LGBTQIA+ Therapy for Gay Men in Ottawa

Takeaway: Our LGBTQIA+ affirmative therapists recognize the need for high-quality mental health care in our community. We’re dedicated to providing a safe space for gay men to process the unique challenges they face, grow their self-esteem, and feel better overall.

Searching for a therapist who really understands you as a gay man? Many turn to us when they’re struggling to manage their challenges alone. Some clients reach out to us after trying therapy that hasn’t fully acknowledged or respected their queer identity. Often, our clients want a counsellor who isn’t just aware of common challenges in the LGBTQ community, they want someone who truly understands them.

Our counselling services go beyond “LGBT friendly therapy.” We actively support and affirm 2SLGBTQIA+ folks. Specializing in trauma-informed and validating therapy techniques, we’re adept at addressing the complexities related to sexual orientation, gender identity, and overall mental health.

If you’re looking for an LGBTQ therapist in Ottawa and have questions about starting therapy, we’re here to help. Below, we’ll answer some common questions to assist you in finding the right therapist for your unique challenges.

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Embracing diversity in language and terminology

We’re dedicated to recognizing and elevating the diverse identities within the LGBTQ community, understanding the profound role language plays in representation.

On this page, you’ll encounter various terms and acronyms used to describe the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. While we lean towards “2SLGBTQIA+” for its broader inclusiveness, we know that the terminology of identity continually evolves and is uniquely personal. So we’ve included different terms and acronyms throughout this page. We aim to ensure everyone, no matter the terms they prefer, finds a sense of belonging and support on their mental health journey.

We’re committed to affirming and honouring each individual’s journey as they find a counsellor who connects with and profoundly understands their lived experiences.

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

The Centre for Gay Counselling was founded to meet the distinct and pressing demand for specialized, high-quality mental health support services tailored for gay men.

Our counsellors uphold principles that affirm 2SLGBTQIA+ identities, prioritizing the celebration and acknowledgment of the essential worth of individuals within the LGBTQ community. Our therapists are supportive and highly skilled, with targeted training and expertise in addressing LGBTQ-specific issues.

While we primarily cater to gay men, our doors are open to all seeking support. Our LGBTQ therapists come with extensive experience working with not just individuals from the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, but also their families, friends, parents, caregivers, and peers.

In our practice, clinicians employ a range of counselling methods and philosophical approaches. From the outset, you’ll form a relationship with your counsellor, discuss various therapy methods, and decide on the primary goals for your sessions.

We use some of the following therapeutic approaches:

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 program of interventions designed to help folks connect and process specific traumatic events that feel stuck.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT):

ACT is a cognitive behavioural therapy supported by a large amount of research. It’s helpful in addressing challenges with anxiety, stress, and overwhelm.

Sex Therapy:

Sex therapy provides a safe space to explore issues related to sex and sexuality. This type of therapy is welcoming and affirming for any gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation. Sex therapy can be incredibly empowering for LGBTQ individuals who may even feel left out of the broader LGBTQ community at times, such as those who live with disabilities and non-binary folx. Moreover, people struggling with intimacy in relationships may find it helpful to work with a counsellor skilled in sex therapy.

Whichever kind of counselling you decide on with your therapist, all our counsellors use trauma-informed and anti-oppressive approaches which are judgement-free and 2SLGBTQIA-affirming.

Meet our highly-rated gay therapists in Ottawa

Starting your healing journey is a deeply personal endeavour, and finding the appropriate counsellor in an environment that feels safe and inviting is crucial. We encourage you to explore our counsellors below to find the one that feels like a good fit.

Jordan Gruenhage Canada Gay Counsellor Therapist

Jordan Gruenhage

(he/him) • MA, CCC, RCC

🖥️ Exclusively online

🗓️ Accepting new clients

Jordan has spent more than ten years engaged in research, education, and targeted training aimed at addressing the distinct issues encountered by gay men. He holds the titles of Registered Clinical Counsellor and Canadian Certified Counselor, complemented by a Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology. His approach has been described as feeling playful, warm, safe, and supportive as he helps clients with exploring their mental health.

Jordan’s expertise lies in helping gay men deepen their understanding of feelings, heal from trauma, and feel empowered in their sense of self-worth. He’s particularly adept at offering assistance for trauma related to shame, self-worth, family, religion, and 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 more than eight years of extensive experience in both hospital and mental health settings, where he’s worked in an HIV clinic and transgender health clinic. His therapeutic style is marked by warmth, respect, and openness towards clients while supporting them on their mental health journey.

Victor possesses a profound ability to help queer men navigate their struggles with anxiety, stress, and overwhelm. In addition, Victor’s specialization in sex therapy makes him highly effective in assisting clients with their concerns regarding sex and sexuality.

Why choose the Centre for Gay Counselling?

Wondering if The Centre for Gay Counselling might be a good fit? The following are some reasons our counselling practice might suit your healing journey.

  • A queer-affirming therapy approach is important to you.

    • Our commitment to 2SLGBTQIA+ affirmation extends well beyond our therapists’ comprehensive skills, education, and experience with LGBTQ clients. It involves a genuine celebration of each person’s gender identity and sexual orientation rather than mere recognition or acceptance. We believe that the diversity found in gender identities, expressions, and sexual orientations enriches society and should not be viewed as abnormal.

    • We see the journey of 2SLGBTQIA+ affirmation as continuous and ever-evolving. Our psychotherapists engage with the LGBTQ community regularly, constantly improving their methods with new insights and resources. We forge strong relationships with organizations throughout the broader 2SLGBTQIA+ community in Canada, remain informed about the latest 2SLGBTQIA+ mental health studies, and actively participate in queer cultural events.

  • You want longterm and lasting outcomes from your therapy.

    • Our dedication lies in guiding clients to significant and lasting transformation using a holistic method. Tackling current issues and recovering from historical traumas, our goal is to foster sustainable progress that endures throughout a lifetime.

    • Our most successful clients actively engage in each therapy session and adopt a broad, enduring view of their mental health. We aim to strengthen our clients, providing them with the necessary skills and assurance to cultivate enduring resilience and sustain their mental health over time.

  • You want to benefit from the lived-experience of a gay therapist.

    • Each counsellor in our queer-owned private practice brings their own life experiences to their field of specialization, enabling them to empathize and connect deeply with your situation. You can trust that your counsellor will offer you empathetic support backed by a comprehensive understanding of the complex emotional and relational dynamics commonly faced by 2SLGBTQIA+ people.

    • We hold the conviction that the personal experiences of our therapists should enhance, not detract from, your therapy experience. Therefore, all our counsellors participate in continuous clinical consultations and undergo personal therapy to ensure they are fully equipped to provide you with the highest quality of support.

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

Our mission is to assist as many individuals from the LGBTQ community as we can, recognizing how crucial it is to match every person’s unique needs with the right psychotherapist. To help in your decision-making process, we’ve listed several factors below that might indicate a different therapy practice could be a better fit for you.

  • You’re looking for a walk-in counselling clinic or community-based services in Ottawa.

    • Our therapy services are exclusively available through online platforms. Our objective is to provide assistance and support to a diverse array of 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals, utilizing teletherapy as our current mode of delivery.

    • Studies have demonstrated that online counselling can be as beneficial as traditional face-to-face therapy. Nonetheless, teletherapy might not be suitable for everyone. Individuals dealing with regular episodes of psychosis or active suicidal ideation might not find online counselling as effective. Moreover, lacking a secure and private environment for conducting therapy sessions can also diminish the success of online treatments.

    • If you’re looking for in-person support services for domestic abuse, parenting, family therapy, peer support, young adults, youth, gender diverse children, and young gender creative children, both Family Services Ottawa (Family Services Ottawa website) and have a great collection of in-person resources for Ottawa, Ontario.

  • You want instant and effortless counselling results.

    • We understand that the dream of a psychotherapist who can immediately fix all your issues is alluring during challenging times. While we wish we could offer quick fixes, enduring and meaningful therapy results often unfold more slowly. From what we’ve seen, clients tend to reach their most significant levels of success when they commit to a prolonged period of counselling and regularly integrate the insights from a counselling appointment into their everyday lives.

  • The concept of 2SLGBTQIA+ affirming therapy doesn’t feel right for you.

    • We’re aware that people feeling shame about their sexuality or gender may initially seek support that reinforces the negative views they’ve encountered from their family members or the wider community. It’s not uncommon for the stigma associated with being part of the two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual (2SLGBTQIA+) community to result in internalized homophobia. Nonetheless, studies have indicated that practices which pathologize 2SLGBTQIA+ identities are so detrimental that they have been prohibited in Canada.

    • For those navigating identity-related issues or the complexities of coming out, our therapists have found that psychotherapy which positively recognizes 2SLGBTQIA+ identities can significantly reduce such distress. This is where our “counselling-connect” approach comes into play, emphasizing a therapy journey that affirmatively acknowledges and supports each person however they identify.

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FAQs about working with a gay-affirming therapist in Ottawa

How do I find the right therapist in Ottawa?

It can be hard to know how to find a good fit after typing in “LGBTQ therapist Ottawa” and looking at the vast amount of search results. Understanding the various titles like Registered Psychotherapist, Registered Psychotherapist Qualifying, Registered Clinical Counsellor, Canadian Certified Counsellor, or Registered Social Worker can be overwhelming. The key differences between these mental health professionals stem from their unique educational backgrounds and the standards enforced by their respective regulatory bodies and associations. Additionally, when thinking about utilizing insurance for counselling services, remember that your plan may only include coverage for sessions with specific types of mental health practitioners.

In your search for gay counselling in Ottawa, remember that finding the right counsellor goes beyond their credentials or geographical location. It’s crucial to choose someone with whom you feel a personal connection. Thanks to our online counselling services, any of our therapists can support you anywhere in Ontario or across Canada.

How much does private therapy cost in Ottawa?

Counselling requires a significant investment of time, energy, and finances. So it’s essential to ensure strong compatibility between you and your counsellor to maximize your personal investment. In Ottawa, the price for counselling sessions can range from $100 to $300, typically averaging between $150 and $200 per session.

Your insurance plan might enable you to access these services at no charge or for a reduced fee. Following each session, we bill via credit card and provide a receipt that includes the counsellor’s professional registration information. This receipt often qualifies for insurance reimbursements. As a result, many clients find that their therapy sessions are effectively free or low-cost after insurance is applied.

Why is LGBTQIA+ affirmative counselling important?

Therapy that positively reinforces 2SLGBTQIA+ identities is crucial for counteracting the adverse effects of societal biases and misconceptions regarding gender and sexuality.

Members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community in Canada face more severe mental health challenges compared to their heterosexual counterparts. Studies have identified that a lack of supportive resources and negative perceptions from both society and family are significant contributors to the increased mental health issues observed in LGBTQ folks.

Studies on therapy that support 2SLGBTQIA+ identities demonstrate its effectiveness in enhancing mental health for LGBTQ individuals. This type of therapeutic approach provides a supportive and affirming setting, something that many in the 2SLGBTQIA+ community might have missed out on in their youth.

Get in touch today to start working with one of our gay-affirmative counsellors in Ottawa

We’re deeply committed to recognizing the inherent value of people in the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and believe they deserve lives filled with joy while being true to themselves. Our mission is to guide you to greater self-acceptance by providing therapy that positively acknowledges and supports your identity.

We enjoy working with our clients and the daily inspiration from this work. It’s an honour assisting fellow 2SLGBTQIA+ folks as they navigate their personal obstacles and find more fulfilling ways to experience life.

Ready to begin? Click the button below to arrange a free 15 minute phone consultation with one of our counsellors. This conversation allows them to understand your needs more clearly and explore how we can provide support.

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