Locating a gender therapist in an ocean of psychotherapist’s can be tricky. Knowing what to look for and how to determine fit can also be tricky. Below I have 3 tips (and a bonus tips for parents) on finding a gender therapist.
Using your “Google Foo” skills can come in handy. Below I will review some great resources to use when searching for a gender therapist. When you search a phrase such as, “gender therapists austin,” or “transgender counseling austin,” more than likely the first couple of results will be from Psychology Today.
Psychology Today is a great tool to use for locating psychotherapists in your area. When searching Psychology Today begin by using your zip code or city.
Make sure that you select transgender from the sidebar on the left hand side of the screen under “issues.”
Yes, I do not like that this is listed under “issues.” However, Psychology Today is the largest database of psychotherapist around. I’ve written emails to them before. If anything changes I will post an update.
When you click on a clinician's profile I encourage you to read their bio to see if they mention gender related counseling, if not that might be a red flag. However, people write these bios to be general to attract as many potential clients as possible. So don’t write them off just yet.
On the upper left hand side of the screen, under their photo, there will be a button labeled, “Website.” If this button is not there it means they did not link their site to their profile. Click on this button and review the clinicians website.
Do they speak specifically to gender counseling? If not, they probably aren’t a gender therapist.
Psychology Today Profile Tip:
Many clinicians put a lot more under their “specialties” tab on their profile than they actually specialize in. This is because they are attempting to attract a large number of general clients. Always click on the link to their professional website because this is where a lot of clinicians speak to their “ideal clients.”
Contact local Gender related organizations for help in finding a Gender Therapist. Many of these organizations keep their own lists and if they don’t someone who works for/with them is more than likely to have a recommendation.
Reach out to them! They all would love to hear from you.
Below are some organizations that I know either have lists or give wonderful recommendations!
Please click on the art work above to be taken to the organizations website.
These organization are here for you! Reach out to them!
2. Breaking Down LGB(T)
It is extremely important to research a psychotherapist’s website to make sure that they specifically specialize in gender. Many times you will find a clinician who specializing in the LGBT community, which is fantastic. However, that could mean the LGB+ community meaning that they focus mainly on sexuality.
If you locate a website like this and you like the sound and feel of the clinician do not write them off setup a consultation with them to learn more about their gender knowledge.
Using the acronym “LGBT” is still the most widely use in the mental health field. For better or worse many people see the the acronym as representing one full community instead of representing a large community made up of many differentiated communities.
During a consultation with any psychotherapist it is your time to ask questions and decide if you feel comfortable and confident with them.
I serve the LGBTQ+/Queer community however I consider myself a Gender Therapist and a Sexuality Therapist because I have knowledge in each that allow me to best serve these communities.
A consultation is a free service that a lot of clinicians offers. Consultations are offered before therapy begins allowing both the psychotherapist and you to meet to determine fit. This service is beneficial to the both of you!
Therapists offer consultations in many forms, 15 minute phone call or 30 minute in-person consultations, like I offer, are just a few. Prior to a consultation prepare some questions you want to ask the clinician.
Questions that I have been asked during consultations include: How long have you been working with clients? What is your educational background? Are you affiliated with any local endocrinologist and surgeons? Are you a part of any organizations concerning gender rights? Tell me how you started to work with this population.
The purpose of a consultation is for the therapist to make sure that they feel as if they are best fit for your needs. However, the purpose is also for you to feel comfortable and confident in the therapist.
Consultation Pro Tip: Scheduling multiple consultation is ok!! You want to find the best fit for YOU and sometimes that takes some “shopping around.” You can even ask the therapist you are having a consultation with if they have any other recommendations.
Gender Therapist tend to know each other and refer to each other!
Bonus Tip for PArents
Let your child come to the consultation! Their feelings concerning the therapist is extremely important since they will be the one working with them. After the consultation, take some time to discuss the experience with your child to process how you both feel.
If your child does not get a say in their therapist and/or if they do not like their therapist it is unlikely any lasting work will get done.
Finding a Gender Therapist can be tricky terrain but you have tricks of your own to navigate this and to find the best fit for you or your child. Don’t be afraid to reach out to organizations and ask clinicians for recommendations we are here for you and getting you the best help is our main priority.
Last Pro Tip: Trust your gut! If you feel a “spark” of connection during a consultation then trust yourself and schedule a session!
About my Blog
I love providing people with information. So in my blog you will find posts on topics such as: community resources, media suggestions, parenting questions, and informational posts.
Ryan Dillon, LPC