LGBTQIA+ Therapy for Gay Men in Vancouver

Takeaway: If you’re a gay man looking for affirming, high-quality mental health care, we can help. Our LGBTQIA-affirming therapists in Vancouver have specialized training and lived experience navigating issues that gay men face. Get in touch today to start the process.

Are you on a quest to find a counsellor who truly understands your experiences as a gay man? Many turn to us when they find themselves grappling with mental health concerns on their own or when previous therapy hasn’t been LGBTQ-affirming. Perhaps you’re seeking a counsellor who respects and deeply comprehends the nuances of 2SLGBTQIA+ issues.

Our counsellors go beyond being “gay friendly.” They’re passionately 2SLGBTQIA+ affirming. We use counselling methods that are both trauma-informed and queer-affirming and are well-versed in the interplay of sexual orientation, gender identity, and mental health.

Are you searching for LGBTQ counselling in Vancouver, BC, but have questions about the counselling process? We’re here to help answer your questions below and guide you toward finding the right counsellor for your needs.

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Celebrating language diversity and acronym usage:

As we strive to honour and uplift the spectrum of identities in the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, we recognize the significance and impact of language and how it represents us.

This page contains various words and acronyms representing the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. Our preference for the acronym “2SLGBTQIA+” is rooted in its inclusivity. Yet, we are mindful that identity language is ever-changing and deeply personal. For these reasons, we’ve used different versions of the 2SLGBTQIA+ acronym on this page. We aim to ensure that everyone feels welcomed and supported regardless of their preferred terms in their search for affirming counselling.

Our commitment is to validate and respect each person’s path as they seek a therapist who genuinely connects with and understands their experiences.

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Our approach to queer-affirmative counselling for gay men in Vancouver

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After recognizing a gap in the availability of specialized mental health services for gay men, we established The Centre for Gay Counselling, a queer-owned and run online counselling community and private practice. Our mission is to offer exceptional mental health support specifically designed to meet the needs of queer men.

Our team of clinical counsellors is enthusiastically 2SLGBTQIA+ affirming. We believe that being gay is good and valid and that it’s essential to recognize and celebrate the inherent value of LGBTQ individuals. In addition, our counsellors have specialized training and experience in therapeutic practices tailored to the needs of 2SLGBTQIA+ folks.

While our primary focus is on queer men, our counselling services are inclusive. We welcome anyone who feels they could benefit from our expertise. Our therapists have a broad range of experience, including working with the unique challenges of queer individuals in general, trans folks, non-binary folx, people with 2SLGBTQIA+ family members, and LGBTQ community allies.

Our clinicians adopt various therapeutic approaches and philosophies. In your initial sessions, you’ll have the opportunity to form a connection with your therapist, explore different therapy modalities, and jointly decide on the focus of your therapy.

We use some of the following therapeutic approaches:

An approach for fostering a more beneficial relationship with oneself, IFS is particularly effective in dealing with complex trauma (CPTSD), navigating relationships, feelings of shame, and identity issues.

This method is used to process and move past specific traumatic life challenges that feel stuck.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT):

A form of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), ACT is well-supported by research and effective in addressing issues like anxiety, depression, stress, and understanding your values.

This approach offers a safe and respectful environment to explore sexual issues and sexuality. It’s affirming for individuals of any gender identity and expression. Queer clients often find sex therapy beneficial, particularly due to it being non-pathologizing and its sensitivity toward all forms of social justice.

No matter which counselling methods you and your therapist choose, all approaches used by our psychotherapists are grounded in trauma-informed care, are fully supportive of queer identity and are completely non-judgmental.

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Meet our highly-rated gay therapists in Vancouver

Embarking on the path to personal growth is a unique and individual experience, and connecting with the right counsellor is essential. We invite you to meet our team of clinical counsellors below to discover the one who aligns best with your needs.

Jordan Gruenhage Canada Gay Counsellor Therapist

Jordan Gruenhage

(he/him) • MA, CCC, RCC

🖥️ Exclusively online

🗓️ Accepting new clients

Jordan has spent over ten years engaging in work, education, and training focused on the unique challenges and experiences of gay men. He is a Registered Clinical Counsellor with the British Columbia Association of Clinical Counsellors, a Canadian Certified Counselor, and holds a Master of Arts degree in counselling psychology. He is known for bringing a sense of warmth and playfulness to his work, supporting clients so that they can have a safe space while addressing mental health concerns.

Jordan excels at helping queer men understand their feelings better, heal from trauma, and grow a greater sense of self-worth. He is particularly skilled at offering support with complex trauma related to shame, self-esteem, self-acceptance, family of origin, identity, sexual orientation, sexual identities, 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 with the British Columbia Association of Clinical Counsellors and a Registered Social Worker with over eight years of extensive experience across hospital and mental health settings, including specialized roles in HIV and trans health clinics. He approaches therapy with a warm, non-judgmental, and shame-free style to create a safe and inclusive space for addressing mental health concerns.

Victor specializes in helping queer men who struggle with anxiety, stress, and overwhelm. His practical and confident approach toward helping clients with anxiety helps to reduce the anxiety around the counselling process itself while also empowering clients to find freedom from anxiety in their everyday lives.

Victor also has specialized training in sex therapy, which means he is outstanding at offering clients support with concerns related to sex, sexuality, sexual orientation, and sexual identities. Additionally, his professional training in sex therapy enables him to sensitively support the mental health concerns of sex workers who are members of the LGBTQ community.

Why choose the Centre for Gay Counselling?

Curious to see if our practice matches your unique needs? Explore why The Centre for Gay Counselling could be the right choice for you.

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  • You want a counselling approach that’s 2SLGBTQIA+ affirming.

    • We believe that being 2SLGBTQIA+ affirming involves much more than the extensive training and experience our counsellors have in working with queer individuals. It’s about fully recognizing and celebrating each person’s inherent worth and authenticity, not merely accepting or tolerating them. We approach our work with the understanding that the diversity of gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation enriches life and is not a disorder or moral failing.
    • Our commitment to being 2SLGBTQIA+ affirming is dynamic and continuous. Our psychotherapists actively engage with members of the LGBTQ community, enriching their practice with plentiful resources and perspectives. We sustain vital relationships with service organizations in Vancouver, BC and the broader Canadian LGBTQ community. Keeping up to date with the latest research in 2SLGBTQIA+ mental health and staying connected with queer culture are essential aspects of our ongoing dedication to this work.
  • You want to collaborate in your counselling so that you get lasting results.

    • We believe approaching therapy holistically is essential for creating sustainable and enduring change. We’re dedicated to helping you tackle difficult situations in the present and process issues from the past so that you get lasting growth.
    • Our most successful clients have consistently demonstrated a commitment to active collaboration in their therapy, applying resources beyond sessions, and adopting a big-picture approach to sustaining their mental health. Ultimately, our goal is to enable our clients to feel confident and capable of maintaining their mental health long-term.
  • You want to benefit from the lived experience of your counsellor.

    • Our counsellors have lived experience with the specific areas they focus on in counselling. This experience ensures that your therapist will truly understand your situation, providing support grounded in a profound grasp of the distinct challenges and relationships that queer individuals often face.
    • We consider it crucial that our therapists’ personal experiences enhance, rather than interfere, with your therapy journey. Therefore, each counsellor in our private practice participates in regular clinical consultation and personal counselling to ensure they are at their best to support your wellbeing.

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

We aim to assist as many members of the LGBTQ community as we can, recognizing that matching each person’s unique needs with the right counsellor is vital. To help you make an informed choice, we’ve outlined some signs that suggest you might find a more suitable match with a different counselling practice.

  • You want in-person therapy.

    • Our private practice is exclusively online. While we wish we could support the LGBTQ community (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) both online and in person, our psychotherapists provide counselling solely through teletherapy.

    • While research demonstrates that teletherapy 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, teletherapy may not be suitable. Finally, online counselling won’t be effective if you don’t have a private and safe space to do your counselling sessions.

  • You want a counsellor to solve all your problems for you quickly.

    • The allure of finding a therapist who seems to have all the answers and instant solutions, especially during times of distress, is understandable. While we’d love to offer immediate relief, the truth is that enduring and meaningful progress in counselling often requires a different approach. Lasting benefits typically emerge when a client commits to a sustained counselling process and regularly integrates the resources and perspectives gained in sessions into their everyday life.

  • You want a counselling approach that isn’t 2SLGBTQIA+ affirming.

    • We understand that sometimes when folks feel ashamed of their sexual orientation, sexuality, gender identity, or gender expression, they might want a counsellor who will reflect the negative ideas they’ve received about their identities from families, relationships, institutions, or society. When you’ve grown up in a society or with families who tell you that being a 2SLGBTQIA+ person (Two-Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual) is wrong, internalized discrimination of some kind is inevitable. Yet, research has shown that approaches which promote these prejudices are so damaging that these practices are banned in Canada.

    • If you’re feeling disconnected from yourself and have painful feelings about any behaviours or identities that you’d like to explore in therapy, our psychotherapists have found that a 2SLGBTQIA+ affirming therapy approach that emphasizes self-acceptance is the most effective way to support clients.

lgbt therapist vancouver

FAQs about working with a queer-affirming therapist in Vancouver

Is counselling free in BC?

Depending on your insurance coverage, you can receive counselling for free or at a reduced cost. Clients are billed after each session through their credit card and given a receipt with their counsellor’s professional registration information, which may be eligible for reimbursement. For many clients, counselling is effectively free or low-cost once reimbursed through an insurance provider.

In addition, indigenous folks in BC may be eligible for free counselling with our FNHA approved mental health provider, Victor Wakarchuk (RCC, MSW, RSW). We provide direct billing to First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) for people with counselling coverage through FNHA.

How can I find a psychologist in Vancouver?

If you’re searching for an LGBTQ therapist in Vancouver, you might be feeling confused about the differences between a registered psychotherapist, registered clinical counsellor, psychologist, registered therapeutic counsellor, psychiatrist, family counselling professional, and registered social worker. All of these mental health professionals may provide counselling in British Columbia.

The main difference between mental health professionals is their training and the rules they follow from their professional groups. Additionally, if you plan to use insurance for counselling, your plan might only cover certain types of mental health professionals.

When searching for a gay therapist in downtown Vancouver, BC, or elsewhere in Canada, remember that the best match with a counsellor isn’t just about their location, title, or qualifications. It’s also about finding someone who feels right for you. And because we offer virtual therapy, each counsellor in our queer-owned private practice can meet with you wherever you are in BC.

Why is LGBTQIA+ affirmative counselling important?

Queer-affirming counselling is critical because it helps to heal from the not-so-great stuff 2SLGBTQIA+ folks might hear about their 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.

In Vancouver, and Canada more generally, folks in the 2SLGBTQIA+ community often have a more challenging time with mental health compared to straight people. Studies have found that discriminatory messages and lack of acceptance from other people are the main reasons why queer people face more challenges with mental wellbeing.

Studies on gay affirmative counselling have shown that it’s helpful for queer individuals because it offers adults the safe and inclusive space that they may not have received growing up through various life transitions.

Heal from your past with the help of our gay-affirming therapists in Vancouver

We wholeheartedly believe in the value and potential of every person in the 2SLGBTQIA+ community to lead a joyful and rewarding life. Our goal is to guide you towards greater self-acceptance with affirming 2SLGBTQIA+ therapy.

Every day, our clients’ resilience and stories inspire us. It’s a true honour to assist our 2SLGBTQIA+ peers with improving their lives and relationships while helping to make life easier and just overall more enjoyable.

Feeling ready to take the first step? Simply click the button below to book a free 15 minute phone consultation with one of our counsellors. It’s a chance to get to know your therapist and start working on a plan to make things better for you.

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