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Thread: How did you choose a therapist?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Allison Chaynes's Avatar
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    How did you choose a therapist?

    Curious how others have decided on one. The last time I saw one, I used the Psychology Today website and picked one listed as familiar with Transgender issues. However, I have to go through who my insurance requires, and no one on their list meets the criteria. Thoughts?
    Life is too short to be boring.

  2. #2
    Silver Member Sometimes Steffi's Avatar
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    Very few therapist were included "in my plan." I decided to go through who I wanted and accept the cost. Fortunately, my wife agreed that it was important enough to do that, and the cost wasn't a big issue. I think I was covered under the "Out of Network" clause. Not necessarily true for everyone. Note that not all "therapists" are acceptable to insurance companies. You have to have the right credentials, LCSW, psychologist, psychiatrist. "Pastoral Counselors" do not have the right credentials. You may be able to negotiate a sliding scale with the therapist based on your income.
    Hi, I'm Steffi and I'm a crossdresser... And I accept and celebrate both sides of me. Or, maybe I'm gender fluid.

    Gender fluid (adj.) - Describes a person whose gender identity is not fixed. A person who is gender fluid may always feel like a mix of the two traditional genders, but may feel [more] like one gender some days, and [more like] another gender other days.

    Ref: https://www.lgbthealtheducation.org/wp-content/uploads/LGBT-Glossary_March2016.pdf

  3. #3
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    I wanted NO paper trail so decided to cover the cost on my own from the beginning. It wasn't onerous and I could afford it.

    As far as getting her name and contact information I don't really remember. I think it was on a TG/CD web site but don't remember more than that. It might not even exist anymore.

    Fortunately she was absolutely amazing and I continued to see her for over 9 years, until she passed away earlier this month.

    Good Luck.

  4. #4
    Member RylieCD's Avatar
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    I first used my paln reference site, I called many and asked if they dealt with Transgender issues. I went to one who said they do for a year, only to find out I was one of 2 transgender patients she ever dealt with, the other being a 4 yo, I sound a specialist via multiple web searches the next day.

  5. #5
    Aspiring Shopaholic BTWimRobin's Avatar
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    Hi Allison,

    Like you, I uses psychology today and looked for one who worked with gender issues and took my insurance.
    - Robin


    Because life is too short not to.

  6. #6
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    The first one I saw was recommended by a friend who has a TG son. I saw her until she retired at which time she provided me with a list of therapists in my area who are familiar with gender issues. I later came across the same list myself online, so perhaps a similar list is available in your area. Both of my therapists have been excellent.

  7. #7
    Aspiring Member NancyJ's Avatar
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    As a point of information about the Psychology Today listing, that is nothing more than an advertising service. Therapists pay to be listed on it and fill out a checklist indicating what kind of clients they are willing to see. Just because someone checked the “Transgender” box does not mean that they have any specialized training, or experience, in gender issues. I‘I’ve reviewed a number of the listings for therapists in my area and some of them have checked so many boxes it would be next to impossible to specialize in so many different areas of practice. Truth is, there are few true ?”gender therapists.” That doesn’t mean that a well-trained (and experienced) therapist who doesn’t “specialize” in gender can’t help. I’m just suggesting to be wary of and ask questions of those who list transgender as a specialty area in their advertising. It may just mean that they see themselves as tolerant of TG people, not that they have the knowledge and skill to help you sort through your gender issues, or, even more complicated, help your wife understand. In general, I think you are better off reaching out to PFLAGG or your local university gender clinic (if you are in a city that has one) than the Psych Today advertisement link. Nancy
    Last edited by NancyJ; 09-22-2019 at 10:34 AM.

  8. #8
    Junior Member Elizabeth Marie's Avatar
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    I used the Psychology Today website and found a few that seemed promising. I checked out the websites of those that looked promising, and found one whose personality and sense of humor seemed to line up with mine, contacted her and told her what I needed. We then had a (free) phone consultation; We both thought she could help, and I've been seeing her twice a month for almost a year. She does not specialize in transgender issues, but she is familiar with them, and is willing to do research and consult with others if needed, or even refer me to someone specializing in TG if necessary. She is out of network for all insurance, but I am lucky enough to have the resources to pay out of pocket.

    She really has helped me with my anxiety issues, both my social anxiety and my anxiety over my TG issues. She has also helped me with coming out to friends. She did find a LGBTQ+ group therapy that she thinks would help me, and I need to reach out to them this week.

  9. #9
    happy to be her Sarah Charles's Avatar
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    I was able to refer to a listing of allies produced by the local Pride Center.
    Sarah
    Being transgender isn't a lifestyle choice. How you deal with it is.
    http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001872677630

  10. #10
    Yendis Sidney's Avatar
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    This is my experience with counselors. The first was years ago when I was in the army. Ive sense retired from the Army after more than 20 plus years. I had had a very tramatic experience and my unit doctor refered me to one. I didnt get to pick, it was report to building number such and such, room number ..... and see so and so on this date at this time. Long story short it helped me deal with the problem but very strained and he asked about any other problems but in the early 1970s I could not talk to him about crossdressing issues with the risk of loosing my security clearance which would mean I would not be able to keep the job I loved. He did help me but it was strained.

    My second experience was much better. My SO and I were having problems and decided to seek counseling. We went on line and after a dozen calls settled on Lisa. We had weekly sessions about our problems (nothing LGBT) and I became very comfortable with her, but not my wife. We found another that worked for the both of us with Lisas help. I stayed with Lisa on my own about my crossdressing because I felt so comfortable talking with her. I have always been able to talk with ladies easier that me .

    Now Lisa was not a gender counselor. Turns out she is a retired Army counselor and a lesbian so was familar with the LGBT community and she is so wonderful and caring I had found someone I could bare my soul to.

    The point Im trying to make is I feel one of the MOST important things in a client/counselor relationship is being comfortable with that person and have complete trust. So even if you find a "gender counselor" you have to feel comfortable and trust them.

    I have been seeing Lisa weekly for almost three years. She has helped me to accept and love myself. This would have never have happened if I didnt feel comfortable and trust her. For me it was like finding a second soul mate, my wife is my first.

    Dont know if this makes sense but these are my experiences. Good luck in finding the right counselor.

  11. #11
    Member ShelbyDawn's Avatar
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    As others, I started with the provider lookup for my insurance plan. I called and left messages with about a dozen therapists before one called me back.
    I was honest and open with her about what the issues were; including my dressing, to make sure she was comfortable with treating me. She was.
    From our first meeting, i was comfortable talking with her and, though it was awkward at first, was very quickly able to open up.

    I agree with Sydney that the most important thing is to find someone you feel comfortable with and can trust. then be completely honest.

    Anyway, my therapist was a godsend. I credit her with saving my life both literally and figuratively.

    Good luck and have faith, the right therapist for you is out there.


    Shelby

  12. #12
    Member Leasa Wells's Avatar
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    I used the Psychology Today an found a therapist and I like her a lot but she the insurance was an issue. After time I had to change because of lack of insurance but she help me find another therapist. Sadly a lot of therapist insurance is a problem. I also found a hospital who is lgbt friendly consider call them they might have someone and can refer you to a therapist.

    Lisa

  13. #13
    Silver Member giuseppina's Avatar
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    I was referred by my primary care physician for most of them. In general, these have worked out well with one exception, who was incompetent for reportable reasons.
    Cheers
    Giuseppina

  14. #14
    Platinum Member Teresa's Avatar
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    Allison,
    I didn't choose them I accepted what I was given within thr NHS , I could have changed if I wasn't happy . The fact we can talk openly helps a great deal .
    The real me ,no going back.

  15. #15
    Aspiring Member Sabrina133's Avatar
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    Much like Sydney, i saw my first therapist when i was still in the Army. I didn't see an Army provided provider. I was refered by a friend in the LGBT community. Since I was in the Army, i paid for the counseling myself. She was awesome and listened. I used her mostly for a sounding board since i had no one else to talk to about my CDing and potential decision to transition.

    After I left the Army and embarked on a civilian career, i decided to continue seeing therapists/counsellors.

    When i eventually moved here to KC and my SO and I decided I would go back on hormones, i talked to my cousin who recommended a great therapist who specializes in Trans issues. Best part is even after I told her i did not believe i would ever get GCS, she still refered me to an endo.

    Bottom line, you have to build trust and have a relationship with your therapist - if not, you will never be satisfied.

    Good Luck,
    Bree

  16. #16
    Platinum Member kimdl93's Avatar
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    It?s been a while, but...at the time I picked a) a woman and b) one who could fit me in!

    Easy come, easy go;
    Easy left me long ago...

  17. #17
    Senior Member Allison Chaynes's Avatar
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    Wonderful advice, ladies, thanks. This helped a lot!
    Life is too short to be boring.

  18. #18
    Queen of Chinatown jennifer0918's Avatar
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    I would like to see a therapist also . Plenty of good advice here.

  19. #19
    Member ChubbyLeahCD's Avatar
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    Allison, I?ve searched on Psychology Today for professionals that took my insurance. Looked at the type of clients they see, some of the issues and if they seemed somewhat open minded, I?d e-mail them and ask them if me being a Crossdresser was something they are ok with and if my issues are something they are comfortable working with.

  20. #20
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    Google to find out if there is an LGBT organization in your area. There may be therapists listed through them.

  21. #21
    Member Heidi Spencer's Avatar
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    I friend of mine refered me to the one she used.
    Had a 30 minute phone call and then set up the appointment.
    After 9 months I can say in general very happy with her. I am anxious to move forward and she is really pressing a great support group which is difficult for me.
    She helps me set goals and how to accomplish them. Some of the goals are really taking me out of the comforts of my closet. Well the door is wide open now and I have ventured onto the street.

    Heidi
    hugs and more hugs

    Heidi

  22. #22
    Senior Member Allison Chaynes's Avatar
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    Well, I found one, finally, and she's on the insurance approved list. I called and spoke to her for a good ten minutes to make sure she had experience with T issues. Not quite 30 minutes like Heidi did, but enough to feel ok to see her next week. Thanks for the suggestions and advice, everyone!
    Life is too short to be boring.

  23. #23
    Member Charla's Avatar
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    What has been the experience of folks in Houston with TG counselors/ psychiatrists/ etc? The one therapist with experience in TG situations is expensive, requires advance notice for insurance receipts, and does not take notes (says it avoids issues during divorces) and has to be reminded of background if there is a 3 month lapse in visits. She is very good but it looks like I need to keep up monthly visits !

  24. #24
    Madam Ambassador Heidi Stevens's Avatar
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    We only had two in town, one male, one female. I went with the lady.
    Be yourself. Everyone else is taken!

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