Realizing you’re transgender can be exhilarating and frustrating
Things make sense! Instead of wishing you were a girl, you can just be a girl. Instead of feeling like no gender really fits, you don’t have to have a gender. Moving from what you were assigned at birth to who you really are is a fantastic experience.
At the same time, it can be frustrating when other people don’t get it. Family members might act like they’ve lost a child, when you’ve been the same person this whole time. Friends might act weird. And society - yeah, there's some issues there.
If you’re transgender, genderqueer, or haven’t found a identity that feels right, please reach out. I’d love to help you be more fully who you are.
I’ve learned something in all my time counseling transgender people:
the way out is to be more - not less - of you.
What do we do in gender-affirming therapy?
Counseling for gender identity involves investigating, reflecting, and doing.
How are you feeling? What affects your mood? What expectations are you holding? What do you connect with? What makes you come alive? In therapy, we work together to parse and understand your feelings. We turn this miasma into something manageable - even usable.
You don’t have to have all the answers about your gender identity
Many people feel pressured to assign a label to their gender. Am I a trans woman or trans man? Am I non-binary? Genderqueer? Genderfluid? Agender?
It’s hard enough to figure out how you feel. It’s even harder when you feel like you have to explain yourself to others.
At Vered Counseling, labels are optional. If you find a label helpful, then we can use it. If you feel like a gender label is no longer useful, we can discard it without looking back. Many clients feel safe knowing they can be themselves, whatever that is.
Despite any labels you choose, you are still you.
An alternative to gender counseling:
For people who don’t want to get into “all of that emotional stuff,” I offer “transgender road map” consultations. Many people want to talk to a third party about how they want to come out to family, physically or socially transition. I provide consultations where we can talk about your options in a supportive, non-judgmental atmosphere.
Transgender mental health care: You deserve competent providers
My wife realized she was transgender a few months into our marriage. As we started looking into doctors and therapists who could support her, I realized how few providers were skilled in dealing with these issues.
Transgender and non-binary people shouldn’t have to know more than their doctors or therapists in order to receive adequate care.
I can't claim to understand what it's like to be another person. What I can promise is that I will try to be as competent and well-equipped as I can in order to navigate this together.
Many trans people that I’ve worked with have told me they’ve wanted to work on difficult issues, but have had negative experiences with therapy in the past. It’s okay to be hesitant. I won’t ask you to talk about anything if you’re not ready. You don’t have to trust me until you actually, genuinely do.
The trauma therapy I use is called Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT). This involves getting desensitized to the traumatic events, as well as changing painful beliefs that you’re left with. CPT is an evidence-based therapy with a lot of research behind it.
HRT and SRS letters in Texas and North Carolina
If you’re wanting to start hormone replacement therapy (also known as taking cross-sex hormones) or you’re on the path to getting Sex Reassignment/Gender Confirmation Surgery, I provide letters.
Let’s be honest: I know some people aren’t interested in therapy and just want to start hormones. If you just want to start HRT, I’d recommend checking out Planned Parenthood. Many locations offer cross-sex hormone prescriptions without needing HRT letters.
Rates for gender therapy
Therapy isn’t one-size-fits-all. Some benefit in a few sessions, while others create huge changes over several sessions.
50-minute sessions are $175.
The initial 80-minute session is $280. This involves a comprehensive assessment, including history and current functioning. Any family members or friends are welcome to come and provide their perspectives and support.
Insurance and sliding scale for gender counseling:
I am committed to everyone having access to mental health treatment and trans-affirming therapy. Therefore, I have a few lower-cost Open Path slots available. Please check the link to see if there are any current openings.
I do not take insurance, but I can provide a superbill that you can send to your insurance.
Online and In-Person Transgender Therapy in North Carolina and Texas
Kimberly Vered Shashoua is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (North Carolina #C011412; and Texas #59797).
Online therapy in North Carolina is available for those who don’t wish to travel to my counseling office in Asheville.
Texas online counseling services are available from anywhere in the Lone Star State.
In addition to gender counseling, Kimberly offers Transgender Roadmap Consultations and support for parents of transgender people. These services are not limited by geography. This transgender support is available anywhere in the world!
Everyone is unique and has different needs. If it seems like we might not be a match, I am happy to provide referrals.
Ready to start gender-affirming counseling?
Schedule your free 15-minute phone mental health consultation today.
Let's see how we can work together to help bring you a life you want.
Additional Support for Transgender Individuals & Their Parents, Friends & Families
As a gender affirming therapy center, Vered Counseling offers a variety of supportive sources for transgender individuals and their families. Gender identity therapist Kimberly Vered Shashoua provides counseling services for transgender teenagers, transgender adults & teenage girls (regardless of gender identity). She also offers gender affirming counseling online in Texas and North Carolina. For individuals simply needing support (versus the emotional process of counseling), Vered Counseling offers additional support to individuals & families anywhere in the 50 states! This support can be for transgender individuals navigating the unique aspects of embracing one’s true gender identity or supportive consultation for parents & family members. Contact Vered Counseling to begin any of our services!