The topic of transgender identities has become more prevalent in recent years. Additional national support has meant a further understanding of gender fluidity, as opposed to the outdated concept of gender binary of male-female, with space in between. This has led to improved policy to provide transgender support, quality care, and affirmation.
Transgender is the “recognition or awareness that one is a member of one sex and not the other and how one perceives oneself to be in terms of being male or female. It is an inner feeling of comfort knowing that one’s body is congruent with self-concept”.
When working with individuals who identify as transgender, or any form of non-binary gender identity, there are additional, specific considerations that need to be recognized in order to help support individuals going through the journey of understanding themselves, their gender identity and their gender presentation.
Topics that can be worked on include:
- support under the standards of practice set forth by WPATH.org
- medical considerations and referral to psychiatry, endocrinology, and specialists who work with trans individuals
- other community resources
This work includes knowledge specific to this area, referrals to these individuals, supportive resources and a good understanding of the gender dynamics specifically experienced by trans individuals.
Insight Psychological’s sex therapists not only specialize in trans issues but employ a full range of LGBTQ 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.
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).
Learn more about this program in our handout here.
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 LGBT clients
- Making stereotypical assumptions about LGBT clients
- Using expressions of hetero-normative bias
- Assuming that LGBT individuals need psychotherapeutic treatment
- Using warnings about the dangers of identifying as LGBT
We strive to:
- Use inclusive intake forms with gender-neutral terms
- Relate to unique LGBT client challenges throughout a session
- Display LGBT 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 Psychological today to speak to one of our trained counsellors.
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