Exploring Sexual Orientation: How Therapy Helps

Exploring your sexuality can be a rewarding, rich, and at times overwhelming experience. You’ll undoubtedly have moments of insight and feelings of freedom as you dig and discover who you really are. Unfortunately, it can also be a scary journey filled with uncertainty at times. That’s especially true if you’re exploring your sexual orientation on your own with no support. Despite the changes in our society, being straight is still considered the norm. This can lead to feelings of fear, confusion, and anxiety as you try to navigate your feelings while thinking about those closest to you and how they might react. It’s important to have support in your corner as you explore your sexual orientation. That might not include your family or current circle of friends, but seeking out a therapist who will have your back as you dig into your identity can make a big difference. 

There is no one way to explore one’s sexual orientation. For some, self-reflection and talking with friends may be all that is needed. For others, seeking professional help may be the best option. This post will explore why seeking therapy can be helpful for those exploring their sexual orientation.

Therapy can also help in more ways than you might expect. Let’s talk about why. 

Discovering Underlying Issues

It’s not uncommon to deal with some uncertainties as you explore your identity and your sexuality. A therapist can help you dive into any underlying issues that could be holding you back from the happiness you deserve. It’s not always easy to understand your feelings, especially when you’re going through a major life change and possible identity shift. Therapy will help you sort out conflicting thoughts and feelings and work through any issues you may have been ignoring. You might even be unhappy, and you’re not sure why. 

Developing a Plan

Maybe you’ve already discovered who you are, and you’re so excited you could shout it from the rooftops. Unfortunately, for many people, it’s not that easy. If you’re not sure how to move forward or how the people in your life will react, therapy can help. A therapist can create a “plan of action” with you as you step into this new chapter. That plan can include how to safely and effectively come out to your family members and friends and how to know when you’re ready to do so. It can also include finding your inner strength and courage as you live more and more as yourself. 

Navigating Relationships

Just because you’re exploring your sexual orientation doesn’t automatically mean you’ll be comfortable exploring new romantic or sexual relationships. It’s okay to feel nervous or even a little awkward about dating someone of the same sex. Therapy can help by giving you the support you need to get out there on your own timeline. It will improve your self-esteem and confidence and can especially help if you meet someone new and you’re interested in dating or starting a relationship. 

Whether you’re currently exploring your sexual orientation or you’ve recently come out, therapy can be a huge help. It’s essential to know that you’re not alone, and it’s okay if you’re struggling with anxious thoughts and fears. You’ll get through them, and you can have help doing it. Feel free to learn more here about LGBTQ+ therapy here or reach out with any questions. Together, we’ll celebrate who you are and what you’ve discovered while creating effective strategies for your next chapter of life. 


Hello, I’m Miriam. I’m a psychotherapist with an online practice in California and Illinois.

Learn more about me and how I can help you here.