Finding an Affirming Gender Identity Therapist

transgendertherapistatlanta

Finding a therapist in your city

I am in Decatur Georgia, which is in the metro Atlanta area and I often get calls from potential clients that tell me they are having a hard time finding a therapist that works with the transgender and gender fluid community.  This is especially true throughout more rural area of Georgia.

In my blog, How to find a good therapist, I touched on this a little bit.  There are some things I would like to let clients know to look for and some things people have told me they look for in a therapist.  The first thing people tell me is that they have a tough time finding someone.  I again recommend searching wither google with terms such as “gender identity therapist” or “transgender therapist” plus, the city you are looking for such as Decatur, GA. If you are in more rural areas of Georgia, or not near Atlanta, I would first complete the same search for your city, and if you can’t find someone close to you, search in the Atlanta area for someone that offers online therapy.

Another way you can search for therapist that lets you filter by insurance based practices is by using the site Psychology today.  You can filter by zip code, the search term transgender and the insurance you have.  This is helpful if you really need to use your insurance.  There is more in my previous blog about a sliding fee scale. You can also search your insurance companies website.

What to look for on the first call or email

Once you have located a few choices from your search, the next things I hear clients say is important to them is if working with transgender or gender identity is specifically mentioned somewhere in their Psychology Today profile, or on their website.  I have been told that this is important as it shows the amount of focus a therapist devotes to working with the community in their practice.  However, there are great therapists that focus in other issues such as addiction or trauma, but are LGBTQ friendly and accepting if that is what you need as well.

While some people prefer to email their potential therapist, email communication is still not as personal as a phone call.  Some things you might want to look for in an email or phone call is whether the therapist respects your pronouns, misgenders you or asks for your preferred name.  If you are looking for therapy specific to your transition, you can ask their experience in working with clients through the transition process or writing letters if needed.  If you are looking for an HRT or surgery letter, I have a blog post about that as well, but in general, ask if they have written one before and what standards of care they follow.  In Atlanta, medical doctors generally follow WPATH standards of care.

Finding a therapist for my individual concern

What if you have already transitioned? Or, what if you are looking for therapy for a specific concern, and still want to find a therapist that is trained in working with the transgender and gender fluid community. In this case, I would still ask the frequent questions about the therapist’s knowledge of the community, but also asks what experience they have with helping someone with your concerns.  If you have an addiction, you may want to find an addiction counselor that works with the LGBTQ community.  If you are looking for help with heavy past trauma, you may want to find someone that specializes in trauma focused therapy. There are also couples counselors that work primarily with the LGBTQ community.

Why should I find an affirming therapist

Finding the right therapist that is knowledgeable and skilled working with the transgender and gender-non-conforming community can be very helpful.  It can allow you to focus more on your concerns and less on educating your own therapist.  It can also lead to a feeling of not being judged for you doing what is best and necessary to lead a fulfilled happy life in your true gender identity.  The most important part of finding the right therapist for you is how you feel when talking to your therapist.  Do you feel accepted?  Do you feel like they are the right fit for helping your work through your concerns?  Is their style and approach what you feel most comfortable with?

You do have a choice of what therapist is right for you.  I hope you have found this blog helpful for finding the right therapist for your individual needs.

 

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315 W. Ponce de Leon Ave. Suite 1055
Decatur, GA 30030

katie@katieleikam.com
404-800-7586



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