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The Grateful Gender Therapist

The Grateful Gender Therapist

The Grateful Gender Therapist

The Grateful Gender Therapist

The Grateful Gender Therapist

You don't have to be a therapist for transgender folks to know that our binary gender system is simply not working.  As a gender dysphoria therapist, I have heard the stories of 1,000+ people over the past two decades, that do not feel comfortable with the expectations of families, their friends, their workplace, or society at large.  This is a problem.  Unfortunately, it is often viewed as a problem for the person who doesn't fit into the binary gender system.

It is clear to me, however, that who you are, and how you wish to express your gender is naturally occurring - which, by the way, is one definition of "normal," according to Webster.

So there's that.

Whether you identify as Male-to-Female, Female-to-Male, Gender Non-Binary, Gender Fluid, or perhaps something else, you have been raised in a culture that has not made adequate space for your true self-expression. As a gender dysphoria therapist, I have heard many stories - both involving acceptance and intolerance.  

 

Do you find yourself asking: Am I really transgender? Is this a phase?

It's confusing.  

It's confusing when you have strong feelings and thoughts that you are taught at a very early age (if not directly, indirectly), are not "right." Gender is a social construct - it's made up.  Just like there was a time that slavery was viewed as a good thing, or that being left handed was not acceptable, or that homosexuality was a mental illness -  we, as a culture, get things wrong. Sometimes VERY WRONG. 

Over time, it was culturally decided that there would be males and there would be females, and that each of these genders would look, behave, think and feel a certain way. Unfortunately, this hasn't proven to be accurate or even doable for many transgender and gender variant people.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Just like those who do not have gender variance, you already know the truth about who you are. Trust yourself.  There's no one more qualified to do this than you.

Whether your struggle is with cross-dressing, gender dysphoria, gender confusion, gender-bending desires, fetishes that confuse you, unwanted desires or behaviors, or if you have Gender Dysphoria, having a gender therapist like myself, can ease your journey toward your true self.

A gender dysphoria therapist can provide you with guidance, support, helpful resources, and the necessary information to help you succeed in living your very best, most authentic life possible, however that looks for you.

What is a gender therapist exactly?

As a therapist for transgender men and women, my philosophy is to do as much as I can, in as little time as possible, for the least amount of expense so that I can get out of the way and let you get on with the business of being your beautiful, gender-congruent self.

I can't speak for how others provide gender therapy, as there are different paths to the same place.  I can only tell you about my journey as a gender dysphoria therapist.  I am a mental health professional with an LCSW, licensed in the state of Indiana, and I also have a PhD in Clinical Sexology.

As a gender specialist, I provide gender therapy and care to transgender men and transgender women throughout the United States.  My services are available online for those in other states (with some limits due to state licensing laws), as well as in my Indianapolis (Plainfield) based office.  

I have provided gender therapy to many hundreds of transgender identified men and women over the last two decades, and I have written several hundred letters of referral for hormone replacement therapy (according to the Standards of Care), as well as several dozens of letters of referral for Gender Confirmation Surgery - also known as gender reassignment surgery (GRS) and even sex reassignment surgery (SRS), and even more letters for chest reconstruction (top surgery).  

I consider myself the grateful gender therapist

I witness amazing people living authentic lives with an unparalleled fierce and courageous determination.  I am grateful to have spent so many hours hearing the stories of what it is like to grow up knowing you are one thing, and feeling like you have to pretend you are another.  I have not experienced this with my gender, though I have experienced it with my sexual orientation.  Clearly, the two are different experiences, yet the pain of feeling ashamed of who you really are, and the pain of being led to believe that in order to continue being accepted and loved you must pretend you are not something that you are - that pain is similar.  

I hope to help you melt that pain away, and step into the real you that has been hiding in the shadows for years.  

It's time.

What is a gender therapist exactly?

As a therapist for transgender men and women, my philosophy is to do as much as I can, in as little time as possible, for the least amount of expense so that I can get out of the way and let you get on with the business of being your beautiful, gender-congruent self.

I can't speak for how others provide gender therapy, as there are different paths to the same place.  I can only tell you about my journey as a gender dysphoria therapist.  I am a mental health professional with an LCSW, licensed in the state of Indiana, and I also have a PhD in Clinical Sexology.

As a gender specialist, I provide gender therapy and care to transgender men and transgender women throughout the United States.  My services are available online for those in other states (with some limits due to state licensing laws), as well as in my Indianapolis (Plainfield) based office.  

I have provided gender therapy to many hundreds of transgender identified men and women over the last two decades, and I have written several hundred letters of referral for hormone replacement therapy (according to the Standards of Care), as well as several dozens of letters of referral for Gender Confirmation Surgery - also known as gender reassignment surgery (GRS) and even sex reassignment surgery (SRS), and even more letters for chest reconstruction (top surgery).  

I consider myself the grateful gender therapist

I witness amazing people living authentic lives with an unparalleled fierce and courageous determination.  I am grateful to have spent so many hours hearing the stories of what it is like to grow up knowing you are one thing, and feeling like you have to pretend you are another.  I have not experienced this with my gender, though I have experienced it with my sexual orientation.  Clearly, the two are different experiences, yet the pain of feeling ashamed of who you really are, and the pain of being led to believe that in order to continue being accepted and loved you must pretend you are not something that you are - that pain is similar.  

Gender Therapy Services Include:

Gender assessment and letter of referral

In order to get HRT from a medical doctor, or vaginoplasty (bottom surgery for MTF women), or phalloplasty (bottom surgery for FTM men), or a double mastectomy with chest reconstruction (top surgery for FTM men), the majority of surgeons will require one or two letters of referral from a mental health professional like me.

My job as a therapist for transgender folks wishing to start HRT or have surgery, is to provide what's called an assessment and letter of referral.  To do this I need to verify that you meet the criteria outlined in the DSM-V (a manual of diagnoses created by and for the mental health community) for Gender Dysphoria. Once that is established, I need to verify that you meet what is called "readiness factors."  These are things that need to be in place to insure that you are in a life space that supports you being responsible in your transition - like having enough income to pay for your doctor's visits and hormone supply; making sure that you are not at risk of being kicked out of your home, or losing your job or other things that might result in your successful transition.  

Roughly 99.9% of the people I work with meet these criteria and factors with flying colors.  I am on your side - and I want to see you feel at peace in your skin and in your life.

Defining Gender Dysphoria

gender therapist
  • A strong and persistent cross-gender identification. This means the person wants to be, or is insistent they already belong to, the opposite sex.
  • A person must be persistently uncomfortable in their current gender role, and feel that it’s not congruent with their physical self.
  • GD does not fit if a person is motivated to transition for the purposes of experiencing a cultural advantage of the other sex.
  • Likewise, Gender Dysphoria is not appropriate for someone with intersex conditions.
  • There has to be evidence of clinically significant distress, or damage to important aspects of the person’s life to label someone with Gender Dysphoria.

The current Standards of Care (SOC's) outline the responsibilities of the gender therapist when providing assessment and referral for HRT letters, as well as letters of referral for top surgery for transmales and bottom surgery for trans-females and trans-males. Gender dysphoria is an overwhelming and widely misunderstood condition that causes significant distress.

Defining Gender Dysphoria

  • A strong and persistent cross-gender identification. This means the person wants to be, or is insistent they already belong to, the opposite sex.
  • A person must be persistently uncomfortable in their current gender role, and feel that it’s not congruent with their physical self.
  • GD does not fit if a person is motivated to transition for the purposes of experiencing a cultural advantage of the other sex.
  • Likewise, Gender Dysphoria is not appropriate for someone with intersex conditions.
  • There has to be evidence of clinically significant distress, or damage to important aspects of the person’s life to label someone with Gender Dysphoria.

The current Standards of Care (SOC's) outline the responsibilities of the gender therapist when providing assessment and referral for HRT letters, as well as letters of referral for top surgery for transmales and bottom surgery for trans-females and trans-males. Gender dysphoria is an overwhelming and widely misunderstood condition that causes significant distress.

gender therapist
  • A strong and persistent cross-gender identification. This means the person wants to be, or is insistent they already belong to, the opposite sex.
  • A person must be persistently uncomfortable in their current gender role, and feel that it’s not congruent with their physical self.
  • GD does not fit if a person is motivated to transition for the purposes of experiencing a cultural advantage of the other sex.
  • Likewise, Gender Dysphoria is not appropriate for someone with intersex conditions.
  • There has to be evidence of clinically significant distress, or damage to important aspects of the person’s life to label someone with Gender Dysphoria.

The current Standards of Care (SOC's) outline the responsibilities of the gender therapist when providing assessment and referral for HRT letters, as well as letters of referral for top surgery for transmales and bottom surgery for trans-females and trans-males. Gender dysphoria is an overwhelming and widely misunderstood condition that causes significant distress.

Common steps involved in a gender transition include:

  • Seeing a gender therapist for assistance in gender identity clarification and guidance
  • Coming out to friends, family members, coworkers and bosses, and others
  • Finding new supports local LGBT friendly support groups, churches, social groups and online communities
  • Coming out to medical providers or finding new LGBT friendly ones
  • Laser Hair removal or electrolysis for transgender females
  • A regimen of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) for both mtf and ftm transgender persons
  • New wardrobe and accessories that more accurately express one's true gender
  • Legal name change to align with preferred gender and sense of self
  • Gender marker change on driver's license, birth certificate, passports, and other key documents
  • Voice therapy
  • Breast enhancement or implants for transgender females
  • Real life experience or real life test - living one year in your ideal gender as your true self, often required as a condition of gender validating surgery
  • Sexual Reassignment Surgery (SRS) / Gender Reassignment Surgery (GRS) / Gender Affirming Surgery (GAS) depending on how a person defines their own gender (phalloplasty for transgender males and vaginoplasty or orchiectomy for transgender females)
  • Double mastectomy and chest reconstruction for trans-males, most commonly known as "top surgery"
  • Facial Feminization surgery for trans-females
  • Voice box surgery

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Some men and women are able to find relief for their gender-incongruence by taking very few of these steps, other's might need to take most of these.  There is no cookie-cutter way to transition - you simply honor what feels best to you, and keep moving in that direction until you experience the peace you desire.

I would love to be your therapist for transgender needs whether it is a supportive conversation, couples counseling, assessment and referral for HRT or transgender surgery, or anything else related to your gender transition.

Some men and women are able to find relief for their gender-incongruence by taking very few of these steps, other's might need to take most of these.  There is no cookie-cutter way to transition - you simply honor what feels best to you, and keep moving in that direction until you experience the peace you desire.

I would love to be your therapist for transgender needs whether it is a supportive conversation, couples counseling, assessment and referral for HRT or transgender surgery, or anything else related to your gender transition.

Some men and women are able to find relief for their gender-incongruence by taking very few of these steps, other's might need to take most of these.  There is no cookie-cutter way to transition - you simply honor what feels best to you, and keep moving in that direction until you experience the peace you desire.

I would love to be your therapist for transgender needs whether it is a supportive conversation, couples counseling, assessment and referral for HRT or transgender surgery, or anything else related to your gender transition.