About John Hanig, LMFT
Why did I become a therapist for the LGBTQ+ community?
My background as a musician and performance artist became a way for me to emotionally express my own personal struggles with LGBTQ identity, gender expression, substance use, depression, social anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). While growing up in a culturally diverse neighborhood on the West Side of Milwaukee, I first learned of the arts’ ability to deeply invoke people’s emotions and release pain and stress at age 7 by performing solo piano music in front of large captive audiences. During adolescence, I immersed myself in my very own universe through poetry, eventually "coming out" to my father as queer at age 16 through a poem I wrote for him. I then went on to study music composition at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at age 18, entering the world of adulthood and connecting with queer communities by creating and exhibiting performance art pieces that explored alienation, anger, ancestry, and ecstasy. At age 24, I spent one year in Brazil to study visual art at the University of São Paulo and immerse myself in the mesmerizing and healing rhythms of samba. After collecting all of these experiences in which the expressive arts gave me life time after time, through struggling with depression, social anxiety, PTSD, and suicidality, I decided to learn how to use my artistic experiences as tools to support other LGBTQ+ people by studying arts therapy at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) in San Francisco.
Today, I provide individual psychotherapy, arts therapy, EMDR, & couples counseling and specialize working with queer, gay, bisexual, & transgender individuals & couples at my private practice office in San Francisco's Mission District. By providing a safe, nonjudgmental space to heal from trauma and set concrete goals, I have witnessed people pull through immense emotional turmoil and re-engage with life and their various relationships with a fresh sense of fun and curiosity. I have also supported my clients with finding the courage to share their stories and inspire others to achieve their goals by displaying their artwork in public places, creating performance art pieces to be delivered in front of audiences, and submitting poetry and creative writing to widespread publications. Contact me today to find out more about whether I am a good fit for you as your therapist.