Working With A Gender Affirming Therapist
Transgender individuals and other members of the LGBTQ+ community often experience unwanted commentary on their identity that invalidates their sense of self and even forces them to question themselves instead of holding strong to their true selves. Today, patients can opt to work with a gender-affirming therapist who encourages self-exploration and self-love, even outside of the status quo. Learn more about working with a gender-affirming therapist.
Previous Therapy Methods
Up until 2013, the American Psychiatric Association recognized gender identity disorder as a valid diagnosis. However, the diagnosis proved problematic as it emphasized gender confusion instead of the mental distress associated with living a highly unconventional life and the judgment that comes with it. The APA changed the diagnosis to gender dysphoria, but the stigma only slightly dissipated.
According to a study in 2016, transgender subjects demonstrated suicidal ideation up to 50% of the time. It became abundantly clear that changes to the mental health treatment of trans people needed to be made, along with the name of the disorder.
Gender Affirming Therapists
Gender-affirming therapists disregard society and external factors to explore the patient as a person instead of a gender.
Naturally, most patients want to talk about confusion or fear about their gender. However, the therapist will aim to instill a sense of self in the patient that allows them to direct that previous energy focused on gender somewhere more productive.
Gender-affirming therapists don't follow any rules regarding gender norms. Instead, LGBTQ+ therapy sessions emphasize self-love and self-acceptance, wherever that journey takes the patient. Gender exploration is not only tolerated but encouraged.
Therapists typically also have extensive knowledge of other topics that affect the LGBTQ+ community, such as depression, substance abuse, suicidal ideation, grief, and trauma.
Transitioning requires dedication on the part of the patient, including expensive hormone therapy and therapy sessions for years before a doctor approves the surgery. Transitioning people must put a lot of work into their goals to ensure they don't regret the decision in the future. Therapists will provide an objective analysis of the patient's preparation level. The therapist will also guide the patient through the emotionally difficult aspect of the process, such as identity crises and feeling incomplete after surgery.
You deserve to be you. You also deserve to have a therapist who appreciates your unique plight. Find a gender-affirming therapist offering PGBTQ+ therapy sessions in your area today and begin your journey.