LGBTQIA+ Therapy for Gay Men in Calgary

Takeaway: We’re intimately familiar with the struggles that fellow gay men face. Our LGBTQIA-affirming therapists in Calgary are dedicated to providing a safe, virtual space where you can get the high-quality support you need–and deserve.

Are you searching for a therapist you feel comfortable with as a gay man? People often seek our help when they struggle to solve their problems alone. They also come to us after they’ve felt stuck in therapy that isn’t LGBT-affirmative. They want a counsellor who is comfortable with and understands 2SLGBTQIA+ issues.

Our gay therapists aren’t just “gay friendly,” they’re gay-affirming. Our therapists use trauma-informed and affirming counselling approaches. They understand the complexities of sexual orientation, gender identity, and mental health.

If you need an LGBTQ therapist in Calgary, you may have questions about finding one. We’ll answer your questions below to help you find the right therapist.

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Embracing diversity in language and our approach to acronyms:

In our journey to celebrate and support the diverse tapestry of identities within the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, we understand the power of language and representation.

On this page, you’ll find various acronyms used to describe the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. While “2SLGBTQIA+” is our chosen term for its’ inclusivity, we acknowledge that the language of identity is constantly evolving and unique to each individual. That’s why we’ve included different variations of this acronym. This approach ensures that everyone can find a welcoming space with us regardless of how they search for support.

We’re here to affirm and embrace each unique journey in the quest for an affirmative therapist who truly understands.

Our approach to LGBTQIA+ affirmative counselling for gay men in Calgary

We founded The Centre for Gay Counselling because we realized that there was a need for more high-quality mental health services designed specifically for gay men.

Our counsellors are 2SLGBTQIA+ affirming. This means that we believe there’s nothing wrong with being gay and that it’s essential for LGBTQ individuals to have their inherent worth affirmed. It also means that our counsellors have advanced training and experience working therapeutically with gay men.

While we specialize in working with gay men, our counselling services are for anyone who thinks they may benefit from working with one of our counsellors. Our therapists are also experienced in working with LGBTQ clients in general, family members of 2SLGBTQIA+ folks, and 2SLGBTQIA+ allies.

Our clinicians use a variety of approaches and philosophies in their work. At the start, you and your therapist will get to know each other, discuss which type of therapy may be a good fit, and agree on a focus.

We use some of the following approaches with our clients:

IFS is an approach for building a better relationship with yourself. IFS is also particularly powerful for addressing complex relational trauma, parts of yourself you feel ashamed about, and identity concerns.

EMDR is a method for working through specific traumatic life experiences that feel stuck.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT):

ACT is a form of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) with significant research to support its effectiveness. ACT is applicable for working on topics such as anxiety, depression, stress and overwhelm.

Sex Therapy:

Sex therapy is a respectful approach to safely navigating issues related to sex and sexuality. It’s an affirming therapy for people of all gender identities and any gender expression. Many LGBTQ individuals find that sex therapy helps them feel safe to explore their sexuality because it’s also kink-aware and nonpathologizing.

Regardless of the type of therapy you decide on with your counsellor, all the therapeutic approaches our therapists use are trauma-informed, queer-affirming, and non-judgmental.

Meet our highly-rated gay therapists in Calgary

The journey to personal growth is deeply personal, and finding a counsellor with whom you resonate is crucial. Explore our team of counsellors below to find a connection that feels just right for you.

Jordan Gruenhage Canada Gay Counsellor Therapist

Jordan Gruenhage

(he/him) • MA, CCC, RCC

🖥️ Exclusively online

🗓️ Accepting new clients

Jordan is a Registered Clinical Counsellor and Canadian Certified Counselor who has dedicated over a decade to research and specialized training focused on the unique challenges and experiences of queer men. He brings a sense of warmth, safety, and playfulness to his work that can be incredibly reassuring for new clients as they explore their mental health concerns.

Jordan specializes in helping gay men understand their feelings better, heal from past trauma, and grow their sense of self-worth. He is exceptionally skilled at offering support with trauma processing related to shame, self-esteem, family of origin, identity, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

Victor Wakarchuk Canada Gay Counsellor Therapist

Victor Wakarchuk

(he/him) • RCC, MSW, RSW

🖥️ Exclusively online

🗓️ Accepting new clients

Victor is a Registered Clinical Counsellor and Registered Social Worker with over eight years of diverse professional experience in hospital and mental health environments, including specialized roles in an HIV clinic and a trans health clinic. You can expect him to approach therapy with a warm, non-judgmental, and shame-free style to help you feel safe when exploring your challenges.

Victor excels at helping queer men struggling with anxiety, stress, and overwhelm. In addition, his specialized training in sex therapy means he is outstanding at offering support with concerns related to sex and sexuality.

Why choose the Centre for Gay Counselling?

Wondering if our practice aligns with your unique needs? Discover the key reasons to choose The Centre for Gay Counselling for your journey.

lgbt therapist calgary
  • You want a 2SLGBTQIA+ affirming therapy approach.

    • Being 2SLGBTQIA+ affirming goes beyond the large amount of training and experience our counsellors have working with LGBTQ individuals. It means that we affirm the legitimacy and value of folks’ gender identity and sexual orientation (not just accept or tolerate it). We work from the perspective that however you identify, diversity in gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation is a valuable part of life and is not pathological.
    • We believe that being 2SLGBTQIA+ affirming is an active and ongoing process, so our counsellors continually engage with the larger LGBTQ community to bring abundant resources and understanding to their work. We maintain meaningful connections with service providers in the larger Canadian LGBTQ community, stay informed on the latest 2SLGBTQIA+ mental health research, and stay up to date on queer culture.
  • You want to collaborate with your counsellor to get lasting results from counselling.

    • We’re dedicated to helping LGBTQ clients create beneficial change for life by approaching therapy holistically. We address issues in the present and resolve issues from the past to help you carry your growth into the future.
    • Our clients who have gotten the best outcomes have been committed to participating collaboratively in their counselling and taking an expansive and long-term perspective toward maintaining their mental health. Ultimately, we aim to empower LGBTQ individuals so that they feel equipped to maintain their mental health for the rest of their lives.
  • You want a counsellor with lived experience.

    • Our counsellors have lived experience with the counselling topics they specialize in. You can be confident that your counsellor will really “get it” and can offer support from a deep understanding of what it means to work through the nuances of feelings and relationships that an LGBTQ individual might face.
    • We believe it’s vital for our lived experience to support rather than detract from your counselling. So, all of our counsellors engage in ongoing clinical consultation and personal counselling so that they are at their best to support your mental health journey.

When the Centre for Gay Counselling may not be the best fit for you

We aspire to support as many LGBTQ individuals as possible and understand the importance of finding the right fit for everyone’s needs. To guide you in your decision, here are some indicators that another counselling practice may better suit your journey.

  • You’re looking for in-person counselling.

    • Our counselling services are provided exclusively online. While we wish we could support the LGBTQ community both online and in person, our therapists work solely through teletherapy.
    • Although research shows that online counselling is just as effective as in-person counselling, there may be some reasons that teletherapy isn’t the right fit for you. For example, if you frequently experience psychosis or suicidal thoughts, online counselling may not be as effective. Lastly, if you don’t have a safe and private space from which to do your counselling sessions, online counselling will not be effective.
  • You want a therapist to “fix” you quickly.

    • We know that when you’re in distress and don’t know what to do, it’s appealing to imagine a therapist who can tell you what to do and fix all your problems quickly. We wish we had a magic wand to help people instantly, but this isn’t the reality of how to get lasting results from counselling. Instead, we’ve found that our clients achieve optimal outcomes when they dedicate themselves to long-term counselling engagement and consistently apply what they’ve learned in sessions to their daily lives.

  • You don’t want a 2SLGBTQIA+ affirming therapy approach.

    • We understand that sometimes, when people feel ashamed of their sexual identity, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, they might want a counsellor who will mirror the negative messages they’ve received about their identities from institutions, society, or a family member. When you have grown up in a society or with family members who tell you that being 2SLGBTQIA+ is wrong, internalized homophobia is an understandable outcome. However, research has shown that approaches which assume being 2SLGBTQIA+ is wrong are so harmful that these practices are banned in Canada.

    • If you have feelings of pain and shame about any behaviours or identities that you’d like to work through in counselling, our counsellors have found that a 2SLGBTQIA+ affirming therapy approach is the most effective way to work through these feelings.

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FAQs about working with an LGBTQIA+ psychotherapist in Calgary

What is the difference between counsellors and psychotherapists?

If you’re searching for an LGBT therapist in Calgary, you might be feeling confused about the differences between a therapist, counsellor, psychotherapist, psychologist, and registered social worker. All of the mental health professionals mentioned above may provide counselling in Alberta.

The primary differences between these types of mental health professionals are the types of education and how a professional college may regulate each. In addition, if you want to use an insurance plan to cover the cost of counselling, you may only be covered to work with certain types of mental health professionals.

If you’re looking for an LGBT psychotherapist in Calgary, finding the right fit with a counsellor goes beyond their specific title or credential.

Does therapy really work?

  • You might still wonder if therapy works even if you’re already searching for a therapist. The good news is that there is extensive research which shows that therapy is an effective form of mental health treatment.
  • A therapist can teach you new ways to maintain your mental health, help you process trauma, and provide new perspectives. But the most crucial factor is how well you get along with your therapist. In fact, research has even shown that a good fit with your therapist significantly influences counselling outcomes.

Why is LGBTQIA+ affirmative counselling important?

2SLGBTQIA+ affirmative therapy is important because it helps to heal the impact of negative messages people receive about gender identity and sexual orientation.

2SLGBTQIA+ people in Canada struggle much more with mental health issues than straight folks. Research has shown that negative messages and lack of support from family and society are some of the primary reasons that the LGBTQ community has more significant challenges with mental wellbeing.

Research on 2SLGBTQIA+ affirmative therapy has shown that it is an effective way for LGBTQ individuals to improve their wellbeing because it offers the type of supportive environment that many 2SLGBTQIA+ folks did not receive as children.

Reclaim your sense of worth with our gay-affirming therapists in Calgary (and beyond)

We believe 2SLGBTQIA+ folks have inherent worth and deserve to live fulfilling lives. We’re dedicated to helping you uncover more acceptance for yourself through 2SLGBTQIA+ affirming therapy.

We’re inspired daily by our clients. It’s an incredible privilege to help fellow LGBTQ folks with complex problems take the necessary steps to make their lives and relationships more fulfilling, easier, and overall better.

Ready to get started? Click the button below to schedule a free 15 minute consultation phone call with one of our counsellors so that they can get to know you better and talk about getting you some help.

lgbt psychotherapist calgary