top of page

Gender Identity

As a psychologist, I am well trained and experienced in supporting people with depression, anxiety, trauma, abuse, relationship difficulties, life transitions, and so forth, for anyone who is seeking change. These things can be experienced by any human being, but there are particular and significant ways these challenges enter and effect your life if your gender is different than what others designated you with as an infant.

Please Note:  This page is addressed to those whose gender identities are not be what they were assumed to be at birth (for example those who identify with the term transgender).  If you are seeking to understand someone else’s gender identity or about anything regarding gender diversity in a broad sense you can find a list of resources to start with here (in development):

If you are still reading along  then there are a lot of words you might use to describe your gender experience and identity.  The list of terms people use to describe who they are is constantly growing and shifting.  Thus, I hesitate even to write any sort of list because, for some of you, even the mere mention of certain words can be triggering.  So if this is concerning for you please skip the next sentence and move to the next paragraph!  Words that people use to describe gender identities, experiences, behavior and roles include: transgender, trans, man, woman, genderqueer, boi, genderfluid, non-binary, agender, bigender, greygender, pangender, metagender, masculine of center, trans male, trans female.  I’ve neglected some words I’m sure, and I specifically left out a few words that seem more often than not to cause conflict.  However, if you use such words for yourself, they are no less important. 

She or He?  Boy or Girl?  Pink, blue?  Masculine, feminine? What happens when the world tells you which of these words applies to you but you know, or simply question, that they are wrong?  Or, what about when none of the words other people use describe who you are and how you see the world?  What if you can’t even find words that fit?

Having such an experience of yourself, while living in a world that is inhospitable (even hostile) to your gender and expression, can lead to everything from mild anxiety to profound depression.  You might simply find your gender experience to be confusing and perhaps you haven’t yet figured out how to be live confidently and authentically in the world.  Perhaps you just want to gain confidence and self-awareness.  On the other hand, the internal and external challenges you face might have led to shame, relationship loss, employment discrimination, financial lack, social isolation, emotional and physical abuse, grief and  much more. 

You may have emotional, psychological, or social difficulties that have absolutely nothing to do with your gender!  Whether you are seeking support for things directly related to your gender identity or not, I will trust your perspective and experience.  It is very important that you know I respect your self-awareness and work with you on that basis.  You know yourself better than anyone else.  Thus, I will seek intently to understand your unique perspective and help you identify and/or reach your own goals.  

Some words on dysphoria:  The word dysphoria, by itself, has been around for a long time though it was probably not familiar to many.  By itself, it simply means mental/emotional discomfort and suffering.  Thus any human being can experience dysphoria.  But this word has taken on new and specific meaning for those trying to describe feelings of dysphoria related to their gender.  To describe such dysphoria in broad strokes is difficult.  Here are just some of the things that might reflect your own dysphoria, if you have it (and, remember,  there are plenty of transgender people who do not experience dysphoria!).  

  • A felt “sense” that something is just “off.”

  • A felt sense of discord or incongruence between different aspects of your being as related to gender

  • Discomfort, hatred, or other negative feelings about your body, particularly regarding the things that society usually labels as belonging to a certain gender

  • A feeling of disconnection from your body or some aspects of it

  • Uncertainty, confusion, or imbalance in interacting with other people due to their misperceptions of your gender or your own confidence about gender

  • Sorrow, emptiness, lack of feeling, or numbness, again related to your body, the perceptions of others, your current “gender roles” and more

  • Remember, only you can define what is dysphoria in your mind and body!

Dysphoria, in this sense, can be triggered for too many reasons!  These are again so numerous that I hesitate again to give examples, but I want to be clear.  So, some examples include:

  • Someone using the wrong words to describe you or speak to you

  • Seeing your body in the mirror or looking down at it from above

  • Having a simple “sense” that someone is relating to you as someone of a different gender

  • Filling out a form that makes you choose one of two options for gender

  • Finding and using a restroom

  • Finding clothes that fit

  • Simply thinking about gender

  • Trying to find therapist or counselor who knows what you’re talking about!

The issue of diagnosis:  There are very significant problems with the fact that gender identity has an associated diagnosis in the "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual" and the "International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD).  I'm not going to attempt here to explain why this is an issue but what matters most for the sake of our work together is to communicate that I will only use the diagnosis of gender dysphoria in an official/documented manner if it is needed for you to access medical supports such as HRT or surgeries.

I am pleased to provide

  • Gender identity counseling,

  • Psychotherapy for matters not directly related to your gender

  • Evaluations and referrals for medical transition services such as HRT and the range of gender confirmation surgeries

bottom of page