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Who can help people explore their gender identity?

Therapists who specialize in gender identity can help treat trans clients, nonbinary clients, and clients questioning their gender identity. It’s helpful to see a therapist who is experienced in this domain so they are familiar with questions or challenges the client is experiencing and relevant treatment approaches such as gender-affirming care. Some therapists who are experienced in this area may be or nonbinary themselves, while others may not be.

Can you address questions related to gender identity in therapy?

Yes, therapy can be a powerful outlet for people to explore their gender identity in a safe, supportive, private context. The therapist and client may discuss the client’s childhood experiences, perceptions of gender, body image, and mental health challenges. Therapy can help clients process and reduce feelings of discomfort around their gender identity. It can also help clients choose how to move forward, in terms of therapy, communicating with loved ones, non-medical and medical gender-affirming interventions, and more.

Is gender-affirming therapy a good option for trans people and people questioning their gender identity?

Gender-affirming therapy is an approach that centers around affirming a patient’s gender identity rather than aiming to change it. This is often an empowering approach for trans, nonbinary, and gender-diverse clients. Gender-affirming care, more broadly, encompasses non-medical interventions, such as identity, name, and clothing changes, and medical interventions such as hormone treatment and surgical procedures.

What do therapists who specialize in gender identity do?

Therapists who specialize in gender identity help clients explore their gender, as well as their self-concept, body image, and mental health, and address any discomfort related to their gender identity and expression. They may also be familiar with the process of submitting letters of support for gender-affirming medical interventions, which are often required of mental health professionals.