Author Topic: Therapy or no therapy?  (Read 3293 times)

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Therapy or no therapy?
« on: January 09, 2006, 02:55:22 pm »
Hello everyone... since I haven't really been frequenting this forum I'll just a real quick bio so you know where I'm coming from -- I'm a student and planning to go full-time within 4-years with srs in my future (will transition when I move away). I've been out to most of my close family and friends for a couple years now and have become completely comfortable with who I am. My eventual career is very important to me and I intend to be living full time well before I get that far.

I'm looking for a little advice/infortmation, and I would be grateful.

First, I will say that my very first experience with a therapist wasn't great, but only because my mom essentially forced me to go after she caught me dressed (seems like an eternity ago now). I didn't gain anything from that person because I was trying to convince my mom that it was "just a phase" (I knew it wasn't, I just wasn't ready to come out).

Anywho, last year I went away to the University of North Dakota (yes, conservative central). By this time I'd evolved a lot and was starting to accept the fact that I would proabably want to transition. Halfway through the first semester I decided I wanted to talk to someone and found a therapist right in the same town (the only town for 80 miles, which was Fargo)! Only now do I realize how lucky I was to find this person, she was fantastic! She really understood me and I credit some of my self-acceptance to her help. If I hadn't transferred to a local university (I'm living home now, and the local school is much more suited to my major), I likely would have told her I wanted to go on HRT by now and I'm sure she would have approved of it.

Unfortunately, I now find myself 1,700 miles away and wanting to have been on hormones.

Now, I'll ask for that advice . I've been looking for another local therapist with the hope of eventually going on HRT, but I've not found one with TG experience within reasonable distance! At this point I'm not really looking for psychological counsel; I really do feel comfortable with who I am and I know what I want, and the thought of having to start all over again with a new therapist after I'd already gotten so far with my previous one just kills me! (but if I have to, I have to) I'd been under the impression for a while that a TG person has to be working with a therapist of sorts to be able to get on hormones, but now I'm not sure... could I just go straight to an endocrinologist? Is that advisable? And one last question, the one therapist I've found nearby with TG credentials from a local support group is titled RCSW (social worker) -- is that a high enough qualification to be of sufficient help for someone who plans to transition? If I go back to therapy I really wanted to see a PhD (or some kind of doctor), but this person is recommended and is right near the university.

Thank you all!

~Elaine Haupt


Re: Therapy or no therapy?
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2006, 06:33:56 pm »
Hey there Elaine,

I'm not familiar with U.S. medical requirements, who is best, who isn't, but while a therapist who is fully qualified in trans issues would be the best option for you, the truth is that there isn't that many to go round.  In Canada the pecking order for therapy is pshrink (GID experience), pshrink, PhD (GID experience), PhD, MD, RCSW.  If HRT is the biggest concern then either of the aforementioned can refer to an endo with their own recommendations.  If it's therapy then you need to state to the new therapist where you are in this issue and what you need.  In either case you have to ask the question, and all of them should be willing to provide a referral for you if they are unable to fulfill your needs.

There are many here more knowledgeable with your medical system who will no doubt give their advice :)



Re: Therapy or no therapy?
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2006, 08:25:03 pm »
Alice Christianson, MA (Clinical Psychology)
MeritCare Neuroscience Clinic
700 First Ave. S.
Fargo, ND 58103
Phone: (701) 234-4131

120 N 3 St.
Bismarck, ND 58501
(701) 255-6347


Re: Therapy or no therapy?
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2006, 08:44:39 am »
Just wanted to say hello.  :)

As for qualifications, any gender counselor can write a letter for hormones.  Most of the docs I have run across follow the Standards Of Care (SOC) so that means you will need to visit a therapist for X amount of time/visits before obtaining the letter.  The good news is that your time with the therapist in the other town can go toward that requirement, depending on if the new therapist thinks that you are ready.  I would suggest calling the clinic and asking a few basic questions:  their experience with transsexuals, do they write letters for hormones, and if they have a local endoc that they work with.

There are a few people I know who were actually able to start HRT without going to a therapist at all but they sort of just made appointments with doctors and hoped for the best.  That can get a little pricey these days though.

Good luck on your journey.


Re: Therapy or no therapy?
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2006, 09:55:11 am »
Well I know I did find my endo first( about 2 years before) then
I found my first therapist. Living where I do, as backwards as this city here is,its basically slim pickings. When I did find my first, she really didn't have much exp with TS. She had to study the internet to help me. I stayed  there for 1 year. Then I went without a therapist for awhile because I couldn't find one with at least some exp dealing with TS. Finally about 2 years ago, I called my insurance and asked if they knew of one. They gave me her name and made I appointment for me.So, I did start on hormones way before I started therapy. I hope it all works out for you dear.
Good luck.


Re: Therapy or no therapy?
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2006, 03:03:21 pm »
Thank you EVERYONE for the responses... I posted this same thing on another site and didn't get any helpful feedback, so thank you. I called that one person's office today and she'll be getting back to me, so hopefully this will work out :)


Yay!! I just spoke with this person and I am very excited... her recommendation seems to have been warranted (she's been active with the TG community for a long time and works with several endocrinologists, and she seemed very nice to talk to).

Ok, thanks again for the input, I feel relieved now that I've spoken with her.


Re: Therapy or no therapy?
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2006, 08:11:12 pm »
well personally i would prefer a therapist if for nothing else but to get it off my chest so to say and geting used to talking about it all. so anyone know of anyone in extream south jersey a very rual area and i cant seem to find any here myself