Peer counseling

If you are a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and/or queer person and you feel lonely or you feel that no one understands you, you do not have enough self-confidence or you simply want to come to a safe space for an encouraging conversation with someone over coffee, tea or juice who understands you, contact [email protected].

The Sarajevo Open Centre has gathered six peer counselors who are at your disposal for a friendly, encouraging conversation, they are there to listen, understand and support you. Our counselors are people who share with you similar life positions, age, problems and/or life experience.

Sara Ristić: A young artist and director in film and theater, she decided to become a peer counselor because she wants to get to know our community better and because through her lived experience she wants to help other LGBTI people who are probably going through similar things in their lives. ”I would like to create a safe space full of understanding and without any judgment to talk and listen to you, no matter what topic you come with. I know firsthand how much it means to have the support of others similar to you, and with this consultation I want to provide that same support in accordance with my capabilities. I hope you will have the courage to call and know that you are never alone!”

Amar Bašić: Thirty-something year old with a Sarajevo address. He believes that he can help and provide advice based on his own experience of growing up, dating and living as a gay man in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He also has several years of experience in LGBT+ activism, but also in numerous activities in BiH and the region aimed at improving the position of LGBT+ people, which gave him a clearer insight into the challenges, concerns and needs of the LGBT+ community.

Maja: feminist, lesbian and LGBTI activist

Liam Isić: He is 27 years old, has a law degree, a master’s degree in democracy and human rights, and a long-time activist for the rights of transgender people.

Kristian Ranđelović: Activist who works and lives in Belgrade, executive director of the organization XY Spektrum. The main areas of his work are the visibility and empowerment of intersex children and their parents, psychosocial support for intersex, trans and non-binary people, raising the capacity of organizations on these topics in the region. Kristian is co-chairman of the executive board of Intersex International Europe (OII Europe).

Kemal Alijagić: He lives with his cat (and for his cat) in Sarajevo. He claims that dreams have much more meaning than reality. He is engaged in activism, and writes something here and there. Peer counselor primarily for people from the aro/ace spectrum (aromantic and asexual people), because he believes in the idea of community and togetherness.

If you want to ask something, have a dilemma, need advice, or would like to come for an interview with one of our advisors, please contact us by email at: [email protected].

Psychological counseling

The Sarajevo Open Centre provides free psychological help for LGBTIQ people and family members of LGBTIQ+ people in Sarajevo, with the possibility of online counseling, in cooperation with a team of female psychotherapists from the Wings of Hope Foundation and the association for psychological assessment, help and counseling “Domino“. In addition to the psychological help it provides to lesbians, gays, bisexuals, intersex and queer people, the Domino Association also provides trans-specific psychological help for trans and gender variant people.

Educated and sensitized staff, who are in constant education related to work with LGBTIQ+ people, from the coming out process to transgender, will provide you with adequate help and support. The existence of such a service has far-reaching significance for the LGBTIQ+ community not only in Sarajevo, but also beyond, given that lesbians, gays, bisexuals, trans and intersex people have many times experienced discrimination precisely from psychologists. LGBTIQ+ people are still the most marginalized social group even when visiting or using primary health care services. Often, due to the fear of not being accepted, people do not even seek help from psychotherapists, and potential difficulties, depression or anxiety are attributed to other factors, rather than a personal feeling of not belonging.

We provide free psychological counseling services with the goal that LGBTIQ+ people live their lives with dignity through adequate affirmative psychotherapy, and that in this way they also strengthen themselves as individuals. If you want to go to psychological counseling or psychotherapy and to work on yourself, contact the Sarajevo Open Centre at [email protected], where we will be happy to connect you with one of our female psychotherapists. This is just one of the services that the Sarajevo Open Center offers to the LGBTI community in Bosnia and Herzegovina.