A Guide to Gender & Sexual Identity


Gender identity issues and sexual identity issues influence how people relate to themselves and to others. People in the process of understanding their sexual or gender identity need a very supportive environment as they may have formed wrongful negative beliefs about themselves.

Our approach is aimed at uncovering and restructuring these beliefs to help them create a positive experience of themselves. Our goal is to decrease the anxiety that evolves and can often develop into depression or other serious mental health concerns.

Struggling with gender identity can be a challenging and complex experience. Seeking the help of a program can provide valuable support and guidance on this personal journey. Working on gender identity in a group setting requires sensitivity, inclusivity, and respect for each individual's experiences and perspectives. Here is how we approach it in group:

Creating a Safe and Affirming Space

Establishing trust and comfort, the group plays a crucial role in creating a safe and affirming space for you to explore and express your gender identity and sexual identity. This involves fostering trust, ensuring confidentiality, and providing a supportive environment. By working with a group, the client gets to experience social interactions, forming relationships, and responding to others in a contained and safe space, so they can explore and develop skills needed for them to do this outside of group.

Exploring and Understanding Gender Identity & Navigating Gender Dysphoria

Therapists facilitate open dialogue and non-judgmental discussions about your experiences with gender. They help you explore feelings, thoughts, and questions related to your gender identity, promoting self-discovery and understanding. The therapists will also help address any other underlying feelings such as anxiety and depression, that have been holding you back in relating to others.

If you experience gender dysphoria, a therapist can assist in navigating the emotional challenges associated with the incongruence between gender identity and assigned gender at birth. They provide coping strategies and emotional support.

Supporting Coming Out

Coming out about your gender identity or sexual identity is a significant step. Therapists offer guidance on how to navigate the coming-out process, providing emotional support and helping you communicate effectively with friends, family, or colleagues, if you choose to do so.

Remember that coming out is a personal decision, and you have the right to choose when, how, and to whom you disclose your gender identity and sexual orientation. Your journey is valid, and expressing your authentic self is an empowering and courageous step towards living authentically. Incongruence or living in conflict with our own values has been shown to contribute considerably to anxiety and depression.

Providing Education and Resources

Therapists offer educational resources about gender identity, transgender experiences, sexual orientation, and relevant terminology. This helps you better understand your own identity and fosters informed decision-making.

Addressing Mental Health Concerns

Gender identity issues can impact mental health. Therapists address co-existing mental health concerns such as anxiety, depression, or trauma, providing coping strategies and emotional support.

Family and Relationship Dynamics

Open and honest communication with friends and family is essential. Discuss your gender transition, share your feelings, and provide resources or information to help them understand your journey.

Therapists assist in navigating family and relationship dynamics, helping to foster understanding and communication. They may offer family therapy sessions to create a supportive environment. We offer a multifamily group that can provide the family of a person who is going through a transition a space to process and discuss their feelings.  

People transitioning or struggling with gender dysphoria will benefit from a strong family support system. Families vary in their abilities to show this support. Our family support group sessions can act as a safe space and provide families tools needed to have vulnerable and authentic conversations with one another.

Advocacy and Community Connection

Our local therapists can facilitate connections to LGBTQ+ community resources and support networks. This can be invaluable for finding a sense of belonging and understanding.

Assisting with Legal Challenges

Navigating legal and social Implications during case management sessions, therapist can assist the clients with referring to community resources aimed towards assisting clients with legal aspects of gender affirmation.

Affirmation and Empowerment

A therapist works towards promoting self-acceptance and empowerment in your gender identity journey. They provide affirmation and encouragement, emphasizing the value of embracing your authentic self.

The therapeutic relationship is an ongoing dialogue. Therapists offer continuous support, encouraging self-reflection, and adjusting therapeutic approaches as needed throughout your gender identity exploration.

In Conclusion

Seeking therapy for gender identity issues or sexual orientation is a personal choice that can offer significant support and understanding. A therapist can play a pivotal role in helping you navigate the complexities, fostering self-discovery, and providing the support you need on your unique journey.