You are unique. Your treatment should be, too.
Sexuality and identity do not come with a one-size-fits-all approach. We believe that every patient is unique, with individual needs and experiences. And the most successful way we can best serve everyone is to continue to make a conscious effort to be as inclusive as possible in our treatment approach and within our organization.
We make a point to meet each patient where they are in their personal journey by individualizing their needs and tailoring our programming to that specific person. Our overall approach is to treat a patient’s symptomology in the moment in order to give all of our patients effective coping skills to manage their feelings, thoughts, and questions to ultimately live a value-based life.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is your general philosophy on treatment when it concerns a person who identifies as part of the LGBTQIA+ community?
A: We meet each and every one of our patients where they are at in their journey. Therefore, we individualize the needs and tailor it to that specific person. We pride our staff on being able to meet folx where they are at and ensure supportive staff to help them explore their sexuality, identity, and mental health. Ultimately, our approach it to treat the symptomology in the moment in order to give patients coping skills to manage their feelings, thoughts, and questions to ultimately live a value-based life.
Q: How do you treat someone who is questioning their gender and/or sexuality?
A: Every patient is unique, with individual needs and experiences. Therefore, our way of addressing these specific needs is an ever-changing approach because it is oftentimes complex and not a one-size-fits-all. We have staff who are equipped, compassionate, and informed in order to treat every patient in each stage of this journey while also addressing their mood and anxiety disorder and/or eating disorder.
Q: Do you have different approaches for patients who are transitioning, or identify as transgender?
A: We know that within the transgender community, eating disorders are unfortunately rampant and absolutely require more inclusive treatment to best approach issues relating to body image, body dysphoria, sexuality, eating disorders, and overall mental health.
Q: What if a patient who identifies as LGBTQIA+ has comorbidities, such as substance abuse?
A: We are informed to the fact that due to emotional and physical stresses like cultural bias, larger unemployment rates, ignorance, and less access to treatment, members of the LGBTQIA+ community struggle with higher rates of substance abuse. Therefore, we are prepared to address substance abuse as well as eating disorders and/or mood and anxiety disorders with separate tracks that support and treat both issues.
Q: What if my parents or loved ones do not support my sexuality or identity?
A: We know how much it hurts when an important person in your life will not accept or appreciate you for how you are. You are not alone. No matter your situation, we will help you find a community that is safe and supportive as you move through your journey and beyond your time with us.
Q: What is the difference between Gender Dysphoria and Body Dysmorphia?
We have an informed staff that understand and support on behalf of the differences between Gender Dysphoria and Body Dysmorphic Disorder.
Gender Dysphoria is the feeling of distress or discomfort because of the difference between a person’s gender (assigned at birth) and their gender identity. This applies to both males who are assigned a female gender at birth and females who were assigned the male gender at birth. People with gender dysphoria are normally transgender. However, there are cases of non-binary gender identities in which gender dysphoria is present.
Body Dysmorphic Disorder or Body Dysmorphia is the sense of dissatisfaction with one’s body, and the perception that their body is flawed or defective. Body dysmorphia is a common contributing factor to mental health complications which can require anorexia nervosa treatment. Body dysmorphic disorder is present in at least 25% of people with anorexia nervosa, and body image distortions are almost always present in these cases.
At ERC and Pathlight Mood & Anxiety Center, our patients can expect a gender inclusive and respectful environment. We do not tolerate disrespect and bias from our staff nor our patients and act swiftly to ensure that our LGTBQIA+ patients feel supported and accepted in a comfortable environment.
We pride our staff on being able to meet folx where they are at and ensure supportive staff to help them explore their sexuality, identity, and mental health.
As a gender inclusive organization, we recognize all pronouns and all genders. In an effort to ensure all of our patients comfort and identities, we equip our treatment centers with gender-inclusive process groups run by accepting and knowledgeable staff as well as gender inclusive bathrooms.
Browse our blog for helpful resources and stories of self-discovery and recovery.
Love Your Tree – Because Beauty Does Not Have a “Look”
For far too long we have perpetuated the idea that beauty has a "look" (read: straight size, cisgender,* white). Consequently, the way I experience my body cannot be untangled from my intersecting marginalized identities; as a Latinx, queer, transgender person, accepting my body is revolutionary.
Taking Back the Power From My Eating Disorder
The next time you ask me why I am so bold and so loud, I will tell you it's because my biggest fear now is that I will have wasted my life being afraid. I am done being afraid of my own power. I am ready to live.
My Recovery Letter - Eric's Story
Dear Boy in the Closet, I want to first begin by saying that I love you and that today I am so grateful. You are the part of my life I cannot imagine living without. Thank you for never giving up on me and for patiently waiting for me to open the door so we could play once again.
How Recovery Helped Me Rediscover My Truth
I was the only male in my treatment center and yet I felt like we were all speaking the same language. In treatment, I learned that I was not alone and that recovery was possible though it would be a few more years before I fully started to embrace recovery.
Gay Men at Higher Risk for Eating Disorders
Coming back from summer break during my college years, I was shocked when I saw my close friend. He had gone from being overweight—by medical standards—to being as thin as a rail. I wanted to help him, but I didn’t know how. Now, working with Eating Recovery Center (ERC), I realize that my biggest hurdle to intervening was that I didn’t know this important fact: men can have eating disorders and gay men are at a higher risk.
The Truth About Body Dysmorphia in Gay Men
Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is recognized as a body-image disorder. Typically, people with this disorder become preoccupied with perceived flaws and defects in their appearance. Whether these so-called flaws are even noticed by other people is irrelevant. When you have BDD, your preoccupation with your appearance occurs for hours each day maybe even all day disrupting your daily functioning and leading to intense distress.
Objectification and Minority Stress in Transgender Women
While research remains sparse regarding those in the transgender community and especially regarding the intersection with disordered eating behavior, some recent studies have revealed the links between these aspects of one’s identity.
Queer and Hungry: Eating Disorders in the LGBTQ+ Community
According to a recent survey published by the Trevor Project in 2018, 54% of the 1,034 young LGBTQ participants between the ages of 13 and 24 have been diagnosed with an eating disorder, with 75% having suspected that they had an eating disorder throughout their lifetime (The Trevor Project; National Eating Disorders Association; Reasons, 2018). Of those, 71% transgender responders who identify as straight have had a diagnosis of disordered eating. Bisexual LGBTQ youth reported the next highest rates of being diagnosed with an eating disorder – 51%.
Listen to our curated selection of episodes from the Mental Note podcast.
Visit the stage of our favorite drag queen, Eric Dorsa aka Fonda Koxx. We discover the importance of expression even when the audience is invisible.
Drag Queen Wisdom
Eric Dorsa shares his story of grappling with life-threatening eating disorder, drug and alcohol abuse and an underlying self-hatred.
The Secrets of B.T. Harman
Travel with B.T. Harman as he mines the secret journals of his early life in order to share with the world the liberty of authenticity.
The Journey of Transgender Recovery
Sit down with Ryan Sallans - an author and speaker who shares about life as a trans-man.
By: Ryan Sallans
Second Son is a unique lens on life and love, intimately exploring the transition experience of Ryan Sallans—born Kimberly Ann Sallans. Ride alongside Ryan’s transition from a child to a body-obsessed young woman with an eating disorder; from female to male, daughter to son, and finally a beloved partner to a cherished fiance’.
Transforming Manhood: A trans man's quest to build bridges and knock down walls
The Velvet Rage
by: Alan Downs
The gay male world today is characterized by seductive beauty, artful creativity, flamboyant sexuality, and, encouragingly, unprecedented acceptability in society. Yet despite the progress of the recent past, gay men still find themselves asking, "Are we really better off?" The inevitable byproduct of growing up gay in a straight world continues to be the internalization of shame, a shame gay men may strive to obscure with a façade of beauty, creativity, or material success. Drawing on contemporary psychological research, the author's own journey to be free of anger and of shame, as well as the stories of many of his friends and clients, The Velvet Rage outlines the three distinct stages to emotional well-being for gay men. Offering profoundly beneficial strategies to stop the insidious cycle of avoidance and self-defeating behavior, The Velvet Rage is an empowering book that will influence the public discourse on gay culture, and positively change the lives of gay men who read it.
Sissy: A Coming of Gender Story
by: Jacob Tobia
A heart-wrenching, eye-opening, and giggle-inducing memoir about what it's like to grow up not sure if you're (a) a boy, (b) a girl, (c) something in between, or (d) all of the above.
Naturally sensitive, playful, creative, and glitter-obsessed, as a child Jacob was given the label "sissy." In the two decades that followed, "sissy" joined forces with "gay," "trans," "nonbinary," and "too-queer-to-function" to become a source of pride and, today, a rallying cry for a much-needed gender revolution. Through revisiting their childhood and calling out the stereotypes that each of us have faced, Jacob invites us to rethink what we know about gender and offers a bold blueprint for a healed world--one free from gender-based trauma and bursting with trans-inclusive feminism.
by: Yung Pueblo
Inward is a collection of poetry, quotes, and prose that explores the movement from self love to unconditional love, the power of letting go, and the wisdom that comes when we truly try to know ourselves. It serves as a reminder to the reader that healing, transformation, and freedom are possible. Buy Book