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Author Topic: Taking the first step - how and where do I start?  (Read 41 times)

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Online Katie

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Taking the first step - how and where do I start?
« on: January 18, 2020, 08:32:14 PM »
I spend a little bit of time here and there on different transgender groups on Facebook. A member in one group had said they weren't sure whether they were transgender or if they just had some other issues stemming from sexual objectification.

I responded suggesting the help of a therapist would be valuable in helping to distinguish between the two. The original poster asked how to find a therapist and how start speaking with a therapist without right away discussing gender stuff and crossing their own personal comfort boundaries.

So, I thought I would share my own experience, which I wrote in response to this discussion:

I spent about two months going to a therapist before I really started opening up about my gender identity issues.

What I did was get on my insurance company's website and look up what therapists in my area were covered under my insurance and then started looking at each one's specialties. I found two that were listed as specializing in transgender care. Deciding between the two actually came down to who was closest to my home. I settled on one that was only about 2 miles from my home and loved working with her.

When that therapist moved her practice to another city 30 miles away, I found my current therapist by referral from my local LGBTQ clinic.

But during those first couple of months with my first therapist I actually never said a word about being transgender or having any gender issues. I just talked about other stuff in my life because I was super afraid of crossing that line of coming out to anyone, not even a therapist who was obligated not to tell anyone else.
"Some want to live within the sound
Of church or chapel bell;
I want to run a rescue shop,
Within a yard of hell".
C.T. Studd

"Redeeming love has been my theme,
and shall be till I die".
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Offline Claire_

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Re: Taking the first step - how and where do I start?
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2020, 01:03:57 PM »
I agree completely with Katie - go to a therapist or counselor in your area.  Remember you are in control of that interaction - only share what you feel you can safely.  The balancing factor of that is you will only benefit as much as you are willing/able to be open. 

Self discovery, forums, and other online resources can be helpful to a point.  But in the end, the work is uniquely yours to discover the truth in your life.  Nobody here or elsewhere can know what is inside your head and heart.  Having someone you can built trust in to help probe and guide you as discover your truth is invaluable.

Another thing to consider as you engage therapy is insurance and medical record disclosure laws.  Once gender dysphoria is shared, your therapist can add a diagnosis code which will show up in your medical records and insurance billing.  If you are a minor, your parents will likely find this out eventually.  If you are an adult/professional on your own insurance, there is a chance someone in your company HR may see this billing code at some point (especially in a small company).

Online Linde

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Re: Taking the first step - how and where do I start?
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2020, 10:02:52 PM »
To have a therapist is very important to fulfill the requirements of WPATH, which are the guiding regulations for any further medical or surgical treatments to tackle dysphoria.  Most medical professionals do not prescribe any hormones, unless a therapist has written a letter of recommendations.  Some staates and countries allow for informed consent for hormone prescriptions, but many insurances want to have a letter of recommendation.  A letter from a therapist an a psychologist are also required for GRS, and a therapist letter and a treating doctors letter are required for the change of ones Social security and Medicare information and for the drivers licenses/ID's in the US.

Because of all these requirements, establishing the contact with a trustworthy therapist who knows about transgender problems and issues, is pretty important at the beginning of the official transition process.

Hugs
Linde
If life deals you lemons, make the best out of them, make lemonade, or put them into your bra to make it look like you have big boobs!