Bisexuality - Counseling Issues and Treatment Approaches

  Nathalie Himmelrich 11 February 2013
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Forming a bisexual identity helps bisexual people to structure, to make sense of, and to give meaning and definition to their reality. This requires inner strength, self-reliance, confidence, and independence.

As a counselor we can give our bisexual clients a safe place to express their feelings. In groups they could meet others who are going through similar experiences.

Common themes for bisexual clients are:

 Social isolation: Feeling isolated and confused, not belonging
 Fear of reactions of family and friends
 Inability to conform to the ethics of either the gay or straight world
 Struggle to invent their own identities to correspond to their own experience
 Confusion about their attraction towards people of both sexes
 Questioning their own reality, and wondering 'Is something wrong with me?'
 Lack of visible role models or community available to them  

The central issue is to help the client form their identity. As a counselor we have the task to accompany them on their search and help them find their place in society.

Research into bisexuality, which has tended to be limited, indicates young bisexual people are more prone to mental health problems due to the sense of 'not belonging'. Pressure can come from the friends and family of bisexuals to decide that they are either gay or straight, based on the perception that they are 'really queer' and not genuinely bisexual.

A lot of peopaltle who are open bisexuals will experience discrimination. As soon as they tell someone that they are bisexual the problems begin. If you tell people you are gay or lesbian it is different but if you say you are bisexual the response tends to be, 'make up your mind and choose one or the other'.

Going through all the material makes is obvious that there is a relative paucity of research on bisexual identity and counselling issues, as compared to notable research in the areas of homosexual identity and counselling issues. There is a growing literature that describes bisexuality as a healthy and flexible sexual orientation. But there is still a long way to go until bisexuality will be seen as an own sexual identity.

Nathalie Himmelrich is the founder of 'Reach for the Sky Therapy' on Sydney's Northern Beaches and specialises in 'relationship related issues'. She is working with individuals and couples using techniques ranging from Counselling, Neuro Linguistic Programming to Journey Therapy. She supports clients in their personal growth in a supportive and professional environment. Visit her site http://www.reachforthesky.com.au or her blog:[http://reachforthesky.wordpress.com]http://reachforthesky.wordpress.com.

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