So I’m sure some of you might have heard the term Gender Therapy, but others may be scratching your head in confusion. Currently, gender therapy does not have one specific definition but represents therapeutic services for individuals questioning their gender identity and seeking medical transitional through mental health approval. Gender therapy can also encompass general mental health concerns such as depression, anxiety, and trauma as one navigates gender identity in therapy. In terms of medical transitioning such as seeking hormone replacement therapy (HRT)/cross sex hormone therapy (CSHT), hormone blockers, or sex reassignment surgeries, the requirements for gender therapy tend to differ on a state to state level.
In Colorado, many physicians tend to follow the "informed consent model"-permission granted in the knowledge of possible consequences typically given by a patient to a doctor for treatment with full knowledge of the possible risks and benefits. This means that you are acknowledging all of the potential side effects when undergoing HRT/CSHT treatment or surgery. Easy enough to understand! So, do you need therapy before starting medical transitioning? If so, how long will it take?
In terms of Grand Junction Colorado, many of the physicians I have worked with often require at least a brief mental health screening or check up before starting any medical transitional procedures. This tends to vary from doctor to doctor when starting HRT/CSHT, and is screened on a case-by-case basis. Surgical procedures often do require at least two letters of recommendation minimum by a therapist and prescribing physician. Again, this will also depend on your individual state requirements. Depending on how far an individual might be in their transition, and whether or not the physician deems the patient ready medically, ultimately determines their desire to move forward. In my experiences in referring clients to physicians on the western slope, many prefer patients to have seen a mental health clinician before moving forward with HRT or surgery. A lot of physicians and mental health therapists also follow the guidelines of WPATH (world Professional Association for Transgender Heath), an international standard of care for transgender health.
So in conclusion, gender therapy is open for any and everyone interested in working with a mental health clinician on further evaluating their gender identity, mental health concerns, and discussing their options in moving forward with a medical transition. When clients come to see me for gender therapy, the process is typically short in nature if no major existing mental health concerns are present. Therefore there is typically no need for months on end of therapy! My goal is to get you moving forward on the path towards success and feeling whole mentally and physically! Gender therapists can also be knowledgable on up to date medical and mental health requirements involving transition, so if you've been thinking about hormone therapy or surgery, contact a local one today!