Adolescence is a tumultuous time for lots of young people. Part of being a teenager often includes developing a greater understanding of what your personal interests are, your strengths and weaknesses, and learning what makes you unique as an individual. However, for many teens, the pressure to conform and appear “normal” can feel overwhelming. For adolescent females who identify as lesbian, this struggle can feel magnified as being attracted to individuals of the same gender is automatically thought of as being “different” by many. It has been long established that LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) youth maintain statistically higher rates of suicide and drug abuse in the United States than their heterosexual peers. With a proper support system and guidance from trained professionals, it is hoped that these numbers can finally start to decline.
The stigma of homosexuality, particularly in a high school setting, can cause anxiety and depression in LGBT adolescents. Identity therapy for lesbian teens may be one useful tool in helping her learn—or in many cases, relearn—to associate positive thoughts with her sexuality and personality. Identity therapy can help identify and clarify which values and personal beliefs are important to the teen, as well as identifying issues at hand. Many times, simply coming to terms as identifying as lesbian can be a stressful and confusing process. After this comes deciding on exactly how to take action that will be meaningful and improve relationships or self-esteem. Developing better relationship skills, as well as enhancing existing relationships, is often the final step in identity therapy for lesbian teens.