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Astrid

My therapy is off to a good start!

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Astrid

Well, I've taken another important step in my journey, and that is seeing a gender therapist.  It's something both my trans/queer friends and many here on Trans Pulse have recommended.  It actually took awhile to arrange, as more than a few of the gender therapists here in my part of Massachusetts are fully booked -- which I consider a good sign <smile>.  But I've found a very professional therapist with lots of gender counseling experience, and I felt very comfortable in my initial session with her today.  

 

Without going into unnecessary detail, but to let others who are thinking about seeing a gender therapist know about potential topics, I am entering therapy with two initial goals:  1) To work through and establish my gender identity (like many, I've mulled it over for some time now and flip-flopped on which label seems most appropriate), and 2) To improve communication and mutual understanding with my spouse (who will be jointly attending with me next session -- we both plan to attend sessions separately and/or jointly over the coming months).  After all, ever since I came out, we're in this together, so involving her is, to me, extremely important.

 

There are significant decisions about my gender journey that will be coming up, and that I think therapy will be helpful in addressing.  For example, because I am someone who waited until retirement to come out (and who, for years prior to that, had puzzled my loved ones because of repressed feelings and the anger/depression that can accompany it), I will have important decisions to make.  For example, even if I establish that I would want HRT, that is a significantly more difficult situation to put myself in (and harder on my family) than not doing HRT.  Can I remain "happy enough" without HRT? That's something I want to figure out jointly with the help and input of my therapist and my spouse, and not something I try to work out on my own.

 

Oh, by the way, I brought along my copy of the book that helped me, this past year, to  explore my gender:  How to Understand Your Gender (Alex Iantaffi and Meg-John Barker, 2017).  My therapist was unfamiliar with it but impressed by her first look at it, and she plans to order it today and add it to her collection of literature.  We both agreed that its exercise-driven approach and up-to-date descriptions were helpful.

 

I'll plan to add to this thread from time to time if important developments occur.

 

Best,

 

Astrid

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Carolyn Marie

That's great news, Astid.  It's one thing for the Mods to recommend gender therapy; it's quite another for members to hear it from someone who has taken the advice and had a good result themselves.  Your experience is very much like mine.  Thank you for posting this update.  I'm wishing for your continued progress and success.

 

HUGS

 

Carolyn Marie

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Astrid

Celebrated my 1-year Coming Out anniversary to my spouse today, and topped it off with both of us attending gender therapy this morning.  It went very well.  If there was one important lesson to come out of this session, it is that I need to share what I'm thinking about my gender regularly with my spouse, so that there aren't "surprises" that blindside her.  

 

Fingers crossed for the future...

 

Astrid

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