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. Teachers and doctors might act weird. And society - yeah, there's some issues there.
I’ve learned something in all my time working with teens:
the way out is to be more - not less - of you.
What do we do in gender-affirming therapy?
Gender therapy 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.
Your family deserves 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.
Therapy supports both transgender teens AND their families
I find that teenagers make more progress in therapy when their parents are also supported.
While there's more information out there now, many parents grew up without an understanding of gender identity issues. Parent want to know more about what their teen is going through. Parents often feel more confident when they understand what it means to be transgender. Their children then feel like they’re able to focus more on their mental health treatment.
When a teenager comes out, it impacts the entire family.
No matter how supportive family members are, they still have to adapt. They have to adjust their internal image of their child, possibly including new pronouns and a different name. They will have to say let go of old expectations of their teen. New hopes and fears - of different likelhoods - will take their place.
Vered Counseling offers a safe, therapeutic space for the whole family to talk about what they’re going though.
Families can find their social circle changes after a child comes out as another gender (including transgender, non-binary, genderqueer, or genderfluid).
Just like transgender and non-binary teens, parents can face social stigma. "How much do I want to tell acquaintances who are good running buddies but not the most sensitive people? If my boss's boss says something transphobic, what should I do? If I say nothing, am I betraying my child? If I say something, will I get a reputation for being insubordinate?"
I find that parents benefit from a space to process all of this stress. Otherwise, they might end up directing it at their teen. Parents find safety and relief talking to a qualified therapist who specializes in gender identity issues.
According to the state of North Carolina, teens are the boss of their mental health treatment.
They can consent to counseling without needing their parent’s consent. Their mental health information is also confidential, except in severe situations (where “notification is essential to the life or health of the minor” N.C. Gen. Stat. § 90‐21.4). I encourage all teens collaborate with their families to the extent that they feel comfortable.
Rates for Transgender Counseling for Teens
Therapy isn’t one-size-fits-all. Some benefit in a few sessions, while others create huge changes over several sessions.
50-minute counseling sessions are $175.
The initial 80-minute counseling session is $280. This involves a comprehensive mental health and gender assessment, including history and current functioning. Often, multiple family members will provide their perspectives and concerns. Parents are encouraged to participate in their teenager’s mental health treatment at this stage.
Sliding Scale for Gender Therapy:
I am committed to everyone having access to mental health treatment for gender identity and transgender issues. Therefore, I have a few lower-cost Open Path slots available. Please check this link to see if there are any current openings.
Insurance for Counseling:
I do not take insurance for counseling, but I can provide a superbill that you can send to your insurance.
Online and In-Person Counseling for transgender teens 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 parent and family support anywhere in the world.
Every teen is unique and has different needs. If it seems like we might not be a match, I am happy to provide referrals. I would be glad to help your family find the best person for your needs.
Parents, ready to get your transgender teenager starting therapy?
Schedule your free 15-minute phone mental health service consultation today.
Let's see how we can work together to help your child .
Additional Vered Counseling Services: Support for Trans Individuals & Their Family
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. She also offers gender affirming counseling online in Texas and transgender therapy in Asheville, North Carolina. For individuals simply needing support (versus the emotional process of counseling), Vered Counseling offers additional support for parents of trans teenagers. Also offered is support 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!