When people realize they are transgender/transsexual, they have many questions about how to get the transition process started, what are the steps involved in transition, and how to get the most correct and up to date information about the transition process.
Often the prospect of going to see a therapist can be rather frightening for a variety of reasons: What if the therapist doesn’t support me in my transition? What if the therapist tells me I’m not ready? How do I know whether or not the therapist is really qualified to help me?
Dr. Baker-Hargrove and his staff have a combined over 40 years’ experience working in the transgender/transsexual community and Two Spirit Health Services/BHC Assessment & Consulting is considered a national expert on the mental health issues related to gender transition by other mental health professionals, medical doctors who work in the field, and the clients themselves. We consult with clients from all over the United States who are transitioners. Our staff speaks regularly at national conferences, Dr. Baker-Hargrove trains other medical and mental health professionals in the cultural competencies required to work with transgender patients, and we have worked with over 1,500 transitioning clients from the age of 5 to the age of 80. Below are a few frequently asked questions to help put your mind at ease:
What if my therapist does not support me in my transition? You won’t get that here. We don’t tell people they should not transition. That is not the decision of the therapist and you don’t need a therapist’s approval. Our job is to help you make your transition successful.
What if I’m not sure whether or not I’m transsexual, or a cross dresser, or lesbian, or I’m just confused? These are very common conversations we have with people who are in the beginning stages of the process. Whether you realize it or not, you have experienced a lot of negative programming about being transsexual from mainstream society. The point is that if you are asking these questions of yourself, something is definitely going on and we are the experts at helping you sort it all out.
How long will this take? How many sessions will I need to get my letter? We follow the World Professional Association for Transgender Health Standard of Care 7 guidelines. We do not hold people to a certain length of time in order to “get a letter”. If you are ready after the first session, then we are ready to support that. Our goal in working with you is to help you achieve the most successful transition possible by improving your relationship with yourself.
If you think I need additional psychotherapy, could that delay my “getting a letter”? Typically, not. You can have other issues going on in your life or have a serious mental health condition and still be transgender/transsexual. Our goal is to help you become a better life manager, problem solver, and improve your relationship with yourself and your environment. We can do that while you transition, not before.
What more do I need to know about transitioning? Dr. Baker-Hargrove and his staff have over 40 years of combined experience in working with gender identity issues and have counseled over 1,500 transitioners of all ages. We are fully trained and are aware of procedures, processes, steps to take, people to refer you to, and places to get more information. We are here to help you realize your goals-not make attaining them more difficult.