If you’re wrestling with questions about your gender or sexuality, you might feel alone in your thoughts, yet, you have a tribe of peers on kindred journeys asking similar questions. Gender counseling can empower you and allow you to live authentically to yourself.
What Is Gender Counseling?
It can feel incredibly scary and vulnerable to share your thoughts and questions about gender identity, even with close friends and family. Gender counseling allows you to explore yourself and your questions in an emotionally safe environment with a skilled, LGBTQIA-affirming therapist who has specialized training and experience.
A gender counselor helps you to explore and understand yourself better and become confident in who you are. They don’t try to change your mind, talk you out of your experience, or steer you in a particular direction. A gender counselor applies the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) Standards of Care (SOC) for the Health of the Transsexual, Transgender, and Gender-Nonconforming People.
The overall goal of the SOC is “to provide clinical guidance for health professionals to assist transsexual, transgender, and gender-nonconforming people with safe and effective pathways to achieving lasting personal comfort with their gendered selves, in order to maximize their overall health, psychological well-being, and self-fulfillment.”
Gender counseling with an LGBTQIA-affirming therapist can include elements such as:
- Support groups
- Assistance during social, medical, and legal transitions
- Access to community resources
Who Can Benefit From Gender Counseling?
Gender counseling benefits those who want help learning how to support a loved one in addition to those affected by gender issues. Gender therapy centers on the emotional, mental, social, and physical needs of those who:
- Are questioning or exploring their gender identity
- Are uncomfortable with aspects of their body
- Don’t identify with their biological sex
- Are experiencing gender dysphoria
- Feels limited by gender stereotypes
- Need help coming out or coping with reactions after coming out
- Need help coping with social stigmas
- Are seeking to understand their children or other loved ones better
How Long Does Gender Counseling Take?
The length of time in gender counseling varies from person to person. Some people are comfortable with a session or two to get clarity and affirmation, and others can benefit from a more in-depth and lengthier exploration.
Factors that can impact the length of time gender counseling takes include past trauma, your social environment, upbringing, and where you are in your journey. You and your therapist can work together to decide what length of time is needed to meet your therapy goals.
Will My Gender Counselor Tell Anyone About Our Gender Identity Discussions?
In Illinois, according to the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Confidentiality Act, your discussions about gender identity do not have to be shared with anyone.
Support Is Available
Eunoia counseling provides a non-judgmental space to express your thoughts, feelings, and experiences freely. You don’t have to figure this out on your own any longer; our therapists are ready to help you on the empowering path to self-acceptance. Contact us today, and a skilled therapist will respond to you.