Part Two: Exploring Gender Identity in Therapy

July 24, 2023

It takes a lot of bravery to ask questions about gender identity, especially as a child/teen. Therapy provides a safe and supportive space to learn to be more comfortable with yourself and to grow. Enjoy Part Two of our Exploring Gender Identity in Therapy series!

Miguel Alcantara, Resident in Counseling

Therapy for individuals exploring gender identity is a journey that is unique. Making a safe space for the client to ask questions can facilitate a healthy process and aid in their development. This is important for all ages, especially our younger clients. Gender identity is typically recognized by children around the ages of 3-4 years old. Ensuring that they are supported by those around them will make sure that they feel loved no matter what gender identity aligns with who they are inside.

Katie Thompson, Supervisee in Clinical Social Work

One of the best parts of being a therapist is giving kids a space to be themselves. When a kid shows up at my office for the first time, I am always excited to hear about all the pieces that make up who they are. And I love that as the therapeutic relationship develops, I am always learning more.

When a client comes to me with gender questions, I am honored that they are choosing to share more of who they are with me. My goal in therapy is to make kids feel confident. And in many ways, I think confidence stems from feeling supported, and I’m proud that I’m able to provide that.

Cleo Chalk, Resident in Counseling

Therapy provides many benefits for individuals who explore or question their gender identity. It allows them to gain access to education and information, self-exploration, and emotional support from someone outside their regular social group.

I enjoy working with individuals who question their gender identity because it allows me to reframe the negative stigmas associated with gender minority individuals and to advocate for them when they are experiencing discrimination. By developing various coping skills and developing a better understanding of self, individuals can develop resilience when navigating social environments that may not be understanding or accepting.

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Until next time, Be Wise!