You might have a few questions for me if you are thinking about coming to visit a therapist as a child, teenager, parent or caregiver. The most important thing in therapy is the amount of comfort you have with your therapist while working them about things that can be hard to say out loud. I welcome free 20 minute in person, phone or video consultation with your family. You can visit my contact page here to either call me or set up a time for an in person or video consultation. Here are the answers to the most frequent questions families, children and teens have for me. Every person and family is unique though.
Will you tell my parents if I haven’t told them?
If you haven’t already had a conversation with your parents or caregiver or at least mentioned your gender identity to them in passing this can be a big question. If you have talked to your parents about your identity or are coming to therapy for another reason, it’s good to include them in sessions at some point and with your permission. Having conversations with your parents could help regarding transitioning or having someone in your corner at school. However, what we talk about is between you and I with some reasons why that would change. But your gender isn’t a reason to tell your parents what we talk about. That means that what you confide in me stays between us unless. There are reasons to talk to your parents, but I will talk to you about what’s called “confidentiality” the first time we meet.
A note to Parents: Children and teenagers still have confidentiality in sessions, unless there are concerns of harm in most cases. I will review confidentiality with both you and your child. Safe spaces are important for children as well as adults.
Including my Family
It’s a good idea to have sessions with your family or include your family on the first few minutes of the appointment, especially in the beginning of therapy. When this happens, I still keep what you say between you and I and ask your permission when we talk to your family.
A note to Parents: I include families in sessions when it’s the best practice to do so or when you and your family have a need or concern to discuss with a therapist. I also offer family sessions with parents without their child so that you or you and your partner can learn communication skills with your child, how to affirm your child’s gender or how to best support your child’s mental health along with other concerns.
School and Friends
School can be tough and frustrating and it can be a major source of anxiety and depression. It might be hard figuring out when to tell the school your transgender, or if you even want to yet. Friends may be your best supporters right now or you may feel uneasy talking to them about your gender for fear of how they will treat you differently. School is something we can talk about and work to overcome or at least feel more comfortable with.
A note to Parents: When it is time for your child to make a transition at school, that’s something I will process with your child and family if needed. There can challenges to talk to your child’s school if the school doesn’t already have a plan in place for change within it’s student population. Part of being a social worker as well as a therapist is my knowledge of resources to assist your family with your concerns. Please ask me for the assistance and support your family needs.
Sometimes people in general and parents want to know if you are gay, straight, bisexual, pansexual, asexual and other sexuality questions when you are transgender. It can be frustrating, empowering, or so many other emotions when you’re asked these questions. Your sexuality doesn’t always have anything to do with your gender and I understand that. I welcome conversations about sex and try to make it as comfortable as possible, that’s not required for being in therapy. I will not push you to make an announcement.
A note to Parents: You might have questions about your child’s sexual orientation along with questions about their gender. It’s completely understandable to have multiple questions and concerns when navigating the best for your children. I don’t press children or teenagers to make announcements about sexuality or gender that they are not ready to make, even to parents. I will work very hard to make sure your children are heard, understand and have the space to process what they need to process.