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Therapy...if thats what you call it

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  • I have waited 6 weeks to see the councillor my Dr wanted me to see as he told me the councillor would be able to help me with the resources I am looking IE a therapist. I turned up this morning and met the guy, nice enough and he takes me back to his rooms and as we go to sit down he says to me I like to start counselling with the first session devoted to you explaining what it is you want to get out of counselling.

    I was stunned and he caught me off guard, I eventually said to him, through gritted teeth, I am here to get a referral to see a gender therapist. He then starts to say to me, "can you explain to me why you think you might need a gender therapist. I said to him I have Gender Dysphoria and can you please tell me what your experience with transgender people is and qualifications are. That stopped him in his tracks he didn't really know how to reply...I was angry at this stage...He admitted he had a general idea about "trans issues", I said to him I had spoken to my Dr and asked for a referral to a female gender therapist and My Dr had said I need to see you in order to get the information. I said I don't want to appear rude but you don't appear to have the skill set that I need to get help. He did agree with me but continued to ask I answered was ...In "what ways does my dysphoria impact me each day" and I struggled to quantify it... my reply was, it impacts everything I do, it impacts me in the part of me that is the essence of me . He asked a number of questions about how I coped and I explained that I dressed on occasions but that it was a double edge sword and that while dressed my dysphoria was much less but when I changed back it felt twice as bad. I think he got it and backed off. He finally agreed that this was something for an expert and out of his league.

    Once he realised we were not going to doing any therapy he relaxed and began to talk to me asking me questions trying to gauge the seriousness of the situation. He then asked me my opinion on Caitlyn Jennedr...I am sitting there quite upset and clearly in distress and he is asking me questions like that. He is not a theapists a..hole

    I finally said to him have I made it clear enough to you what I need and how I am feeling. He said from what you have described your situation is fragile and it is a life and death situation for you. I said to him I have to find a way to be comfortable in my own skin and I will do what ever I need to achieve it but I am going to do it.

    I was really quite upset at this point I had yet again disclosed a very intimate part of myself only to find I was still no where near getting to someone that could actually help me. I walked back to the car and burst into tears. Got myself together about 10 minutes later. I feel emotionally flat, all that expended nervous energy and here is me thinking I might actually get the referral...nope back to square one. I want to scream...instead I am going to take my dog for a walk and get some fresh air. If this all sounds a little disjointed then I am sorry I am just so angry because he has to speak to my Dr and then make the referral and then I will have to wait on the therapist appointment so I am still possibly months away from getting any that is depressing thought.

    Sarah T

      August 7, 2015 12:15 AM BST
  • I think the therapist was very fair,   It is quite often the case, a  general practitioner/ doctor, has no real knowledge of gender issues, so very often they will refer you to a 'therapist' the one you encountered did'nt pretend he was a specialist in the field, he took time out to listen to you, acknowledged you have issues, admitted it was beyond his experience and told you he would refer you back to your doctor, explaining you need specialist help.   I was seen by four 'therapists before I was eventually seen by somone who was familiar with the gender confusion I was experiencing and an expert on the particular syndrome that affected me.    Your quite lucky, some of the therapist I first encountered, dismissed my feelings out of hand.   At least yours had some common sense.

    Look at this way, if you were suffering from back pain, you would be refered probably to a spine specialist, if he found nothing wrong with your spine, he might recommend you see a kidney specialist or neurologist.   At least yours did'nt say your bi-polar, or suffered some form of split personality, he just did what was best for you, your on the way, chill and just go with the flow.

    Cristine Jennifer Shye.  B/L.  B/Acc
    This post was edited by Cristine Jennifer Shye. BL at August 7, 2015 12:34 PM BST
      August 7, 2015 12:28 PM BST
  • It is sad the hoops we have to jump through. If we are patient, eventually we get on the right path. I was lucky that my insurance doesn't require me to get a referral. I went on Psychology today, searched for transgender issues, and found three local counselors. Two actually took my insurance. The counselor I have is raring to get me going. I have to remind HER baby steps. LOL. I told her that I made the mistake of trying to move quickly when I first attempted to transition back in the 90's. Of course, it didn't help when a friend, who loved me to death and wanted to see me whole, and let the world see the woman she saw, well, she outed me at work. My workmates were cool and some even wanted to help. I figured before it got around, I better talk with HR. I did, they said they would help me. They then released me a few weeks later telling me that my job was only temporary So once bitten, twice shy. I am taking it very slowly this time. I am ensuring first and foremost that my wife is going to be able to deal with it. So far, so good on that. 

      August 7, 2015 1:21 PM BST
  • Hi Christine, that is a fair comment..nobody said this was going to be easy. I was really upset when I wrote that and upon reflection you are right he did the right thing by me. I like your positive outcome better than my dive into anger. Patience is what I need. I thik I had waited so long and didn't think this was a neccesary step however my Dr did. I see my Dr again on Wednesday and will discuss our next step.


    Thanks Chrisitine   

      August 7, 2015 1:46 PM BST
  • Hi Emma


    Thanks for your kind words, I understand how difficult this can be especially when you have a job to consider. As I said to Chrisitine I think most of my anger was around the waste of time despite my t elling my Dr I would not speak to just anyone about this. I don't think he believed me or thoght the counsillor would be good enough to "bring me round". I don't know if that is the case or not and I will see when I speak to him about it.


    Sarah T 

      August 7, 2015 1:53 PM BST
  • Its probably something most doctors and your average therapist will never come accross, or have any experience with it.   He just did'nt know.   I was a private patient, and yes I felt let down and not believed, the first 3 never even admitted they knew nothing about our particular need, just taking the money, some 18 sessions before I got to see someone, who knew what I needed.   For all his failings yours  listened, then did the right thing.  

    Cristine Jennifer Shye.  B/L.  B/Acc
      August 7, 2015 4:33 PM BST
  • It was not so long ago that I had similar feelings and frustrations about getting help. A bit like you described I was refered for counciling, as my doctor said they'd be able to help. I had a long wait for that counciling but was able to get my doctor to refer me to a Gender Clinic (I.went in with information on where I wanted to be refered too). I'm still at least 8 weeks away from getting an appointment at the gender clinic but have used the general counciling referal to help support myself whilst waiting.
    When I first came out earlier this year I was desperate to start treatment but a few months on I can accept that things take time. It's not like I'm standing still, waiting for help, there's so much I can do to express my feminity and celebrate my womanhood!
    Like you I'm right at the begining of transitioning and it seems a long walk from here. Take heart, your going the right way! already I'm looking back and realising how far I've already come and ultimately how I don't need anyone's permission to be the woman I am.
      August 7, 2015 5:10 PM BST