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The Therapeutic Journey to HRT

What is HRT?
Hormone replacement therapy is a medical treatment that slowly introduces either testosterone or estrogen to your system. The hormones are introduced for the purpose of changing your secondary sexual characteristics, such as facial hair, essential fats, skin texture, and breast reduction or growth depending on if you are taking estrogen or testosterone. There are also reported psychological benefits from starting HRT for transgender or gender-variant individuals such as decreased depression and anxiety. It is important to note that not every transgender or gender variant individual chooses to undergo HRT.

What is an HRT letter?
A hormone replacement therapy letter is a piece of documentation written by your therapist that is faxed to your primary care physician or other organization that authorizes the use of hormone replacement therapy. The letter contains basic information about what was addressed during therapy sessions as well as the therapist’s written approval for hormone treatment.

How do I get a letter?
All physicians and medical organizations require an HRT letter written by a licensed therapist in order to begin HRT. The easiest way to get one written for you is to see a therapist who specializes in transgender care and make an initial appointment.

What’s the process of getting a letter like?
Once you schedule an appointment with a therapist you will need to go through the initial intake process that all clients go through when beginning therapy. Throughout this process it is important to mention to the receptionist or therapist that you would like to work towards getting an HRT letter written for you.

There are no clear cut exclusionary guidelines/factors that would preclude you from treatment. The therapist will be assessing how the journey of HRT will be beneficial to you. It is important to note that there are no snap-judgments in therapy. Don’t be scared about saying the wrong thing and forever ruining your chances at receiving a letter. The reason most therapists take 10 to 15 weeks of therapy to assess is because we want to be thorough and take the necessary time to explore what your HRT journey will be like for you.

What happens after I get the letter?
Chances are, the letter will not be handed directly to you. The therapist will write an HRT letter unique to you, sign it and fax it to the primary care physician or medical organization that will be providing your HRT. After that, it is typical to schedule a consultation with your PCP so that they can fill you in on the procedure from a medical perspective.

Once a letter is received it is beneficial for the client to continue with therapy in order to have the support of a therapist who can encourage them to engage in self-care and use positive coping skills throughout the HRT process. Receiving the letter is just one step along your therapeutic journey to transitioning and it is highly recommended that you continue to see your therapist during your transition.

If you are seeking a therapist specializing in transgender services, please contact Life Enhancement Counseling Services today at 407-443-8862 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced mental health counselors.

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