You are currently browsing all posts tagged with 'LGBT Therapy'.

Dear Christine, Questioning in Lake Orion

  • Posted on March 18, 2019 at 9:31 am

Dear Christine, How come we slander people who dislike homosexuality, but we don’t slander people who are against alcoholism? Being attracted to alcohol has more evidence of “running in the family” and being a genetic attraction, so why don’t we call people who get nauseous at alcohol “alcohophobics” or something? After all, what makes being attracted to having sex with someone any better than being attracted to alcohol? The effect accomplishes the same thing, satisfying your physical “itches” as it were. They do have very different physical side-effects, alcohol destroys your brain cells, sex can get you STDs, and positively alcohol kills germs in water (that’s why it serves more of a purpose in Europe) and sex is reproduction and the continuation of the species (at least, when it’s male-female and we don’t tamper with nature and use drugs). So, why stop at “homophobes”? Aren’t people who are naturally nauseous at alcohol just as bad as people who are nauseous at gay sex? Or, do we think letting “homophobes” get away will give us guilt about being straight or gay just for the moment and not for the relationship? Or, do we think that alcohol is wrong and being gay…

Dear Christine, Unsure in Redford

  • Posted on March 11, 2019 at 7:46 am

Dear Christine, I have always been with men. I was once with a women and that was when I was younger, and the girl and I made it into a game. I liked it, and was excited to hang out with her and play the game again. But that is the only lesbian-type experience that I have had. After that time in my life, I always considered myself straight until about two years ago, when I came out to my boyfriend at the time that I was bisexual. No one in my family knows, I don’t know how they would handle it. Now I have been with the same guy for over a year now, and I keep having fantasies about women and really only women. I honestly feel that if him and I broke up I would never date another guy. ANYWAY, for the past month or so I have been even more confused. My boyfriend and I don’t have sex anymore…we only do when we are drunk…I mean that could be because we are both insecure people. But who can really know. I just have no sex drive with him. I mean I guess that could be other…

Dear Christine, Gaining in Garden City

  • Posted on February 19, 2019 at 11:32 am

I’ve gained 10 pounds in the last 6 months which now puts me 20 pounds overweight.  I keep saying I will start a diet tomorrow and I want to lose the weight by spring. The problem is, after a healthy breakfast, all I can think about is, what’s for lunch? After lunch, I start thinking about dinner. Then there’s the snacks and sweets. People I work with keep bringing junk food to work to share. I feel hungry all the time and I know I couldn’t be. I keep saying, I’ll start tomorrow. I really want to lose weight. Why can’t I find the will power? Signed, Gaining in Garden City Dear Gaining, Welcome to the crowd!  The obesity problem is a global issue, so you are far from alone in this.  There is so much that scientists and doctors do not understand about weight gain and weight loss.  It is not just a matter of will power, nor one of counting calories or dieting.  Of all the diets that people have tried, Weight Watchers is the lone program that seems to help people make the lifestyle changes and maintain them to lose weight.  But, it has worked for me…

Dear Christine, Not Heard in New Haven

  • Posted on February 4, 2019 at 8:50 am

Dear Christine, It seems like every time I ask my wife to do something, like go out for dinner, see a movie, whatever, she says, oh, let’s just stay in.  But when her best friend from high school calls, (a straight friend) she’s like, oh, let’s go out! I’m always invited to go along but I just don’t understand why she doesn’t find that energy when I ask her to do something. Sometimes I don’t really want to tag along but I do because I don’t have anything else to do. We’ve talked about it but she says I’m being too sensitive. How can I make a change and get my wife excited about a date night with just me? Signed, Not Heard in New Haven. Dear Not Heard, It sounds like you and your wife are in a bit of a rut these days.  One thing I encourage couples I work with is to schedule a date night.  Once a week is usually the goal, but sometimes jobs, having a baby or little children might cause you two to make it a couple of times a month.  The goal of a date night is to recreate the dating stage…

Dear Christine, Confused in Clawson

  • Posted on January 7, 2019 at 8:45 am

Dear Christine,

I read your columns every week and many of them have hit home for me. I have a question of my own now. I am a straight woman and my best friend is a gay man who I have known since high school some 40+ years ago. We like to joke that we are the real life Will And Grace.  We even dated for a bit before he came out. My “Will” has always been safe when it comes to sexual relationships and he’s had quite a few. In the last year he went through quite a run of sexual encounters which he told me about more graphically than I would have needed to know!

Three months ago he informed me he is HIV positive. I’m sad and even angry at him for being careless. His behavior has changed so much recently that he has been pulling away from our friendship. I’ve called, left messages, he doesn’t return my calls. This is someone I spoke to several times a week and now he won’t speak to me. Do you have any advice as to what I should do? I’m heartbroken and miss him a lot. Thanks,

Confused in Clawson

Dear Confused,
It’s hard and confusing when other’s behaviors change in ways that you find uncomfortable.  I hear your sadness and anger at your “Will” pulling away from you after a year when he has been irresponsible sexually to the point of becoming HIV+.  First, know that an HIV+ diagnosis is not the death sentence it was 30 – 35 years ago.  There are excellent medications that can keep it in check, making it more of a chronic illness.  And unless our 45th President takes it away, the government has helped fund insurance and medications for people with HIV+/AIDS.  For those readers who prefer to reduce the risk of HIV, please use condoms, and there is a medication called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/risk/prep/index.htmlin a daily pill.  Check with your doctor about this.

It’s a fact that Will has pulled away and there is not a lot you can do.  It only takes one  to end a friendship or romantic relationship.  You leave messages, but he doesn’t respond.  Clearly, he is going through some changes and he isn’t sharing what those are.  Maybe he believes he is protecting you?  Maybe he is protecting himself?  Maybe he can’t process these things within himself, much less with anyone else.  Try to remember that this is about him.  He is running away, emotionally and/or physically.   He is not be able to converse and hear your  emotions or judgment in your voice. Talking can move too fast, spilling out words not carefully thought out, possibly causing further damage to your friendship.

Try writing him a letter or email that he can read when he is ready, so he can read and reread alone as much as he needs and wants.  Let him know you miss him and that you are concerned for him.  If you can, let him know you aren’t judging his variety of changed behaviors.  Let him know you are there for him, to listen to and support him in this challenging time.

The bottom line here is that he has pulled away from your friendship.  He is allowed to do that.  And there may be consequences to any friendship when one person disappears.    If you used to visit each other’s homes on a regular basis, maybe stop by, and leave a card if he doesn’t answer the door.  Don’t hound him as he seems to need more space, more time.

Keep him in your thoughts, send him love and light, and remember the good times you shared.  When he is able, he may return.  And if he returns, remember that he already is a very changed person.  Meanwhile, take care of you and lean on other friends.

Take care,
Christine Cantrell, PhD,

Licensed Psychologist

Dear Christine, Nevous in Novi

  • Posted on December 17, 2018 at 10:45 am

Dear Christine, Not sure what to do here. I have a good friend who has been driving drunk. She has come to my house barely able to walk yet she drove and has also shown up places where I knew she was too drunk to drive. After she shows up, we make sure she gets a ride or is sober before we let her go but how can we stop her when we are not there? I have told her the next time I catch her driving drunk, I am going to call the police and turn her in. I’m afraid she’s going to kill someone. I have no idea how many other times she’s driving drunk either. My knowledge of this makes me feel like I need to do something. What? Thanks! Dear Nervous, I checked two resources to answer this question: The Berkley Police Department, Deputy Chief Bob Narth and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) contact, Elvira Anderson. The police give the short answer that if you know or suspect someone is driving drunk, call the town police office where the person is driving and ask for the shift officer and give a description of the vehicle and…

Dear Christine, Heart Broken in Holly

  • Posted on November 25, 2018 at 11:59 am

Dear Christine, I love her, but she assures me it’s over. She calls sometimes and makes plans with me and then cancels on short notice. I always get my hopes up and then I feel like shit when she does this. What should I do? What should I say to her? I do want to be friends with her but she makes that so hard, because everything has to be when she’s got time for me and then she cancels anyway. Heart Broken in Holly Dear Heart Broken, Oprah Winfrey once said “when people tell you who they are, listen to them.” If your ex still calls and makes plans and cancels abruptly, but insists it’s over, then believe the “it’s over” part of that. Words are easy, actions tell the truth. I hear that you are hurting and miss her, and that you feel like you are occasionally fit into her busy life, and hope keeps rising up, only to be dashed again. I imagine it’s not the description of the relationship you had with her, or that you would want with anyone. You can only make a choice for yourself here. Choose for it to be over. You…

Dear Christine, Any Ideas in Ann Arbor?

  • Posted on October 30, 2018 at 10:13 am

Hello Dr. Cantrell, I have a question that I am sure will lead to the answer that therapy is a great idea. For three years, we (my partner and I) have discussed this over and over again. Her lack of action is leading me to asking you about this. My partner and I have been together for 8.5 years and we love each other. I can count the number of times we have been intimate on one hand and there are no health reasons for it. I have given up the hope that we will be intimate after discussing a number of alternatives or go to therapy. I am very sad as she emphatically denies there being any reason for her lack of interest in intimacy. Being celibate just makes her happy. It drives me nuts, but she is content. I don’t want to be with anyone else and she says being intimate with others makes her very unhappy. It is not that this is a relationship breaker. I refuse to leave her over something that seems so adolescent but it won’t stop bugging me. I just feel more like a close room mate than anything else and we should…

Dear Christine, Ranting in Romulus

  • Posted on October 14, 2018 at 8:14 pm

Dear Christine I don’t know everybody’s talking about how divided the country is and I know we are all Americans and we should all we care about each other however my wife and I we are both very liberal Democrats we both hate Donald Trump but her parents are very right wing Republicans they love tromp they want to argue with us when we go over there and I don’t wanna go over there and it’s made my wife very upset with me and she says just put it aside for the day let’s try not to engage with them but I have purged my Facebook of all my Republican friends who spoke out and I didn’t used to hate Republicans but now I feel like I just don’t want anything to do with anyone who is a Republican How can I set my feelings aside It feels almost impossible signed ranting in Romulus Dear Ranting, I hear you loud and clear.  Your Republican Trump-loving in-laws arguing about politics when you visit feels like you’re getting “tromped.”  That is a situation that plays out in many families these days, and brace yourselves, readers, as the holidays are coming up sooner…

Dear Christine, Long Lost Love in Lathrup Village

  • Posted on October 7, 2018 at 5:45 pm

Dear Christine, I am 60 years old when I was in high school I can say the woman I dated and with the love of my life her parents caught us she was upset she was scared she married a man and left me and she went through three different husbands. Last month she contacted me on Facebook I don’t even know where she had been living. She called me; we met; she said she’s never gotten over me. Well the truth is I never got over her. Most of my friends knew about her I told him about the one love of my life from high school. But for Gods sake that’s high school, right?. But the truth is, when I saw her it felt like no time had passed at all even though it’s been so many years…all the love all the passion was still there I feel like we wasted so much time.  The only thing is both of us got married to men for a while.  We have children we have grandchildren.  But maybe now is our time. The problem is for the last 10 years I lived with a woman that I’ve basically settled for.…