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Therapy

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Therapy was interesting today. A couple sessions ago I told my therapist that I was trans yet it seems like nothing changed. She still calls me She/Her and uses my birthname no matter how many times I tell her. I've almost given up on it but I know I can't let it get the best of me. Some how that thought offers little comfort.


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Posted

Glad to hear that you are seeing a therapist. I have some thoughts on your post:

- Does she have experience and training with trans people? Most don't.

- Have you asked her why she's not using your male name and pronouns? It's a reasonable question.

- How do you feel about working with her? Not all therapists have what we need, and sometimes we simply don't have the right chemistry to work together. Perhaps you should go see another? Even that topic is fair for you to bring up with her for discussion.

- How did she respond when you told her that you are trans? Did she ask you for more info such as what convinced you?

I guess that changing therapists might bring up some discussion with you and your parents. They would ask why, and what you are looking for. So you need to be prepared for that. I'm not suggesting that you immediately try to stop seeing one and move to another. First, please talk to your therapist about how her use of your female name and pronouns is bothering you and what it's bringing up for you. Remember, please, she cannot read your mind and as with any relationship, open, honest, and sincere communication is vitally important.

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Posted

Glad to hear that you are seeing a therapist. I have some thoughts on your post:

- Does she have experience and training with trans people? Most don't.

- Have you asked her why she's not using your male name and pronouns? It's a reasonable question.

- How do you feel about working with her? Not all therapists have what we need, and sometimes we simply don't have the right chemistry to work together. Perhaps you should go see another? Even that topic is fair for you to bring up with her for discussion.

- How did she respond when you told her that you are trans? Did she ask you for more info such as what convinced you?

I guess that changing therapists might bring up some discussion with you and your parents. They would ask why, and what you are looking for. So you need to be prepared for that. I'm not suggesting that you immediately try to stop seeing one and move to another. First, please talk to your therapist about how her use of your female name and pronouns is bothering you and what it's bringing up for you. Remember, please, she cannot read your mind and as with any relationship, open, honest, and sincere communication is vitally important.

She likely doesn't but she speaks like she has had trans clients before. I have not asked considering I don't like confrontation and it's hard for me to have conversations because of my autism. I have thought about seeing another therapist but I cannot afford to change at the time since my insurance is paying for my therapy and it only allows a certain amount of sessions (I have 8 left). I have expressed to her my annoyance at her not properly naming me and she seems to brush it off. 

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I know you said you can't afford to change, and I don't know all of what your therapy involves, but if there is any way to make a change I would do it. Not respecting your gender and name is simply unacceptable. What kind of professional background does she have? I can't speak to other professions, but if she is a social worker she's violating professional ethics.

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​I am not familiar with autism and how it affects ones ability to stand up for oneself; that has to be tough but also familiar to therapists. Her brushing you off even as she also knows you're autistic is a concern for me. As Chrissy said it doesn't seem to make sense to spend the limited number of sessions that you have coverage with someone who isn't really helping. 

That said, what do you want help with from a therapist? What problem(s) do you want to focus on? I assume that something came up that drove you. In your writing you sound very grounded: you know you're autistic, trans, etc. Perhaps by looking at what drove you to seek therapy and judging if and how well you're making progress toward that you will be able to determine for yourself if you should continue to see her or stop and seek out an alternate therapist.

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I know you said you can't afford to change, and I don't know all of what your therapy involves, but if there is any way to make a change I would do it. Not respecting your gender and name is simply unacceptable. What kind of professional background does she have? I can't speak to other professions, but if she is a social worker she's violating professional ethics.

As far as I know she is a contractual therapist but I don't know much more since she doesn't really share much about her life.

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Posted (edited)

​I am not familiar with autism and how it affects ones ability to stand up for oneself; that has to be tough but also familiar to therapists. Her brushing you off even as she also knows you're autistic is a concern for me. As Chrissy said it doesn't seem to make sense to spend the limited number of sessions that you have coverage with someone who isn't really helping. 

That said, what do you want help with from a therapist? What problem(s) do you want to focus on? I assume that something came up that drove you. In your writing you sound very grounded: you know you're autistic, trans, etc. Perhaps by looking at what drove you to seek therapy and judging if and how well you're making progress toward that you will be able to determine for yourself if you should continue to see her or stop and seek out an alternate therapist.

I have a therapist to help with my anxiety and depression that partner my autism. It runs in the family so I'm in therapy along with testing many different medications. Thank you for the advice, I've been thinking about stopping for a while.

Edited by CTF
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Hi CTF, and welcome to TGG.

I was about to toss out a barrage of questions and comments... but the ladies have pretty much covered everything.

I would add a couple more things for you to consider -  part of your therapist's job is to help you transition into society as the man you identify as.  I would be curious to know how she is being helpful to you, when she herself is not recognizing you as a man.

It seems to me, based on what you've related, she is just flat ignoring your identity.  I don't know what it means when you say your therapist is a contractural therapist, but I would think there would be some guidelines and ethics she is bound to follow and uphold.

If your therapist can't start using your preferred pronouns and chosen name... you should definitely find another.  I realize the number of sessions you are allowed is limited, but I would think a limited time with a decent therapist would far out-weigh a full course with one who could potentially be damaging to your self-confidence, self-esteem, and identity by her refusal to respect you.

-Michael

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Posted (edited)

Hi CTF,

As always I appreciate Michael's clear writing and hope it helps you.  I also suggest that you take a look at this post I just made in the FTM Discussion area, and read the linked article. I put it into the FTM folder because that's it main story but I feel it gives any of us an example of a happy real life story. 

Edited by EmmaSweet
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