Anxiety Counselling for Gay Men

Are you a gay man who feels overwhelmed with anxiety and stress? Maybe you’ve even had a panic attack recently. If you’ve been looking for anxiety therapy, you may have found the process of searching itself brings up anxious feelings. As gay men who’ve benefited from our own counselling, we know how hard it can be to find therapy for anxiety that’s 2SLGBTQIA+ affirmative, trauma-informed, and effective. That’s why our queer-owned private practice specializes in helping gay men with all types of anxiety and overwhelming emotions. We use counselling approaches that are both trauma-informed and queer-affirming and are experienced with the nuances of sexual orientation, gender identity, and mental health.

Two highly-rated anxiety therapists in Canada

Victor Wakarchuk Canada Gay Counsellor Therapist

Victor Wakarchuk

(he/him) • RCC, MSW, RSW

With over eight years of extensive experience in both hospital and mental health care settings, including HIV and transgender health clinics, Victor brings a wealth of knowledge to his practice. His warm, nonjudgmental, and respectful approach creates a safe and open environment for clients to navigate their mental health challenges.

Victor is highly skilled in helping 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals manage anxiety, stress, and overwhelm, making him a valuable ally in their journey toward mental wellness. Additionally, his extensive training in sex therapy allows him to provide sensitive and nuanced support to queer men dealing with anxiety related to sexual health and intimacy issues.

  • Credentials: Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC) and Registered Social Worker (RSW) in British Columbia, Ontario, and Alberta.

  • Education: Master of Social Work (MSW), Intensive Sex Therapy Training Program through the University of Guelph, and completing the Sexual Health Certificate Program (Sex Therapy Track) through the University of Michigan.

  • Locations served: VancouverVictoriaTorontoOttawaMontrealCalgary, & Edmonton.

  • Specialty areas: Anxiety/stress, gay men’s mental health, 2SLGBTQIA+ mental health, sexual orientation, and sex/intimacy concerns.

Jordan Gruenhage Canada Gay Counsellor Therapist

Jordan Gruenhage

(he/him) • MA, CCC, RCC

With over ten years of specialized training and research focused on 2SLGBTQIA+ mental health, Jordan is committed to addressing the unique mental health challenges faced by gay men. He fosters a warm, safe, playful therapy environment that helps clients feel at ease.

Jordan specializes in approaching anxiety through deepening emotional understanding, healing from past traumas, and helping clients to grow their sense of self-worth. His approach ensures that clients feel supported and empowered throughout their therapeutic journey.

  • Credentials: Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC) and Canadian Certified Counsellor (CCC).

  • Education: Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology, IFS Level 1, EMDR Basic Training, and Level 1 and 2 Gottman Method Couples Therapy.

  • Locations served: VancouverVictoriaTorontoOttawaMontrealCalgary, & Edmonton.

  • Specialty areas: Anxiety/stress, emotion regulation, trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), complex PTSD (CPTSD), gay men’s mental health, 2SLGBTQIA+ mental health, sexual orientation, self-worth, self-esteem, family of origin issues, and shame.

Anxiety counselling services we offer:

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT):

ACT is a form of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) that is well-supported by research and effective in addressing issues like anxiety, stress, depression and overwhelm. ACT takes a direct and practical approach to exploring anxiety disorders and anxiety symptoms to reduce anxiety symptoms quickly.

IFS is an approach for fostering a better relationship with oneself. It’s an effective treatment for anxiety and overwhelm related to PTSD/trauma and complex trauma (CPTSD). IFS is useful for all people who want to get to know themselves better with a trauma-informed method and is a helpful non-pathologizing approach to treat borderline personality disorder (BPD).

EMDR helps reduce anxiety symptoms that feel stuck and are caused by specific traumatic events. In addition, EMDR has been shown through many randomized controlled trial studies to have high success rates for treating anxiety. Simply put, EMDR is helpful for anxiety that is caused by posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and trauma.

Sex therapy is a safe and respectful approach to exploring anxiety related to sex and sexuality. Many 2SLGBTQIA+ folks find sex therapy helpful for exploring overwhelming feelings related to sexual orientation, sexuality, gender identity, and gender expression because it’s non-judgemental while also being sex-positive.

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FAQs about anxiety therapy

How do I know if I have anxiety?

Symptoms and diagnoses are the two main ways to know if you have anxiety.

A medical or clinical psychology professional may diagnose you with any of the following anxiety disorders/mental disorders from the diagnostic and statistical manual (DSM): generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder, specific phobias such as social phobia, agoraphobia, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), or other stress-related disorders. In addition, one of the common childhood anxiety disorders that can also be included in adult anxiety disorders is separation anxiety disorder.

Some common symptoms of psychiatric disorders related to anxiety include panic attacks, social anxiety, excessive worrying, overthinking/rumination, procrastination, social phobia, rapid heart rate/palpitations, rapid/shallow breathing/hyperventilating, muscle tension, headaches, feeling lightheaded or dizzy, feeling restless, insomnia, obsessive-compulsive tendencies, reduced libido/sex-drive, nausea, sweating, and other physical symptoms.

What does a counsellor do for anxiety?

Counsellors or other mental health professionals can help you to identify triggers for anxiety, identify if medication may be appropriate, teach you tools for managing anxiety, use systematic desensitization to reduce anxiety related to feared outcomes, and process trauma that may be at the root of your anxiety.

Typically, a therapist will first assess the history and patterns associated with your anxiety and also ask what strategies you’ve already tried to manage anxiety. After an initial assessment, a counsellor may teach you skills for reduced anxiety, such as progressive muscle relaxation (PMR), mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), deep breathing, relaxation techniques, cognitive restructuring, and other cognitive therapy and behavior therapy techniques.

A mental health professional will also consider the impact of physical health on your anxiety and may recommend a doctor or psychiatrist assess you to see if medications such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) could help your anxiety.

Lastly, a therapist may review your history for traumatic experiences and use different types of anxiety exposure therapy and trauma-informed treatment approaches to process past trauma to overcome anxiety.

What counselling is best for anxiety?

The most common counselling approach for treating anxiety disorders is cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT). Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a highly effective and evidence-based form of CBT that we have found to be very helpful for clients with intense anxiety. CBT can also include different types of exposure therapy, such as virtual reality exposure therapy, which can be effective for OCD and phobias.

However, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is not the only psychological treatment for severe anxiety. Other psychological treatments/approaches for anxiety disorders can include interpersonal therapy, psychoanalytic therapy, psychodynamic therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Sex Therapy, Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS), and Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR).

The therapy for anxiety which is most effective will depend on your anxiety symptoms and the source of your anxiety. At The Centre for Gay Counselling, we successfully use a combination of ACT, Sex Therapy, IFS, and EMDR to treat anxiety for our 2SLGBTQIA+ clients.

How do I get free anxiety help in Canada?

You may be eligible for free or reduced-cost counselling, depending on your insurance plan. After each session, our clients are billed via credit card and provided with a receipt that includes their counsellor’s professional registration details, which may qualify for insurance reimbursement. As a result, many of our clients find that counselling becomes free or very affordable once their insurance provider reimburses them.

Indigenous folks in BC might also qualify for free counselling with Victor Wakarchuk (RCC, MSW, RSW), our FNHA-approved mental health provider. We offer direct billing to First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) for those with FNHA counselling coverage.

Additionally, here is a list of 2SLGBTQIA+ affirming counselling programs across Canada which offer free counselling support:

Our counsellors are here to help you find relief from anxiety.

We’re passionately dedicated to offering queer-affirming and trauma-informed anxiety therapy for gay men. We believe everyone deserves to live a fulfilling life while being true to themselves. We aim to help you achieve greater well-being and self-acceptance through counselling that genuinely respects your identity and acknowledges your uniqueness.

We draw constant inspiration from our clients and feel honoured to work alongside them. Our greatest joy comes from supporting our 2SLGBTQIA+ peers in overcoming obstacles and moving towards a more fulfilling life.

Ready to begin? Click the button below to schedule a free 15-minute phone consultation with one of our therapists. This initial conversation will allow us to understand your concerns and determine the best way to support you.