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What was your first therapy appointment like?

Discussion in 'Gender Identity and Expression' started by MaybeBenji, Feb 27, 2019.

  1. MaybeBenji

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    Hi,
    I just made an appointment with a gender therapist and the soonest they have is march 11th.
    So that gives me a little over a week to obsess over what it's going to be like and freak out over it.
    What should I expect the first appointment? I've been reading through this forum and see that everyone's experience is different but I'm curious.
    (Also, I have to mention how good it felt when the receptionist called me "Ben". I'm only out to my mom so she's been calling me by my birthname still.)
    This is a big thing for me because I'm not big on talking about my feelings and whatnot. Also, phone calls are incredible nerve wracking for me so making an appointment was hard.
    So yeah, anyone want to share their experience? I've never been to therapy of any kind.
    Thanks,
    Ben
     
  2. Hrafn

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    I was like you, until recently. I had been to a few family therapy/counseling sessions as a kid, which, in hindsight, never really went that well. So I was exposed to therapy, but had never gone for my own mental health. Last month I finally talked to my best friend after sitting on all my questions, anxieties, depression, etc. for years. Within the next couple weeks I also came out to my parents and both my siblings as trans (though I'm still figuring out exactly what flavor my gender is). They essentially all advised me to find a professional for help, which I did.

    I did consultations with two different people in my town who work with lgbt people before I decided who to go with. My first appointment was pretty basic stuff. I filled out paperwork, gave them my insurance information, had a conversation. My first appointment was essentially me expanding on the general information I gave during my consultation. The appointment itself really was not too bad, though I had been anxious about it. I totally get the reluctance to talk about your feelings, and having trouble making phone calls, though. That was the hardest part for me: picking up the phone and calling for that appointment.

    I have found that with each session, it becomes a little easier to talk about it all. It feels good to let some of it out. It's a relief to get some of that off my shoulders and it relieves some anxiety.

    If you are going to someone who is experienced in working with transgender individuals, anything you have going on, they have likely dealt with before. Every therapist or counselor is going to be a bit different. But their job is to help you be as comfortable as possible and slowly build a relationship with you, the patient, so that you can work towards whatever goals you have in mind for yourself. So don't obsess too much.

    You've made an important first step by making yourself an appointment! Be proud of that.

    I think it's also important to remember that it is always acceptable to find someone else to try if you find that you just don't get along with whomever you are seeing. They are professionals, and will understand if you have to tell them "this isn't working for me, I need to try going to someone else."
     
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  3. Godsmack

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    I was refered to a trans-friendly therapist by my lovely doctor. I did wind up switching therapists part way through but both of them were sweet and understanding. One of them had a trans/genderqueer (im not sure which) partner which helped a bit. Sad I havent been back in a while. Anyway mostly the first weeks are figuring out treatment plan/ crisis plan. this is like who you can call to talk when in a mental crisis. I do also have mental health issues so this was nice. Also It gave me a chance to get to know my therapist. Its a good idea to look up reviews for therapists (Or any doctor honestly) before the first appointment. Keeping a journal helps you show your therapist the truth of how youve been feeling. Also logging any moments of dysphoria or panic is also helpful, including some possible triggers that caused it.
     
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  4. Waffless

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    I have only had regular therapy I have been to multiple therapist though, and i have found the 1st appointment is usually the most awkward and you will probably be asked what do you expect from this therapy session or what do you think a therapist is here for? Stuff like that, hope this helps
     
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  5. Groosenator

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    I had never been to any kind of therapist/counselor before and I had no idea what to expect. I was also questioning at the time, I wasn't sure that I was trans yet. I was very nervous to schedule an appointment and I actually scheduled mine by email, which was very nice.

    A big part of me felt... guilt? I thought therapy was for people with much more serious problems/concerns/questions than me. I was extremely self conscious and felt like there was something I should be doing or be prepared for. But when I got there my therapist helped steer the conversation. She asked me questions about my feelings, my concerns, etc.

    The very first appointment for me was like a little "getting to know you" session. I filled out a form with some basic information about me, what I was hoping to get from therapy, list any concerns about therapy I had, etc. I was very nervous and VERY self conscious.

    Try to relax and just be honest with them. They are there to help. They should steer the conversation and try to make you feel comfortable. If they don't at least make that effort, you should look into seeing someone else. But if they already called you Ben without hesitation that's a good sign. They sound like they know what they are doing there. If you are the kind of person who struggles to put your feelings into words, one thing you could do to "prepare" is try to think about the way you feel on a regular basis and how you would best describe what it's like to the best of your ability. That way when they ask you about your feelings and experiences you don't feel like you are fumbling with words.

    Now that I've gone to therapy for a while, I really think a LOT of people could benefit from it with things they are struggling with just in their day to day life. It's too bad it's not something more readily available or often covered by health benefits.
     
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  6. Hillary B

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    MaybeBenji, hi.
    Just you posting has helped other people. (If that helps?!) I’m on my 3rd lot of therapy and like it but I never even thought of specifically gender therapy. So I like the idea but in the UK it may be expensive, but thanks and it will go well for you I bet; you’re taking the right steps!! Some of the most professional people I’ve seen are therapists/ they’ll sort you..
     
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  7. Flynn S

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    Hey Ben! Congratulations on making progress!
    I was in a very similar situation to yours just over a year ago. I was only out to my mom, so everyone still called me by my birth name. The first appointment I went to my mom accompanied me. The therapist explained to my mom a bit about what transgender meant, gender dysphoria, answered whatever questions she had and then sent her out of the room so we could speak alone. I was worried going in that the therapist would analyze my situation and decide that I wasn't transgender, but instead she only asked me to describe what I thought my identity was on a scale of male to female, and I said I thought it could be anything from androgynous to male, probably leaning male, but that I knew I was not a woman. She accepted this very easily and we spent the rest of the time talking about my fears of transitioning. I think she understood that I was at the stage where I wasn't necessarily questioning my gender, but questioning what to do about it. The session was a little awkward because I was nervous, but it went well.
     
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  8. CL1990

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    well done those steps you are taking to get to theraphy are amazing!!!

    i can totally relate to how nervous you felt when you called for an apointment, i felt the same!

    the first session for me was probably the worst and the hardest so please no matter how it goes just keep showing up! i felt my therapist was cold and unsensitive but i ended up seing her for almost 2 years every week!

    i wish you all the best and again, very well done!! xx
     
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