At Real Life Counseling, we understand that being a transgender person is complicated. It can be terrifying, especially if you do not have a lot of support. Not only are you constantly looking over your shoulder, but you have no idea who you can turn to for care, validation, and help to navigate the medical world, schools and family dynamics. Maybe you’ve tried counseling before and have been treated unfairly, or the counselor you worked with didn’t understand you or your unique experiences as a trans person. We have specialists who can help you explore and understand your gender identity, and develop a narrative to share who you are with important people in your life. We also provide specialty evaluation and assessment to help primary care physicians better understand your gender identity, endocrinology, and gender-affirming procedural needs.
We’ll meet you where you’re at. We won’t assume your pronouns, and we welcome you to try out different ones until you ones that fit. We won’t judge your past experiences with gender exploration and will help you make sense of the dysphoria you’ve experienced. We’ll advocate for you. We always encourage you to advocate for yourself, but sometimes a little more is needed. We’ll talk with school counselors, medical providers, and welcome your loved one’s into sessions (no matter how challenging those conversations are).
For trans youth, often times family and teachers are confused by an announcement that someone is transgender and additional support can make all the difference to the mental health and well-being for young people. Most often youth know they are trans pretty early – about 12 (sometimes even younger – around age 4). This is a scary realization, and it often leads to symptoms of anxiety, depression, substance use, self-harming behaviors, and suicidal thoughts. Depending on the severity of the gender dysphoria, every time someone is referred to as “she, or miss” when they identify as “he” can feel traumatizing. Shopping for clothes becomes a nightmare, and using public restrooms becomes dangerous. Nobody knows them or sees them for who they are, and everywhere they turn is another person invalidating them as they know themselves to be. The world around them loses its safety and warmth and they have nowhere to turn where they can truly be themselves – or explore who they really are.
When working with a counselor that specializes in gender identity at Real Life Counseling, you can expect to feel welcomed. You can expect to know your counselor’s pronouns and to be asked for yours. You can expect that your counselor will use your pronouns and your name – even if they change and that they will know how to handle any mistakes appropriately. You can expect that your counselor will know the current terminology and use it. We understand that gender and sexuality are not the same things, and being trans has nothing to do with your sexuality. We also understand that while being trans may be a big part of what you’re dealing with that you are still an individual with different needs and your story and your truths are your own. There are so many different parts to each person – gender is only one. You can expect our gender specialists to see the whole you.
If you’re the parent, friend, or loved one of a transgender, gender queer, or gender non-conforming person, here are five things to know about your role in their life.
Our vision is to inspire and empower change in our clients. We focus on guiding our clients to rally their strengths, discover new strengths and ideas so that you can first overcome and second reach your goals. If we can help, then please contact us, click here, so you can either give us a call or send us an email.