Patients with emotional, social, or psychological issues related to gender identity are counseled a gender therapist. These therapists frequently work with people who are thinking about or are going through the process of gender reassignment. Patients can see a gender therapist to talk through issues that are bothering them, to get advice on how to talk to friends and loved ones about these issues, or to help determine the causes of and solutions for mental health problems, such as depression, that are related to gender identity. A gender therapist who is also a psychiatrist may be able to prescribe medications.
One of the most important things a gender therapist does is assist a patient in resolving gender identity issues. Patients who identify as the opposite gender are more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety. They may be socially isolated and have had bad experiences because of their gender identity. This type of therapist will frequently assist a patient in learning to control their emotions in order to reduce stress and improve their mood and outlook on life. The therapist may also treat depression or other mental health issues if the patient is depressed.
A therapist’s education can range from high school to graduate school. When working as a counselor, social workers or people with some level of psychology training frequently refer to themselves as therapists. Psychiatrists and psychologists are both known as therapists. One aspect of a psychiatrist’s job in gender therapy may be prescribing medication to a patient. Antidepressants, mood enhancers, and hormonal treatments are common medications prescribed gender therapists to help patients prepare for gender reassignment surgery.
Patients who wish to undergo gender reassignment must first seek counseling. A gender therapist must first diagnose a patient with gender identity disorder before allowing them to have the surgery. Following this diagnosis, the therapist will discuss options with the patient and work with him or her to determine whether gender reassignment surgery is the best option over the course of at least two years. One of the therapist’s responsibilities when working with one of these patients is to formally recommend the procedure on the patient’s behalf. If the patient decides to have the surgery, the therapist will continue to support them as they transition from one gender to the other.