Trans* and Gender Non-conforming (TGNC)
Head/Heart recognizes the harms the mental health field has perpetrated against TGNC individuals. Including, but not limited to, the pathologizing of identity through the diagnosis of Gender Dysphoria, the perpetration of cisnormativity through conceptualizing TGNC identity as a barrier to fullness, and the continuation of the concept of TGNC=sexually deviant.
We commit to using the names and pronouns that align with clients’ identities. However, in order for our therapists to be adequately compensated for their work and provide the highest access possible to clients, we must work within the confines of the insurance industry. Thus, when submitting billing, we must use legal names and “sex” (as designed by a cisnormative society). Our commitment is to continue to advocate for insurance companies to recognize the impact of misgendering and deadnaming its consumers, and the subsequent forcing of providers like us to perpetrate this harm.
Relational and Sexual Minorities
Head/Heart recognizes the harm the mental health field has perpetrated againsts gay, lesbian, bisexual, asexual (etc) individuals-as well as those within the kink/BDSM community and those who identify as polyamorous. This includes, but is not limited to, the conceptualization of these identities as the source of mental health issues (e.g., if you just dated a man (woman, anyone, one person, someone vanilla, you wouldn’t be anxious), the pathologizing of these identities through DSM diagnosis and the understanding of fulfillment being blocked by these identities, and the lack of preparation specific theories and approaches have towards these identities, particularly when it comes to relational therapy. We recognize the importance of integration of these identities into full beingness.
Head/Heart recognizes the harm the mental health field has perpetrated against sex workers. In particular, sex work is often seen as the cause of or the result of mental health strains. We understand that, in reality, there is no relationship between sex work and mental health status. Ultimately, it is a job like any other job. However, we do recognize that issues do occur as a result of the stigmatization and criminalization of sex work, such as pervasive fear and anxiety, trauma and internalized shame. In addition, the criminalization of sex work has created an environment of danger; most recently, the federal laws known as FOSTA-SESTA have created a lack of community engagement that would otherwise allow for safety in numbers.
Sex Work Resources
Sex Worker Outreach Project
Disabled & Neurodivergent Folks
Head/Heart recognizes the harm that has been enacted by the mental health field unto physically and intellectually disabled, mad, and neurodivergent people. There are barriers to access for many disabled folks including a lack of deaf therapists and accessible education for deaf students, inaccessible buildings, and reliance on health insurance for care. We also recognize the trauma from inpatient hospitalization due to mental illness either voluntarily or involuntarily. The use of physical and chemical restraints asserts a difference in power and is also traumatizing. The mental health field has a history of long term institutionalization as well as forced treatment for those who are psychiatrically and intellectually disabled, mad, and neurodivergent.
Fat & Larger-bodied People
Head/Heart Therapy recognizes the harm that has been perpetrated by the mental health field unto fat people and others living in larger bodies. These harms stem from largely untrue beliefs that impact work with clients. These beliefs include the assumption that all fat people are unhappy in their bodies; that their reasons for seeking therapy all circle back to their weight; that they are fat because they are unhappy (and/or vice versa); and that every fat client’s ultimate goal is to lose weight. We recognize the trauma caused by the widely held belief that fat people could not possibly have eating disorders other than binge eating. We acknowledge the damage done by mental health providers collaborating with medical doctors to perpetuate these oppressive beliefs and to deny fat people appropriate healthcare. We also recognize that fatphobia and its erasure are the real cause of mental health problems for many fat people.
Helpful Mental Health Links
988 Wait!: Suicide and Crisis Lifeline
TIPS to remember before you call
- Take a breath. It is natural to be scared and overwhelmed when a client (family, friend, colleague, etc.) is in crisis. Joining your client in panic will only make it harder to come up with a plan and provide proper support.
- Get Support. Reach out to a colleague or supervisor so that you can talk through the situation and create an appropriate and safe plan.
- Get Creative. Remember, the goal is to keep your client safe and deescalate the situation. Often, calling 911 can escalate the crisis, cause unnecessary trauma, and/or re-traumatization. Work with your client to identify and provide an alternative list of options.
- Explore your Resources. Is there someone that your client can stay with for a few days? Week(s)? A friend or family member who they can call? Can they spend time at a local living room, attend a 12-step meeting or another support group?
- Additional Resources:
Illinois Warm Line: 1-866-359-7953 – Free phone support for anyone living in Illinois to include emotional support, recovery education, self-advocacy support, and referrals. Monday – Friday, 8:00am – 8:00pm
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 – Text “HOME” to 741741 for free, 24/7 crisis counseling
RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673 – Information, referrals, and support for victims of sexual violence.
Center on Halsted LGBTQ+ Violence Resource Line: (773)-871-2273 – Support for queer, trans, and HIV-positive individuals affected by violence.
Chicago Torture Justice Center: (773)-962-0395 – Support for healing from police violence.
NAMI Chicago Helpline: 1-800-950-6884 – Immediate information and support for families & persons with mental illness.
Substance Abuse Mental Health Treatment Locator (SAMHSA): 1-800-662-4357 (HELP) or use the following link to Search Here
Illinois Opioids & Substances Helpline – 1-833-234-4357 – Free 24/7 support for alcoholism and substance abuse.