FINDING A PSYCHOTHERAPIST

Many people with Gender Dysphoria and who are exploring their gender identity issues are struggling to make a decision about their futures. Others may have made a decision to transition from one gender role to another or indeed may actually be transitioning. Whatever the situation it is often helpful to get support via Psychotherapy and Counselling.

Like many other decisions facing Trans people, and faced with a myriad of choices, this can be a daunting exercise.

Without getting to know you I cannot know which style of therapy is best suited for your individual needs. The individual practitioner’s expertise is more important than their theoretical approach however it is important to find a genre that suits the individual seeking support.

Qualifications will carry different emphasis depending on the individual therapists governing body. E.g. membership of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) has a requirement that members have a minimum qualification of a diploma level that is not far short of MSc standard. Training courses have to be approved by the governing body.

Membership of British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) does not have the same high requirement at membership level but they have an accreditation process for members who choose to become accredited by them. In short, you should not necessarily exclude a practitioner because they are not full members of UKCP providing they are accredited by BACP. Conversely, you should not necessarily ignore a practitioner who is not accredited by BACP as they may be registered by UKCP.

Don’t be afraid to ask them about their qualifications.

You would, in my view, be wise to seek a registered member of UKCP or a practitioner who is accredited by BACP.

WHY WOULD I WANT TO SEE A THERAPIST?

Some people ask ‘why would I want to see a therapist in the first place?’

Not everyone will feel the need or wish to use the services of a therapist. However, effective therapy is not about diagnosis and is certainly not about cure. A good practitioner will help you explore and make meaning of your experience and your felt sense of self.

The objective should not be to make judgements about your suitability for transition and the practitioner should not be invested in whether you do or do not transition. However a good Psychotherapist will help you become more self aware, emotionally grounded and strong enough to make healthy choices

For others it may simply be about you obtaining much needed emotional support at a challenging time.

THERAPY STYLES & ORIENTATION

Wondering what style or orientation of therapy you should choose?

Whilst I do not presume to judge one therapy genre over another I suggest that you pick a style that encourages exploration and respects your felt sense of self or phenomenology. A purely reflective style may be helpful for support but may take longer for exploration.

The following links will provide definitions of the many therapeutic orientations:

FINDING A THERAPIST

CHOOSING A PRACTITIONER

The therapeutic relationship is both vital and very much about chemistry but some fundamental requirement should be sought. Having narrowed the search by checking with the above websites you might ask them:

  • How long have they been practicing?
  • What experience do they possess in the field of gender identity?
  • What do they think they can offer you?
  • Are they prepared to see you on a session to session basis so that you can leave if it isn’t working for you?

You should get a clearer picture by the time you have gone through this check list but please call the office if you would like to discuss this further. I make no apology for suggesting you go through this process but want you to get the best possible support.