About Affirming Therapy Center (ATC)
Our Mission and Vision
The mission of Affirming Therapy Center is to support and encourage your desire for growth in a completely non-judgmental way, in a space that acknowledges your unique personhood and distinct challenges. ATC is dedicated to serving and supporting communities of Gender, Sexual, and Relationship Diversity (GSRD). The vision of ATC is to continue to cultivate a team of open-minded, sex-positive mental health professionals.
ATC affirms all GSRD identities including, but not limited to Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Pansexual, Heterosexual, Trans, Cis, Gender Non-conforming, Non-binary, Agender, Asexual, Aromantic, Demisexual, Demiromantic, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Kink, BDSM, D/s, M/s, DD/lg, Fetish, Furry, Sex Work, Single, Monogamy, Non-Monogamy, Swinging/LS, Polyamory, and a Variety of Relationship Dynamics and Family Configurations.
The Meaning Behind “Affirming Therapy”
Not so very long ago, homosexuality (as well as other sexual orientations and gender identities) was viewed by both our society and mental health culture as an illness. Regrettably, individuals presenting “symptoms” of attraction to others of the same sex were diagnosed as mentally ill and treated with any number of behavioral modification methods. A consequence of this stance is that many people did not seek therapy for fear of being diagnosed and treated for their sexuality or gender expression, or, if they did attend therapy, they would not mention this important aspect of themselves – thereby limiting the depth and success of the therapy process.
Therapists who did not hold this view adopted phrases such as “Gay Affirming” and welcomed these clients. Whether or not the issues brought into the therapy room by clients were about being gay, this was an aspect of themselves they didn’t have to hide.
The affirming approach for people seeking personal change or greater depth to their current relationships is all about providing a safe, positive space to explore and express oneself fully.
Our society has certainly come a long way since the days when homosexuality was a mental health diagnosis. However, we still have a far way to go in other areas of sexual diversity. People still fear “being outed” for being kinky, or polyamorous, or myriad other non-traditional sexual behaviors, relationships, family configurations, or lifestyles.
So, when thinking about what to name this group practice, “Affirming” seemed to be a perfect fit given the vision to create a center that AFFIRMS you, regardless of your gender, sexuality, and/or relationship. Of course, there are unique challenges to everyone’s situation, but hiding an aspect of yourself from your therapist should not be one of them.
Most importantly, you are welcomed and celebrated here.