*Process – meaning the steps that the medical people decided I have to take before I’m allowed to go on T.

15 responses to “Counselling

  1. This is humiliating and invalidating. This practice needs to be abolished. It’s a wonder people have any certainty on their identities at all.
    You should not have to go through these stupid psych evaluations to convince a psych tell you it’s OK to be who you are.

    • Some sort of screening process is necessary because medical professionals need to protect themselves in the event of getting sued. Whether the process as is is excessive or appropriate is up to debate though.

      • Yeh I think it just felt pretty arbitrary to me.
        I guess it felt like that I was lucky because my gender identity could be read as pretty hegemonic in lots of ways (ha! the power of gross simplification!), and so could pass through their guidelines fairly smoothly. And that makes it stink for people whose gender id is more radical, who just confuse the gatekeepers – that somehow because their gender is less hegemonic they’re less likely to pass through the medical system’s tests.
        I feel like the model of informed consent works in so many other circumstances, so why isn’t it used here?

  2. eeeep my boyfriend is shrinking!

    <3ing you dearly.

  3. I was pretty reluctant to go to a therapist initially because I was afraid of being invalidated, but my therapist actually turned out to be really awesome. She was very supportive and pretty much just acted as a sounding board to let me explore myself. She’s also been really good at advising me on how to come out to family and work, not to mention helping me find a trans-friendly hair salon and other such resources. So because of my experience with her, I’m pro therapist in general. Whether it should be the absolute standard for everyone, regardless of how long they’ve been exploring their identity, or of where they live and how accessible a good trans therapist is… I’m not so sure. I like to think standards will loosen up over time.

    • Ah yay! It is always good to hear about people who’ve clicked with their therapists.

      I had a really awesome therapist back in Dunedin too – and I’m looking for another regular one up here, ’cause I’ve found them really helpful, and it’s really good to have someone you trust to talk to and nut some of the questions and concerns you have out.

      There was just something not nice about knowing I was specifically asked to go and see this one because I’m wanting to go on T…. and that they didn’t offer any sort of long term counselling support, it’s more a 2-4 session deal where they report back to the doctor about whether they think you’re ok to go on hormones. It doesn’t feel particularly support orientated, y’know?

  4. GUH! I hear you loud and clear. Mine makes me 100% uncomfortable, but I’d rather stick with her until she approves me and then never see her again. Since when does asking if I pee sitting or standing help one assess whether I should go on T or not?

    Also, I told her I draw comics, she called them “cartoons” because they’re not comical (what.), and now wants me to bring them in next time. Ick. >_<

    • Also, in the area I’m in, I have to see the therapist for 3+ months before she decides if I can go on T or not. How much is she going to ask, and at what point does she decide I really am a boy? If it goes on for much longer, I’m going to have to start lying, starting at “noooo, I HATE glitter, pride, and fabulousness” and ending at “yes. I’m totally straight, and I only like big-chested blondes. ‘Cause I’m manly. Yum, blondes.”

      Honestly. If they’re going to screen us, I vote for all screening therapists being trans themselves, and knowing that one can also be genderqueer and still be a good fit for hormones or other gender “treatments.”

      • hell yes. I’ll have my license probably in less than 6 months (sitting exams and what not), let’s start this revolution of mental health services by us for us!.

      • Boo to her deciding what comics are “supposed” to be called! That would have been the last straw for me! “Oh no, you didn’t just say that did you?? RARRRRRR!”

  5. thesecretkeith

    I hate psychologist.. and those ridiculous assessments..

    I quit going to mine because I felt.. extremely looked down upon by her. Like.. her seeing my piercings and dyed hair as some sort of personality flaw (she actually said this) that pointed to me looking for a new style instead of a new gender. And like.. I felt so pressured to follow the “trans script”: I’ve known since I was little I only played with trucks and played with the boys and wanted to be able to pee standing. I just felt like if I said the wrong thing or actually communicated my fears then T could somehow be barred from me forever.

  6. “I feel like the model of informed consent works in so many other circumstances, so why isn’t it used here?” Exactly. I feel very much the same way. I’m torn because part of me we can understand wanting to check-in, I guess, but at some point it really IS arbitrary.

    I found a counseling center back in August and they would write letters for T if at the end of 3 months they determined that you did indeed have “gender identity disorder” and you “were ready” to take that step. I stayed because I liked my counselor, but I was rather annoyed by the whole thing.
    I started seeing her on Sept 21, needed to go out of town at the beginning of December, and would not be back until January. Her last day was towards the end of December, so in order to get my letter, I’d have to go back and have one more session with someone totally new. I was only 2 weeks shy of that 3 month mark, but somehow that was the magic number and they would not budge.

    I haven’t been back. I found services elsewhere (and was fortunate enough to be able to do so). As a social worker about to go into the field, I hope to help change some of this ridiculousness…

    I’m proud of you for taking this step, though. It’s not always easy to jump through these hoops they place before us — it takes a lot of bravery, courage, and self love.

    • Thanks dude! I think it’s really nice to feel like I’m stepping up to it and trying even if it’s hard. And awesome for you to find a different place to go. It’s cool to hear that you’re heading into the area too, be great to have some family on our side!

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