Transgender Affirming Rural Options

 

Rural areas of Georgia and areas throughout the United States generally have some catching up to do with trans affirming care. I often hear that there are limited options for trans affirming care in areas throughout the state of Georgia.  So, what help is available for you if you can’t make it to an affirming provider in person?

In Person Care

Small towns can sometimes make people hesitant to seek therapy or medical care for fear that your privacy won’t be kept.  It can be difficult to find gender specialists in rural areas as well.  If you would like to see a provider in person, there can be clues that that provider will be affirming.  Do they mention LGBTQ on their website?  Have you heard from the online community that they are a positive practitioner? Word of mouth is a great resource to find affirming gender therapists.

If you feel comfortable, you can ask your current doctor if they would be a positive provider for you and willing to learn. You can suggest that your doctor read the endocrine society guidelines, or contact WPATH (World Professional Associations Transgender Care) for training. You can also travel to the closest major city for care.

There are gender affirming doctors throughout the southeast and Atlanta that your therapist should be able to recommend and have a collaborative relationship with, including gender affirming doctors in Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama and South Carolina that offer video sessions.

Online Options

But, with the onset of technology and high speed internet, online services are a great option for some.  More and more providers are now offering video sessions as an alternative to physically come to their office. It’s known by several names and can be called telehealth, distance counseling or telemedicine, video counseling in most search engines and on websites.

I offer sessions via video with myself and sometimes insurance will cover or reimburse video sessions depending on your plan. With video, it’s important to make sure your therapist is using a HIPPA compliant platform, instead of popular programs you may chat with your friends on.  This protects your privacy and makes your sessions confidential. You can ask your therapist if they have a BAA or business associate agreement with their software company for privacy and confidentiality.

Video Pros and Cons

Video sessions have some pros and cons too.  Some of the cons are that it’s hard to read a person’s whole body language, you are not removing yourself into a neutral environment and potential technical difficulties. While technical difficulties are not completely avoidable, a good session will allow for technical back up plans such as the phone.  Emergency plans are also very important in case difficult emotions come up during session.

There are many positives for video counseling. Some of them include easy access to care, less traffic, less time spent out of work for sessions. Other ways video sessions can be positive for the transgender community are that you have the privacy to present in the way that you feel most comfortable during session. A good clinician should respect you when you present in your gender, rather than your assigned at birth gender.  Sometimes this can be easier for people through video, although it’s certainly not always a factor.

If you have hesitations to seek help publicly in your city, video sessions can help.  Distance counseling opens a wide variety of additional resources such as doctors, therapists and psychiatrists that can be non-judgmental, aware, and trained to help you the most.

Video sessions are a wonderful way for college students to continue therapy while they are home with their family for breaks like winter break and spring break.  Or, to have therapy sessions without transportation from your dorm room or apartment.

My Video Sessions

I offer video sessions for navigating, exploring and affirming transition and gender identity.  If you need a HRT letter, it’s possible to receive one through video sessions with me. I also offer video sessions for difficult emotions, family conflict and exploring and processing positive change and coping skills.  You can reach out to me here.

In January of 2018, I will also be offering a video support group for the transfeminine community.  Please don’t hesitate to reach out for more information.

 

 

Speak Your Mind

*

Sign Up for the Newsletter



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

katie@katieleikam.com
404-800-7586



Send A Message