All I Want For Christmas is Acceptance

All I Want For Christmas is Acceptance

Dr. Lynda Spann is an expert on lesbian relationships and understands how family trauma can be triggering during the holidays and negatively impact your romantic relationship. 

DENVER, Colo. (Oct. 20, 2021) — The holidays traditionally mean joy, celebration, and family. But for many LGBTQ-identifying individuals, it can mean sadness, stress, and even depression. Do you come from an unaccepting family and feel forced to choose to celebrate with your partner or your family but never both at the same time? Are you the partner whose family is accepting and are left to watch your significant other struggle in sadness during the holidays because they don’t have the same acceptance from theirs? These are just two examples of the experiences that LGBTQ couples deal with during a time that should be joyous and relatively stress-free. More importantly, these instances can cause friction and disconnection between partners as well as contribute to anxiety, seasonal depression, and other mental health issues, all of which have an impact on one’s relationships.

According to PFLAG, about 4.5% of Americans identify as LGBTQ – meaning more than 11 million people in the country –  and whether they feel accepted and affirmed (or not) plays a big role in their well-being. This really comes into play at the holidays or when an LGBTQ person might be headed home. Dr. Spann knows firsthand how difficult unacceptance from one’s family can be and how it can negatively impact a relationship. She has counseled plenty of couples whose relationship has been negatively affected by unacceptance and past trauma. Dr. Spann’s goal is to guide lesbian couples on a journey back to love and create a thriving relationship. She offers steps that couples and individuals can take to keep themselves and their partners safe from the stress of the holiday season so that they can enjoy each other. 

A recent Gallup poll found that 18 million Americans identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual. Of those surveyed, 39% reported having a mental illness in the past year. And according to The Trevor Project’s most recent survey findings, 42% of LGBTQ youth ‘seriously considered’ attempting suicide based on almost 35,000 LGBTQ identifying individuals polled between October 12 and December 31, 2020. These figures and predictions alone prove just how severe the mental health crisis is for the LGBTQ community. Dr. Spann knows the importance of mental health and is a frequent contributor to many news sources on the subject of LGBTQ mental health

Imagine wanting to get help but finding out that there are only a handful of lesbian-identifying therapists in the U.S. that operate solely with a focus on lesbian individuals and relationships. No data exists to put an exact number on these specialized therapists, and many straight therapists say they work with gay couples. While they mean well, not understanding the nuances of a lesbian relationship makes it that much more difficult for lesbian couples who want help to find the right therapist for them. According to Dr. Spann, “most lesbian couples need guidance to create a secure relationship where they are safe to grow individually and together. Through my work and relationship experience of my own, I guide them to a place where they can enjoy a life-long journey of love, joy, connection, and expansion.” And Dr. Spann has proven herself trustworthy. Identifying as a lesbian herself, she is all too familiar with the nuances of the relationship between two women and has done the work independently. Her struggles in previous relationships compelled her to learn the skills to confidently guide women who face similar issues to the same work that has led to a sixteen-year relationship with her wife and fellow therapist, Lisa Yaeger.