Gender Counseling

Gender is complex, personal, and uniquely experienced and expressed by each individual, family, community, and culture. Whether you are just beginning to explore your gender, or whether you are ready to take steps towards a gender transition, therapy can be a helpful and supportive part of your gender journey. In some cases, therapy may be mandated by your doctor or insurance company in order to obtain medical treatment. No matter where you are now or where you are going in your gender journey, I’m here to help.

I help people of all ages through their process of exploring their gender identity and expression, and sometimes changing their gender expression through various avenues. Most of my experience has been working with children, youth, and young adults, though I work with older adults as well.

In the field of gender-affirming care, there are two prevailing models that professionals follow: the WPATH (World Professional Association for Transgender Health) Standards of Care, and the Informed Consent model. These two models are sometimes influential over the kind of medical care that transgender and nonbinary people can access when they are considering a medical transition, so they are important for you to know about and talk with your therapist about. The WPATH model is utilized by many insurance companies to determine eligibility for certain kinds of medical care, and emphasizes medical and mental health professionals assessing a person’s readiness for medical transition. The Informed Consent model is a newer model that emphasizes a person’s own assessment of their readiness for medical transition, with a focus on the person’s ability to take responsibility for the potential risks involved with their transition.

I do not utilize either model exclusively, although I have been trained in the WPATH model and engage regularly in trainings that embrace and teach using the Informed Consent model. My philosophy in working with all of my clients is that people are individuals with different needs and some may benefit from the structure that WPATH provides where others may benefit more from the Informed Consent model. I invite you to tell me about which approach appeals more to you, and I also invite you to ask me questions about this topic.

I take a family and community support approach to working with transgender children and youth, because family and community support are an essential part of their journey. Parents and caregivers should expect to be a part of therapy, and sometimes it is better for the family that this happen separately from their child’s therapy session. Parents and children often enter this process in very different places and have different, sometimes competing, emotional needs. I am equipped to help each of you through this journey, separately, and together.