LGBTQ, Religion, and Spirituality

Posted by Sean Oakley, LCSW on Oct 12, 2018 3:19:10 PM
Sean Oakley, LCSW

Many people think that LGBTQ identities and religion don’t mix but this is very far from the truth! Sure, many dogmatic religions can cause significant trauma to LGBTQ individuals with non-welcoming beliefs. However, there are many safe spiritual spaces for LGBTQ people.

First, it is helpful to differentiate between spirituality and religion. Religion is defined as the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods. Spirituality is defined as the quality of being concerned with the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things. Religion, therefore, is one way to express spirituality.

Many LGBTQ people reject religion completely and they may identify as atheist or agnostic. Some of these individuals may also develop spiritual practices such as meditation or spending time in nature, getting in touch with the “something greater.” Others may mix and match, attending traditional religious services while doing yoga and meditation on their own time. Some LGBTQ people attend traditional services and church communities because they connect with the religious messages and the social aspect of church. Some report that church is one place where they do not feel sexualized (as opposed to gay clubs or bars).

There are many spiritual paths.  The goal is to find what works for you. Spirituality is a major aspect of life and it plays a major role in mental health. It can be important to discuss your spiritual beliefs with your therapist. Spirituality can provide support and stability in tough times as well as maintenance of a peaceful mind. All religions and spiritual expressions are welcome at Wellspring. The therapists here at Wellspring are here for YOU. We have many clergy members as clients as well as atheists, Buddhists, gay people, trans people and many more. All are welcome here at Wellspring because everyone deserves great mental health and an accepting therapist!

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Topics: LGBT Anxiety, Anxiety in Men, Anxiety in Women, Religious Abuse, Self Care

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