Frequently Asked Questions

What does a therapist do in gender therapy?

Gender therapists work with transgender individuals or those who are questioning their gender identity. They help patients process their feelings, integrate their sense of self, and cope with transitioning stress. They also provide support for transgender people who have experienced bullying or violence. All these are important outcomes of gender therapy. You can find a therapist by searching your health insurer’s network or the World Professional Association for Transgender Health directory.

What gender-specific therapist should I see?

Seeking gender therapy is an important, affirming decision. As you work to find a therapist, look for a gender specialist who provides the services you need. Think about your goals. Are you preparing for a gender transition? Do you need help coping with mistreatment by family or coworkers? Are you uncertain if you are experiencing gender dysphoria? Gender therapists can help you find answers and move forward with the tools you need to be healthy. Find a therapist who is gender-affirming and wants you to live comfortably with your chosen identity.

What is gender-affirming therapy?

Gender-affirming therapy, or gender-affirming care, refers to a psychotherapy style that promotes transgender health. This includes support for gender-nonconforming individuals, beginning gender transition, and transgender people who need help recovering and integrating their sense of self during and after the transition. If you are looking for this sort of counseling and treatment, find a therapist specializing in gender identity issues.

What is gender dysphoria?

Gender dysphoria is a condition in which individuals experience severe psychological distress because their gender identity does not align with their sex assigned at birth. This is different from gender-nonconforming individuals who may reject the gender binary in their self-expression. Rather, patients with gender dysphoria have been raised as girls or boys when they do not identify as such.

It is important to note that gender is culturally constructed and distinct from biological sex. In Western culture, the intense reinforcement of a rigid gender binary (despite multiple variations even of biological sex) contributes to the stigma against anyone who does not fall into the binary. This social disapproval can cause low self-esteem and feelings of isolation that make depression and suicidality much more common among transgender people. The role of a gender therapist is to help people with gender dysphoria overcome those negative feelings. If you or someone you know is considering harming themselves or having suicidal thoughts, you can reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or dial the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988.

What is gender affirmation?

Gender-affirming therapy and other treatments help someone with gender dysphoria express their correct gender. Because gender is culturally constructed, cultural artifacts and social behaviors can help someone with their self-expression. However, many transgender people experienced stressful childhoods and/or differential socialization, so gender-affirming therapy can help them learn to accommodate the gender identity and presentation that feels right to them. A gender therapist helps them navigate this process by exploring internal conflicts, challenging gender roles, and developing a refined sense of self.

Which therapy is most preferred for gender dysphoria?
How much does gender dysphoria cost?

How do I know if I’m experiencing gender dysphoria?

At what age does gender identity develop?

Can gender dysphoria go away?