An Experienced Washington DC Gender Therapist Will…

An Experienced Washington DC Gender Therapist Will…

For anyone, but maybe especially for a person struggling with gender issues, counseling can be a supportive, empowering process — but it can also be an overwhelming, or even ineffective experience. It’s a sad reality that most therapists, psychiatrists, counselors and mental health professionals in general are ill equipped to address the needs of gender-variant clients in the Washington DC metropolitan area.

Naiveté, not insensitivity leads otherwise excellent therapists to apply basic counseling techniques they think will benefit the client. This is often not true; such techniques will often not work, and may delay the client on his, or her path to mental health and stability. It is only through formal education, workshop attendance, reading and research, and real experience with real people that a counselor can make a profound, positive impact on the LGBTQI community.

Ideally, a Washington DC gender therapist will…

Take a few sessions to clarify the issues, distinguish the difference between transgender and a mental disorder that appears to be transgender but isn’t, and diagnose the client.

Assist the client in considering the implications of gender transition. It is not the role of the gender therapist to encourage, nor to discourage the person as they make their decision, but to provide factual information about the requirements of a transition, the common pitfalls, and the challenges.

Assist the individual in finding resources to support the transition process. These resources can include help with the name-change process; the option to undergo hair removal; physician referrals, and any others related to a gender transition.

Suggest the exploration of realistic alternatives to gender transition. With what methods, and how gender counseling is carried out will differ for each client; a skilled gender therapist will offer creativity, flexibility, and the capacity to envision resolution when there seems to be none.

Offer marital and family counseling services in the Washington DC area. Gender transition affects the individual, and their families, too. Keith Miller Counseling & Associates has the resources necessary to help spouse, parents, children, and other family members deal with the changes that are occurring or will occur.

Have a deep sense of appreciation, not pity, for transgendered people.

Be familiar with and able to apply the World Professional Association for Transgender Health’s Standards of Care with fairness and integrity.

Discuss with the client the specific requirements that must be met to fulfill the WPATH’s Standards of Care. This discussion will be carried out in such a way that the client and the therapist, both, can agree on those requirements, and the associated timeline. Clients should always feel comfortable asking, and should expect an answer to the question, “What will I need to accomplish before you will write a letter of recommendation for hormone (or surgical) treatment?”

Meet Keith Miller & Associates’ Experienced Gender Therapist

As a licensed marriage and family therapist at Keith Miller Counseling & Associates, Dr. Marjorie Strachman Miller specializes in working with individuals and couples with a special interest with those who identify as LGBTQI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning and intersex). Schedule your appointment today.