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What You Can Expect from Therapy During Gender Transition

For someone who is transgender, there is often a lot going on before, during, and even after transition. Each transgender individual has their own reasons for seeking therapy, many of which are the same as the reasons cisgender people choose therapy. However, transgender therapy sessions can also address the specifics of transition, such as starting hormone blockers or hormone replacement and navigating surgical intervention. No matter the reason you seek therapy, it can be helpful for many.

Being “Trans Enough”

Some transgender individuals who seek therapy do so in order to get family members or friends off their back about whether they are ‘really’ transgender. This can be a challenging situation wrought with emotions. This can lead to a situation where the transgender person feels a need to prove that they are who they say they are. Sometimes, the best option here is to have the family enter into therapy to learn more about how to support their loved one. The transgender person themselves can get assistance with handling various matters associated with gender diversity.

Making an Appointment

Before choosing a therapist, it’s a good idea to do some research. If you have a community LGBTQ center, they will often have lists of therapists who offer transgender therapy and are supportive of the needs of transgender individuals. If you aren’t sure, it’s best to ask. This can be overwhelming, but it’s the best way to ensure you get the exact care that you are looking for.

Once you’ve made it that far, the intake coordinator can schedule your first appointment. You can expect the first appointment to involve lots of paperwork, although sometimes this is done in advance. We recommend getting to the first appointment early to handle these requirements.

The Appointment

You can expect to be greeted by your therapist, who will take you to their office. The expert will then ask you some questions about yourself and why you are seeking therapy. You do not have to answer any questions that make you uncomfortable. Just explain you’d rather not address the issue or you would prefer to do so in the future.

If you are seeking therapy in hopes of getting a letter for hormones or surgery, be upfront about that. If you just need some guidance with mental and emotional matters, that’s okay too. Many people use their therapist for a bit of both.

Whether you are seeing a therapist already or are in the beginning stages of finding one, there are resources out there to help you. At the International Center for Transgender Care, we provide information and resources for transgender individuals and their loved ones.

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