At Inspire Recovery, our dedication to the LGBTQ community extends beyond our LGBTQ-focused treatment center in West Palm Beach, Florida. We are also available to help other clinicians and centers grow in their understanding and sensitivity to clients who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex and asexual with our informative LGBTQ presentations.
The well-known AA/NA slogan shared in meeting rooms around the world is: “We are as sick as our secrets,” which resonates on a whole other level for the LGBTQ community in recovery. When LGBTQ individuals are comfortable sharing from their experience—in treatment center groups, one-on-one therapies, and AA/NA meetings—without shame or discrimination their recovery is positively impacted. One of the most powerful ways for that level of comfort to exist is for non-LGBTQ people to be more culturally aware and sensitive to LGBTQ persons. The big picture: the more comfortable someone is in therapy, treatment and “in the rooms,” the better our chances are at seeing the potential for long-term recovery for those who are LGBTQ!
By offering outreach and education in the treatment field, our goal is to help other treatment centers and colleagues provide the best possible care for all LGBTQ clients. With increased knowledge, clinicians can feel more confident in emphasizing with the challenges LGBTQ clients face, and how their gender and sexuality may relate to their addiction.
Below are the three sections of our presentation. If you’d like to customize your LGBTQ presentations by focusing on one area or spending more time for questions and answers, please let us know.
PART 1: GENDER AND SEXUALITY 101
LGBTQ Safe Zone Inspire Recovery
The “LGBT” community is much more than a four-letter acronym! We have created a colorful and fun way to teach others about the huge diversity that exists within the Pride rainbow of life. For many, a lot of the information we are covering is new territory. Clinicians can ask questions to ensure they are understanding the many ways people identify or express themselves.
The truth is, it may be very difficult for a client to speak about their gender or sexuality. However, these areas of their life may need to be processed therapeutically in order for clients to heal from their past and envision a positive and fulfilling life in recovery. By familiarizing clinicians with this information we hope your LGBTQ clients can begin to heal and grow in the safe environment a treatment center is able to provide.
PART 2: ROOT CAUSE OF ADDICTION FROM THE LGBTQ PERSPECTIVE
We present facts and statistics from a variety of sources covering some of the struggles that LGBTQ individuals face, starting in their youth. Although LGBTQ clients are generally the minority in treatment centers across the country, those who are LGBTQ have extremely high rates of substance use, as well as co-occurring disorders. We will discuss why less LGBTQ individuals gain access to treatment and why it’s so important for clinicians to be familiar with the LGBTQ culture in order to provide aqueduct care.
PART 3: HOW TO BE A GOOD ALLY
LGBTQ Ally Flag Inspire Recovery
Many of our clients note being incapable of committing to recovery in a treatment center that “invisibilizes” their gender or sexuality. This common occurrence leaves treatment centers with the challenge of having their clients without the adequate care every client deserves.
In the last part of our LGBTQ presentations, we go over what it means to be a good ally to the LGBTQ community. An ally is someone who is in alliance with any marginalized group of people. Learning how to be a good ally means educating ourselves. More LGBTQ people are wanting to live their life not through the escapism that drug and alcohol addiction provides, but publicly and comfortably without the shame or discrimination that they have internalized for most of their lives. It is our goal to help treatment providers be able to be engaged with their clients about their gender identity and sexuality, ensuring that their time in treatment helps them to process any part of their addiction that relates to these core aspects of their lives.
We are excited to provide your treatment center with tips and tools with our LGBTQ presentations that will help you to be respectful and healing, instead of hurtful, to clients and individuals who face much discrimination in their daily lives. Together we can build a more kind and supportive space for the LGBTQ community in recovery – and the world.
If you’d like more information about getting your own LGBTQ Presentation, reach out to Inspire Recovery.