will be prepared to discuss the impacts of those barriers in session.

You can also gauge if your provider is 2SLGBTQ+ affirming by looking at their website and seeing if; they indicate they work with 2SLBGTQ+ folks, if they put their pronouns in their bio, or if they have a pride flag in their office.