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Thoughts About My Therapy Experience

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The topic regarding dating sites caused a lot of thoughts to bounce around in my head.

Over the past 4 decades I have tried therapy with mixed success. My first therapist announced that we were going to talk about anything sexual after I broached the topic trying to sort things out. I imagine Freud would not have been proud.

Over the next 2 decades I tried several different therapists but I could never really get to the heart of my own issues, because it seemed as if it was to be 8 weeks of therapy then stick a band-aid over everything.

Finally anxious and stressed, exhibiting symptoms of PTSD  (a rape trauma buried in there with everything else) I started receiving individual and group therapy through the Veterans Administration. Finding that I really had some issues with my sexuality, I decided I was asexual, since I was not really sexually attracted to women. But I finally admitted to my desire to be with a man. One therapist suggested I might be bisexual. Another suggested I must be gay, that I should learn to accept that and be comfortable with it.

The road finally led me to a real gender therapist! Because the more I tried to be comfortable with being gay, the less I felt comfortable and the more my desire to be with a man as a woman emerged from the quiet closet I had it buried in since I first hit puberty.

My gender therapist is beyond doubt awesome and understanding. Instead of misplaced suggestions or refusal to address certain topics, I get thoughtful questions that take weeks of soul-searching to answer, suggested reading material, and never a hint of being judgemental.

So if you're not certain about getting help, or help has not been helpful, as I encountered, finding the right therapist to address the issue makes a world of difference.

I'm in a much better place than I've ever been: the things that haunted my sleep are no longer clawing away at me, I'm not hiding myself from myself, and I'm learning to face the world as me, instead of hiding behind a kabuki mask.

Thanks for being here, everyone!


Mods if this should go into a different forum, please feel free to move it.

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Thanks for the post Tammy.  Yes it is important to find a good gender therapist.  They should be there for YOU and it seems you have some good discussions and are on a path to success.  

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I am sure this idea has been shared numerous times, and on other places on the internet, however, it still seems to be very important to uderstand. My experiences, while different, echo the same sentiment as TammyAnne's.

I waited, maybe way too long, to finally get help from a therapist for my inability to cope alone with being in the closet as a transgender. My first two therapists were not gender specialists and although kind and compassionate, did not "help" me in any effective way. They heard my story, which seemed, in retrospect, to be a plead for acceptance or validation, which neither gave, or didn't (!). But the second therapist thought that I should see a "sexual health" therapist, which I was suspicious about, but accepted her referral to. I was suspicious because my being transgender isn't about sex. None the less, I went to this specialist, and it changed everything.

I, like TammyAnne, felt the understanding in my therapy shift, from some kind of general disconnect, to a super deep validation of my feelings. Night and Day!

I guess what I am getting at, is what TammyAnne (and Jani) are saying: It is hard to quantify the difference between a general therapist, no matter how well meaning, with one who is practiced in gender care. So if you are discouraged or feel that whomever you are seeing is not connecting in some way, then there really is no shame (in them, or you) to seeking a different (and gender health specialist) therapist!

It could change your life!

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Well written Sabine!!

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Thank you Sabine for expressing that so well.

It has been a struggle to find myself, so it's very nice to know I'm not alone in my experience.

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