As a therapist who practices SFBT & specializes in work with the LGBT community, I’d say that about 20-25% of the clients that I see every week, identify as Transgender.
I have come to discover that working in a solution-focused way with these individuals, is quite different than what they have historically experienced with therapy, and what they typically expect. As a result of this belief, I wanted to write a little bit about this intersection of SFBT and the Transgender community.
Here are some beliefs (and non-beliefs) that I have as a clinician, and how those beliefs apply to my Trans clients.
- I don’t believe that asking about your current or childhood problems or issues is necessary to help you move towards the future that you want.
- I don’t think obtaining a sexual history is necessary in order for me to be helpful to you, either.
- The important pieces for me to know about your past, have ONLY to do with your strengths, resources and abilities, and the evidence that those things exist by asking you about times you noticed them working for you before.
- I can write a letter for you (for HRT or SRS), as soon as I believe that what I’m writing is true. I don’t believe it is necessary for you to pass any test other than the test of honestly answering my questions. It is my job to ask the right questions to help you move toward your preferred future, and it is your job to answer them honestly, I won’t ask you to do anything else.
- YOU are the expert in your life, not me, not ever me. You are the one who knows what you want and how you’ll know you’re getting it, and I respect that completely.
- Therefore, whenever you decide that my services are no longer needed, we will end therapy. Period.
- Also, however often you decide you want to come talk, will be as often as we see each other. Those choices are always yours, and never mine to make. (Of course we can collaborate about them, if you feel as though it would be helpful to do so)
That’s the list for now, though I may add more as it occurs to me. Leave your thoughts below, or email me questions you might have.
Rebekka Ouer, LCSW