I grew up in a conservative town where LGBTQ individuals were frequently discriminated against. In fact, I was called "dyke" on a semi-regular basis in high school (even before I realized I was gay). Given these experiences, my main clinical interest is providing therapeutic services that are safe and affirming for LGBTQ individuals and their families. My approach is to help clients explore and express themselves in whatever manner is authentic to them. I believe trans and gender non-conforming (TGNC) clients are the experts on their gender and they do not need to "fit" into any subscribed category. I am comfortable using any client pronouns, and I make an effort to be aware of my cisgender, white, privilege.
Most clients benefit from talking through their gender expression/sexual orientation in individual sessions. As mentioned above, my primary concern is providing care that is affirming and supportive. Together, clients and I can discuss their thoughts, questions, and concerns about gender identity and expression. Clients who may be considering a social transition can feel comfortable wearing attire and using new pronouns in session. I am happy to follow WPATH standards and provide letters, as needed, for medical intervention.
Has someone you love told you they are LGBTQ? Are you wondering how to best support them? Do you need to discuss your thoughts and concerns with an objective person? Perhaps you would benefit from coming to a few sessions. This is especially true for parents who are learning of their children's sexual orientation or gender identity. Although I am completely supportive of LGBTQ individuals' self identity and expression, I am comfortable helping families work through their concerns and questions. It has been my experience that many families want to be supportive of their family members, but they are unaware of the importance of using the client's name and pronouns, or they are hesitant because of fear of discrimination and safety concerns.
While psychotherapy can be an important element in living your best life, some clients and family members benefit greatly from online resources. Below is a list of resources that either myself, my clients, or my colleagues have found helpful. Please note, online content is constantly changing, therefore I am unable to guarantee the accuracy and helpfulness of these links for all individuals and situations.
For Gender Diverse Individuals
My Bandana Project - A website to help gender diverse people who are experiencing thoughts of self-harm and/or suicide
Gender Quest Workbook - A guidebook for teens and young adults exploring their gender identity
Trans Bodies Trans Selves - A resource for the trans community
Transgender Guidebook - "Keys to a successful transition"
You and Your Gender Identity - A website and book about your personal identity
Book list for Teens - List of books with trans/gender diverse characters or themes
Gender Spectrum - Includes virtual "space" to connect
Reddit - thread related to trans/gender diverse individuals
For Family Members
Trans-Parenting - A website developed by a mother of a young trans daughter
Transgender Child - A book by Brill and Pepper
Transgender Teen - A book by Brill and Kenney
Helping Your Transgender Teen - A book by Krieger
Importance of Supportive Moms - Article about mother activists
Trans Lifeline - phone: 877-565-8860
Trevor Project Lifeline - For individual 24 and younger; phone: 866-488-7386
National Suicide Prevention Hotline - 1-800-273-8255