Finding a Therapist
If you want hormones or surgery you will have to go through a therapist. A therapist can often be your coach, helping you through the process and providing support along the way.
The MN LGBTQ Directory can help you find the right therapist. RECLAIM, an organization in Minneapolis that aims to increase mental health access for LGBT youth, also provides counseling and support groups.
Some trans people decide to take hormones as part of their transition. It’s very important that you get your hormones from a health professional and that you are being monitored to make sure that the hormones are safe for you. Your health professional and therapist can talk with you about the risks associated with hormones, what changes to expect, and provide emotional support. Most therapists use the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) Standards.
The new standards require that a health profession conduct a psychosocial assessment and get the informed consent of the individual before making a referral to an endocrinologist or other hormone provider, who will actually prescribe the hormones. The criteria for hormone therapy are:
- Persistent, well-documented gender dysphoria;
- Capacity to make a fully informed decision and to consent for treatment;
- Age of majority in a given country
- If significant medical or mental health concerns are present, they must be reasonably well-controlled
Not all therapists use this model and some might require you to meet with them for a longer period of time. Therapists that use informed consent will see you for one visit and carefully go over the risks and effects of hormones. If you want to do informed consent, the first step is finding a therapist who is willing to use the informed consent model. Janet Bystrom in Minneapolis uses this model and other providers that are part of the Minnesota Trans Health Coalition may use it too. The second step is to find an endocrinologist who will accept an informed consent model. The therapist will usually have some they generally refer patients to. They will most likely make you have some bloodwork done to make sure it is safe for you to use hormones.
Once you have hormones, the Shot Clinic in Minneapolis is a trans-specific space where you can get help administering hormone shots, learn to give yourself shots, and get free supplies.
For more information about hormones, check out these resources: