Living in a binary world when you identify as non-binary or transgender can be difficult. Perhaps you are trying to sort out your gender identity or want to transition. Gender identity is complex and differs from individual to individual. Lots of factors contribute to an individual’s gender identity including biology, the environment, social norms, etc. Gender identity is subjective and based on an individuals’ own experiences. Sometimes people find that their gender identity does not align with their physical sex or their sex assigned at birth, or do not feel they identify as male or female, but rather somewhere in-between or outside the binary.
There are various loosely delineated categories of identities, including:
- Agender [genderless or neutral]
- Transgender [gender identity does not match physical sex or their sex assigned at birth]
- Cisgender [gender identity matches physical sex or their sex assigned at birth]
- Pangender [gender identity does not conform to the traditional male-female binary and may be identified as somewhere in between, or encompassing all genders]
Symptoms & signs of challenges with your gender identity
If you don’t identify as cisgender, you may encounter personal or social hurdles including:
- Feeling socially unaccepted
- Interpersonal issues due to a lack of acceptance from your friends, family, colleagues, etc.
- Depression, grief, anger, or anxiety
- Difficulty accepting your true self
- Fear of behaving like your true self
- Discomfort with your physical sex/form
When is it time to get help?
If you are having a hard time facing these challenges and living as your authentic self, you may find your daily life, your relationships, your sense of self, and your mental health in general is affected – putting you at risk for depression, anxiety, and more. If you find yourself in this position, then it is time to seek support.
Treatment methods for dealing with challenges with your gender identity
What you’re experiencing will determine the best treatment for you and your individual needs. For example, if you’re feeling depressed, then treating the depression and the cause of the depression will be the first step. At Insight Psychological, you will work with a trained counsellor to identify root issues and to determine the best therapies or direction for you and your needs Dealing with gender identity can be complex and perhaps transitioning will be something to consider and prepare for.
Transformations, Insight’s Gender Transition Program, offers initial assessment and consultation, medical referrals, and ongoing support to individuals who may be experiencing gender identity issues – including any degree of transgender expression, and/or considering SRS (sex reassignment surgery).
Insight Psychological employs a full range of LGBTQ2S+ therapists who have direct first-hand experience in the community. We are a sex-positive agency who are comfortable working with any personal or sexual issues including those who are two-spirited, gender queer, and post-op, etc.
We take great care to understand the pitfalls and roadblocks that are common when working on these topics, to ensure the best possible outcomes and services.
What will I get out of treatment with Insight Psychological?
We can help you as you explore your gender identity and any issues that may arise from this process, or if you are interested in transitioning we can help speed up that process as well. We are inclusive, diverse, non-judgmental and experienced in the area of gender identity.
At Insight we strive to avoid:
- Assuming that sexual orientation is the cause of all presenting issues
- Minimizing sexual orientation
- Attempting to over-identify with LGBTQ2S+ clients
- Making stereotypical assumptions about LGBTQ2S+ clients
- Using expressions of hetero-normative bias
- Assuming that LGBTQ2S+ individuals need psychotherapeutic treatment
- Using warnings about the dangers of identifying as LGBTQ2S+
We strive to:
- Use inclusive intake forms with gender-neutral terms
- Relate to unique LGBTQ2S+ client challenges throughout a session
- Display LGBTQ2S+ friendly symbols
- Include the client’s partner in session, if appropriate
- Treat them the same after sexual orientation disclosure
- Ask about orientation only if pertinent
- When asking, do so in an appropriate way & explain why
Contact Insight today to speak to one of our trained counsellors.