Gender-Affirming Psychological Assessments 

I conduct gender-affirming assessments for individuals seeking gender-affirming services, such as hormone therapy or surgical interventions.

Currently, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) has advised physicians that clients pursuing gender-affirming surgeries must have a letter from a mental health provider attesting to whether they meet several guidelines.

It is crucial to state that the role of a psychologist is not to tell an individual what their gender is. Rather, gender-affirming evaluations can provide documentation of gender dysphoria and an individual’s capacity to provide informed consent for gender-affirming treatment, such as surgery or hormone replacement. Recommendations can also be provided for obtaining support in the processes of psychological, social, and/or medical transition.

My approach to gender-affirming assessments

I take a non-pathologizing and non-generalizing approach and view these evaluations as a chance to learn about your “gender story,” which is unique to you. My aim is to support you in obtaining gender-affirmative care, not to serve as a gatekeeper for such services.

With young (pre-pubertal) children, gender-affirming assessments are conducted in the context of decision making about social gender transition.

With older children and adolescents, gender-affirming assessments are often sought when a child identifies as transgender or gender non-conforming and is seeking pubertal suppression, hormone therapy, and/or gender-affirmation surgery.

With adults, gender-affirming assessments are likewise sought when an individual is seeking gender-affirming surgery or hormone treatment.

Assessments often occur over 2 to 4 sessions, during which we explore:

  • gender identity over time
  • expectations for medical interventions
  • degree of social support, particularly during pre- and post- intervention periods
  • mental health concerns (e.g., depression, trauma, anxiety)
  • sources of strength and resilience

With children and adolescents, the evaluation includes interviews with parents alone, children alone, and joint sessions. These evaluations may be conducted in person or virtually, via secure video conferencing.

Following the assessment, I provide recommendations to the client and family (if applicable), including, if appropriate, a letter or referral for medical transition.

Psychological treatment may be recommended if mental health concerns are identified. Family therapy may also be suggested, particularly if an individual is relying upon their family for support, and the family is not fully supportive.

With children and adolescents, I may provide recommendations for interventions within the school system, such as working with teachers or administrators on issues related to social transition.

Finally, I provide suggestions for peer support, including support groups, community meet-ups, and online meetings.

No referrals are required for gender-affirming assessments.

I am not in network with any insurance companies. However, I can provide you with a superbill, which you can submit for potential out-of-network benefits. If your insurance includes such coverage, you could be entitled to some reimbursement, as these services are often considered medically necessary for gender-affirming medical procedures. However, coverage varies by individual policy.

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