GSRD

Andy Garland Therapies - Counselling Cardiff - Mental Health Services Cardiff - Cardiff Therapists

Gender, Sexuality & Relationship Diversity therapy (GSRD) is aimed specifically at the needs of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning individuals.

Andy's experience in this area provides treatment that is sensitive to the specific needs of those patients, and is offered in a safe, non-judgemental environment, as all therapies' are.

GSRD is to a high-degree the same as any other therapeutic intervention. The difference is the knowledge, understanding and training that supports these communities. The requirements of a patient identifying or establishing themselves as gender and sexual diverse, can be vastly different from other patients presenting with similar conditions.

coming-out as lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, questioning/queer + (lgbtq+)

Andy has specific expertise in the 'coming-out' or discovery phase of lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, questioning/queer + (LGBTQ+) patients. Many people find that coming out is a positive experience.

However, coming to terms with confusion about identity can have both positive and negative effects on many aspects of a person's life, including social relationships, school or work, and self-esteem.

Coming out can be a difficult time; many LGBTQ+ people fear negative reactions, rejection and upsetting people they are close to. In many parts of the world strong cultural attitudes and discriminatory laws make coming out even harder. Despite the obstacles faced by LGBTQ+ people, every day more people around the world make the decision to come out.

Andy Garland Therapies - Counselling Cardiff - Mental Health Services Cardiff - Cardiff Therapists

Different people cope with the emotional upheaval of identity confusion in various ways. Some people who think they are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, queer + will try to deny it to themselves and even seek help to eradicate their feelings.

A person might try to avoid thoughts and feelings which may confirm they are homosexual for example, or ignore inclinations which they don't feel are acceptable for their biological sex. This can make it hard for LGBTQ+ people to seek information and support.

LGBTQ+ people can be at a higher risk of experiencing a mental health problem than the wider population. If you are LGBTQ+ and have experienced mental health issues, you are not alone. The reasons for this are complex and not yet fully understood.

However, mental health problems experienced by LGBTQ+ people have been linked to discrimination, bullying, homophobia, biphobia or transphobia.

You might also experience rejection, negative reactions or hostility from family members, friends, strangers, employers or members of the religious community. This can have a big impact on your self-esteem and mean you might feel unable to be open about your sexual or gender identity at work, at home or in the world at large.

Andy Garland Therapies - Counselling Cardiff - Mental Health Services Cardiff - Cardiff Therapists - chemsex

chemsex - related mental health issues on the rise

Chemsex is a term commonly used by Gay men and Men who have sex with Men (MSM) to describe the use of certain drugs in a sexual context. It is a very specific form of drug use and is defined by the use of three drugs ('chems'):

- Methamphetamine (Crystal/Crystal Meth/Tina/Meth)
- Mephedrone (Meph/Drone)
- Gammahydroxybutyrate/Gammabutyrolactone (GHB/GBL, G, Gina)

Chemsex usually involves using one or more of these three drugs, in any combination, to facilitate or enhance sex. The heightened sexual focus experienced by participants enables more extreme sex, for longer periods and unsafe sex practices are common. While in the UK Chemsex activity has been around for a number of years, recent research has shown that it is on the increase.

The drugs that are typically used for chemsex have a range of mood-altering effects, as well as significant risks to the user. They include: GHB or GBL: GHB (gammahydroxybutrate) and GBL (gammabutyrolactone) have sedative and anaesthetic effects. They are used at chemsex parties to reduce sexual inhibitions and bring about euphoria and drowsiness.

Accidental death is a risk because people can 'go under' when using the drug - experiencing fits, slipping into a coma or suffering respiratory arrest. Accidental overdose is a serious risk because the drug comes in liquid or powder form; sometimes potency is very unclear and it's easy to make errors or take risks with dosage.

It's also easy to get addicted if people use GHB or GHL frequently. If physical addiction develops, then withdrawal symptoms can include anxiety, shaking, sweating and insomnia. In extreme cases, people need to dose every hour in order to prevent the onset of severe withdrawal symptoms. With GHB or GBL addiction, it's strongly advised to seek medical support or addiction treatment, to manage detoxification safely and rehabilitate effectively.

Andy Garland Therapies - Counselling Cardiff - Mental Health Services Cardiff - Cardiff Therapists - LGBTQ+

a safe place to talk

LGBTQ+ individuals experience depression at a rate of one in every three people. Furthermore, 31.4% of transgender and gender non-conforming people have been diagnosed with depression. Although, this number may be influenced by disparities in care and a common fear that they will be discriminated against or even put in danger. For further information on transgender and gender non-confirming CLICK HERE.

Andy offers an environment where you can share your thoughts and express your feelings in a safe non-judgmental way. No pressure is put on the patient to reveal or disclose information.

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