In 2017, homosexuality seems to be a trending topic whether it is politics, fashion, sports, or entertainment. According to statista.com, millennials are the generation with the highest amount of “out” LGBT members.
Located in Boca Raton, the Faulk Center for Counseling has formed a group that specializes in helping family members of those that identify as LGBT, and helps those with burning questions about the LGBT lifestyle. The Friends and Family of LGBTQ+ Support Group which is funded by generous granters and donors, was established in collaboration with Holly Katz Ph.D. who serves as the Faulk Center for Counseling Clinical & Training Director and Rita Thrasher of Boca Raton’s Promise and Dr. Brandi Baumkirschner.
Developed in 1973, the Faulk Center for Counseling’s mission has been to promote emotional enrichment through a variety of free and low-cost programs for counseling, therapy, and support. At the Faulk Center, they are a warm, accepting and confidential environment where people who are facing problems are helped to make changes, in addition to teaching about dealing with things they cannot control.
The Friends and Family of LGBTQ+ provides peer support to others who may have had someone come out to them, a secure and friendly space to express your feelings and experiences, in addition to supplying education and information about the LGBT community. There are several LGBT groups in Palm Beach and Broward County. However, there are not many in Boca Raton. Last month, Katz discussed with the Delray Newspaper about the group's “much needed” involvement in Boca Raton.
“There is an absence of those kinds of services in the Boca Raton area,” she told the newspaper. “We know that those who love and care for the LGBTQ community need their own support and education to assist them in the best way in their relationships with their loved ones.”
The groups co-leader, Doctoral intern Avi Gordon, M.S. offered more on the topic.
“We found that there was a little bit of a need here in the community,” Gordon said. “That’s one of the reasons why we started. We are here to help, we have a whole center full of resources. Personally, I hope the group works. Meaning, I hope people get what they need in regards to counseling or education."
The Friends and Family of LGBTQ+ (ages 10 and up) is a relatively new support group, but they already have their sights set on the future.
“We are in the process of marketing the group and anticipate a start date after Thanksgiving," mentioned Alison Rubin, Development & Marketing Manager at the Faulk Center for Counseling.
“Interested participants should call the Faulk Center to register in advance. Once we have enough people to begin the group, a formal date will be announced.”
This isn’t the first group the Faulk Center has launched either. The other group an LGBTQ+ Support Group for individuals 18 and up meets Fridays from noon to 1:15 p.m.
Friends & Family of LGBTQ+ Support Group sessions are on Monday from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Faulk Center. Cost is $5. For more information, please contact the Faulk Center for Counseling at 561-483-5300.