Casa Offers Specialized Treatment for LGBTQIA+ Clients

For decades, the abbreviation “LGBT” sufficed to accommodate those of a lesbian, gay, and bisexual sexual orientation and transgender identity. This acronym now includes queer, intersex, asexual, etc., with the goal of being more inclusive and acknowledging the spectrum of sexual preferences, gender identities, and forms of gender expression that exist within the LGBTQIA+ community. In the world of addiction and mental health treatment, a recently expanded understanding of the community has also led to more inclusiveness and acceptance. Improvements and specialization in treatment for LGBTQIA+ individuals have materialized as a result of these advances. At Casa Recovery, our approach to treating LGBTQIA+ clients is unique for a number of reasons, such as the likelihood of being chronically exposed to traumatization and disparities in health care. Through compassionate, informed, and client-focused care, we strive to help groups that are particularly vulnerable to mental health disorders and substance abuse.

How Stigmatization Can Lead to Mental Health Disorders & Addiction

Due to their sexual preferences and self-identity, LGBTQIA+ individuals can face overwhelming social pressure from loved ones, friends, and colleagues that can be stressful and isolating. Others experience verbal and/or physical acts of hostility from strangers, putting their mental and physical health in jeopardy. Such experiences, especially when occurring repeatedly, can put individuals at risk of becoming traumatized and developing disorders like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. If an underlying mental condition is already present, abuse and discrimination can make the disorder worse. These individuals are also at high risk of drug or alcohol addiction. The rate of alcohol, drug, and tobacco use is highest in LGBTQIA+ populations compared to individuals in the general population, putting them at great risk of addiction and the physical and mental illnesses it triggers.  Feelings of deep shame, guilt, and even fear can lead LGBTQIA+ individuals to frequently abuse substances to numb their pain and suffering. Addictions as well as other co-occurring disorders can develop if negative thoughts and behaviors are left unresolved.

Health Disparities Affecting the LGBTQIA+ Community

Serious health concerns have been observed amongst LGBTQIA+ individuals. The following issues appear to be unevenly shared among individuals within the LGBTQIA+ community compared to individuals in the general population:

  • Lesbian and bisexual women have been found to have a higher chance of being obese.
  • Gay men, particularly in communities of color, have a higher chance of contracting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) like HIV.
  • Transgender persons are at a high risk of mental health problems. One study showed that 58% of transgender persons studied had one or more psychiatric disorders compared to 13.6% of male and female patients.
  • Transgender persons are less likely to have health insurance that would allow them to seek affordable treatment.
  • Lesbian, gay, and bisexual persons have been found to be at a higher risk of reporting suicide-related thoughts, plans, and attempts within the past 12 months (compared to heterosexuals).

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Casa Takes an Affirmative & Inclusive Approach to Care

At Casa Recovery, an affirmative and inclusive approach to care is practiced by our psychiatrists, psychologists, medical team, therapists, counselors, case managers, holistic practitioners and overall organization. Our team has a deep understanding and acceptance of any differences that LGBTQIA+ identifying individuals may have and is dedicated to providing care that is inclusive and affirmative. This means that our services include and recognize the needs of LGBTQIA+ individuals and our staff are trained in providing culturally competent care. Our goal is to ensure that our clients’ unique needs are met. Providing inclusive and affirmative care also means that the core issues of discrimination and trauma are addressed, and the LGBTQIA+ experience is celebrated. We are a trauma-informed care program meaning that the likelihood a client has gone through a traumatic event is a primary consideration in all treatment efforts.

Individual & Small Group Settings

LGBTQIA+ clients looking for addiction or mental health treatment can find various options at Casa Recovery. We offer a number of evidence-based psychotherapies, holistic therapies, and other activities that are provided in different formats. For example, some trauma-informed cognitive behavior therapies such as Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) are performed one-on-one. These private sessions only involve the client and their therapist. Other forms of therapy like trauma-focused group therapy and psychoeducational process groups, or holistic therapies such as yoga, are delivered in a small group setting. Adding the small group component into treatment plans has been found to be highly beneficial. When LGBTQIA+ individuals can share their sensitive life experiences in a non-judgemental space, peer support and motivation to achieve recovery are fostered.

Dual Diagnosis & Case Management

Dual diagnosis care is an important program for LGBTQIA+ individuals suffering from both mental health conditions and substance use disorders. These issues tend to co-occur and require simultaneous treatment in order for clients to be successful in recovery. A dual diagnosis program is designed for clients who need a safe and supportive environment to stabilize and start confronting the underlying issues that are driving their addiction and mental health condition through psychoeducation, therapy and psychiatry. Case management is another key feature of our programs for LGBTQIA+ clients. Case management is “a set of social service functions that helps clients access the resources they need to recover from a substance abuse problem.” Some clients may need additional support in planning for life after treatment including finding a job or a safe living environment. LGBTQIA+ clients can rest assured there are safe and supportive housing options for them while they are in a treatment program at Casa Recovery. Private room accommodations may be available.

Family Support, Therapy & Education

Finally, one of the most important elements of a successful recovery from mental health or substance abuse is social support in the form of family and close friends. The involvement of loved ones can help LGBTQIA+ individuals move from a space of self-isolation and self-harm to belonging, self-love, and a genuine will to get better. At Casa Recovery, participation in our family support and therapy program is crucial for LGBTQIA+ individuals. Oftentimes, discrimination begins in the household. Identifying needs and establishing healthy family dynamics are essential for healing past wounds and keeping the client on the right path. We also provide psychoeducation to family members so that they can learn about their loved one’s addiction or mental health problem, as well as how they are uniquely affected as an LGBTQIA+ person. Family therapy is particularly important where family members and close friends are having trouble accepting their loved one’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, potentially contributing to their mental instability or substance use disorder.

Informed Mental Health Providers Make a Valuable Impact

Mental health providers can play a significant role in helping to alleviate mental health and addiction disparities within the LGBTQIA+ community. Proper training can aid providers in acquiring a deeper understanding of clients who have unique life histories, experiences, and needs. This facilitates treatment that is culturally competent, equitable, and more effective in the long term. It may be necessary to make modifications to organizational practices and procedures to cultivate a space for healing that is comfortable and respectful for LGBTQIA+ populations. This is the type of environment we have purposefully created at Casa Recovery to serve our diverse clientele.

Your Journey to Healing Starts Here

Clients within the LGBTQIA+ community and all other walks of life are welcome at Casa Recovery to receive treatment for their mental health condition, substance use disorder, or trauma. Check out our therapeutic modalities to get a taste of the many options our clients have to start and continue their recovery process. Individuals belonging to the LGBTQIA+ community often face a number of mental health risks and disparities compared to the general population. 

LGBTQIA+ persons are vulnerable to traumatization from discrimination and abuse, putting them at a high risk of developing mental illness, substance abuse, and other health conditions. Casa Recovery is a mental health, addiction, and trauma treatment facility in San Juan Capistrano, CA. Our clinicians and staff are trained in inclusive and affirmative care so that our LGBTQIA+ clients feel supported, understood, and respected. 

To learn more about our programs, please call us at (888) 928-2272.

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Casa Recovery offers a wide range of treatment options for those struggling with mental health and co-occurring issues. We are here for you and ready to assist in any way we can. Contact us right now to get the help you deserve from a group of people who care.