Gender Therapy in Orlando
As a therapist who is very pleased to work with people who are transgender in Orlando, I offer a safe, confidential, supportive environment where one is able to explore feelings as well as options; including HRT, living full-time and gender confirmation surgery. I am constantly seeking to increase my list of reliable resources and solid information for my clients to enhance the therapeutic alliance and the transition process.
When many of my trans clients first come to me, they have either just made the realization that they are ready to transition or they are wondering if they should give up on the idea of ever transitioning at all. It seems that, due to the necessity for secrecy/privacy in considering transition, most of the information they have gathered prior to making the decision to seek professional support has come solely from internet searches and relatively anonymous sources.
While a lot of the websites do offer good info about what to expect and how to proceed, there are definitely some folks out there spreading misinformation and pursuing personal agendas at the expense of those who are trying to find their way. Let me just say for the record, thanks to all of you who make it your mission to help others through sharing your own experiences in an unbiased and positive way…you know who you are, and I send you high praise. The overwhelming generosity and openness of the Trans community towards each other, their partners, therapists, and their communities truly brings tears to my eyes as I write about it.
I am delighted to report that I’m reading the book Trans Bodies, Trans Selves (TBTS), edited by Laura Erickson-Schroth, MD, a Psychiatrist dedicated to leading the fight against pathologization of trans identities. As Dr. Erickson-Schroth describes it, TBTS is “written by and for transgender and gender non-conforming people.” Written in the style of and with the enthusiastic support from the authors of its seminal (read: influential, groundbreaking, pioneering, original, innovative) 1973 predecessor, Our Bodies, Ourselves (OBOS); this book contains short pieces, art and illustrations from hundreds of contributors in the trans community. Over 3,000 people from around the world were also surveyed, and their direct quotes can be found throughout this book.
TBTS offers a wealth of first-hand information on an exhaustive variety of topics pertaining to the issues, questions, and experiences of trans people. As a therapist I find it particularly validating and positive as it is written from the perspective of This is how we are, and not This is how they are. It seems as if there is no topic that is overlooked, and each item is thoughtfully and concisely explored. The following is just a sample of the topics from the Chapter on Intimate Relationships by Sarah E. Belawski and Carey Jean Sojka:
- Loving our bodies
- Finding potential partners
- Changing sexuality during transition
- Deciding not to be sexual
- Disclosing while dating
- Dating other trans people
- Coming out to your partner
- Resources for partners of trans people
- Coming out as a couple
- Intimate partner violence
I highly recommend this wonderful resource to my clients, as well as anyone who is, knows, loves, works with or is interested in learning more about someone in the trans and gender non-conforming community. In the preface Dr. Erickson-Schroth notes that the last sentence on the back cover of OBOS is, “Please share this book with others.” She asks that we all do the same with TBTS. She has not only worked with her publisher to keep the cost of her book down, but has also sought to make it available to individuals and organizations, regardless of their ability to pay, by creating a non-profit organization dedicated to the education and empowerment of transgender communities. You may find it on the web at www.transbodies.com . Also, if you find that you were not adequately represented as a trans person in TBTS, consider filling out a survey at the website, so that your perspective may be included in future editions of TBTS.
If you are interested in learning more, please contact Life Enhancement Counseling Services at 407-443-8862 to schedule an appointment.