To start- A gender therapist or a therapist who works heavily with transgender people can be one of the most valuable transitional resources. They often have important knowledge of local doctors, surgeons, voice coaches, and other resources. In my experience, finding a gender therapist was incredibly difficult. However, now that I have found one, talking to her and getting her insights has forever helped my transition.
Resources – Many websites exist that can help you find a gender therapist. In my experience, websites like Reddit and Psychology Today were helpful to me. Not only that, but often LGBTQ+ community centers have therapists listed.
If you are in the south of the United States, this guide may be helpful. Trans in the south is a 75-page document of more than 400 southern health providers across 13 states. Some of the providers being, mental health, endocrinologist, planned parenthood, HIV care, primary care, and legal resources. Not only that but on the guide, there are other specific websites listed for each state.
To continue, trans providers often have insight into other trans providers. If you find a person or a provider who helps transgender people, you more than likely would be able to get recommendations.
In my experience, I found my therapist by using Psychology Today. In their search settings, they have listings for therapists who specialize in transgender care. Not only that, but Psychology Today lists their degree, location, phone number, email, their website, and other important information. Psychology Today is linked below.
I recommend using transgenderpulse and transcaresite. I have not used them in my personal experience; however, they seem promising with the amount of information on their website and the number of people listed. Both of the websites are linked below.
Furthermore, if you are curious if a certain therapist would be a good fit, many have free consultations. In my experience, every therapist I have worked with had a free consultation. Some being the first session while others being a much shorter session of 20 minutes. Not only that, but taking the first step into therapy can be intimidating. In my experience, bringing alongside my mom for the first sessions has helped with my anxiety.
After your consultation, if that therapist does not seem like a good fit, there is no shame in no longer seeing them. For therapy to make a positive impact on you, finding a therapist who is a good fit is critical. If you both have different ways of solving problems or combative personality types, it may be difficult for your therapist to help you.
For those interested in going to therapy only for a therapist note, therapists generally want to see you for a period of time before then. However, some may offer an evaluation without having to see you beforehand, specifically for therapist notes.
To continue, numerous surgeons do not require a therapist note for surgeries such as breast augmentation and double incision mastectomy. However, for genital and face surgery, it is a commonplace to require a therapist note.
For doctors’, anyone over 18 may use informed consent. Informed consent works by allowing an adult to make an informed decision based on the possible risks and benefits. In the case of transgender people, this allows them to sign off on a form and get hormones without a therapist note. Planned parenthood and LGBTQ+ clinics commonly have informed consent as an option. However, some doctors offer it as well.
A Reddit user made a post compiling every informed consent clinic in the United States. If you are considering using informed consent, I would highly recommend their map, linked below.
Important side note – Both psychiatrists and psychologists can write you a note of recommendation. However, a psychiatrist can often be 2 to 3 times more expensive than a psychologist. In general, it is more common to see a psychologist over a psychiatrist for trans related recommendations. If you are getting a trans-related surgery covered by insurance, you may need a note of recommendation from both a psychiatrist and psychologist.
In short – Many amazing websites exist to help trans people find the resources that they need. However, it can still be difficult to find the right therapist. By taking advantage of free consultations, you increase your chance of finding someone who can help you. Not only that, but finding a therapist who works specifically with trans people can be instrumental in your transition. I hope my article has been helpful to you and wish you good luck in your transition 🙂