TRANS & GENDER DIVERSE CARE
An Area of Interest & Experience
WHAT YOU MIGHT BE EXPERIENCING
Navigating the journey of coming to understand your gender identity can be confusing. We live in a world that operates at a rapid pace with words and ideas that are constantly changing. Trans, gender diverse, non binary, cisgender, masc, femme, two-spirit, and countless others - not to mention the pronouns we use - can both help us to communicate to others how we see ourselves while also confronting us with major decisions about how we identify.
You might be aware of a softness within you, an inner femininity that you struggle to express in the male body into which you were born. Or you may often feel more masculine, less interested in makeup than many of your cis-female friends. You may reject the gender binary and recognise an arbitrary nature to gender identity, but feel somewhat unsure of where that leaves you (am I gay? am I straight? do I want to transition in some way?). You may feel that it’s “too late” to transition or be living with fear of what might happen if you choose to transition. Or you may have a firm sense of who you are regarding your gender identity, but find yourself exhausted of trying to find a therapist who "gets it" and isn't going to problematise or pathologise your identity.
I’d love to support you as you work toward finding greater clarity and discover how you might best live a life that is authentic for you.
WHAT MAKES ME QUALIFIED TO WORK IN TRANS AND GENDER DIVERSE CARE
In considering your search for a therapist to support the unique needs associated with trans and gender diverse care, I think that it’s extremely important to consider your therapist’s experience and ability to support you in the ways you need and deserve. That is, not all therapists are equally experienced or well trained in this area of care.
I am a cisgender man and consider myself a trans affirming therapist. For me, this means that I have a healthy background understanding of transgender health which allows me to work specifically with the unique needs of trans and gender diverse folks. This also means that I recognise that the majority of mental health concerns among these individuals have nothing at all to do with their gender identities. That is, I won’t make your gender identity relevant where and when it isn’t, I will respect and celebrate that identity for what it is, and I will be able to offer you the professional support that you may need in affirming that identity (for example, in having a knowledgeable understanding of medical transition and how you might get the care you need).
I have worked extensively with trans and gender diverse folks and their families. I have facilitated countless referrals for hormone replacement therapies (HRT) and gender affirming surgeries, provided letters to patients to facilitate legal sex/gender marker changes, supported folks struggling with gender dysphoria, and held space for folks as they have questioned and come to better understand themselves when it comes to their sex and gender identities. I am knowledgable about the medical transition process and have experience working with folks throughout this process.
I have experience consulting with organisations and researchers around topics relating to trans and gender diverse research, care, and education.
My personal research has focused on the process of sexual becoming and how we come to know who we are when it comes to our sex, gender, and sexuality identities. This very much builds on an understanding of existential sexualities, fusing my interests in existentialism, identity, and sexuality. You can read more here.
I retain memberships in a number of professional organisations relevant to trans and gender diverse care, including the Canadian Professional Association for Trans Health (CPATH) and the Alberta Society for the Promotion of Sexual Health (ASPSH).
I participate in a monthly consultation group directly relating to trans and gender diverse care.
My supervisor, Mel Sanford, is registered with AASECT (American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists) and has extensive experience working in trans and gender diverse care.
I remain enrolled in university where I continue to study topics related to gender, sex, and sexuality.
I continue to work with Skipping Stone Foundation, “a one of a kind, nationally recognized agency that connects trans and gender diverse youth, adults and families with the comprehensive and low barrier access to the support they need and deserve.”
I recently spent a great deal of time consulting and developing a therapy group to meet the unique needs of trans femme survivors of sexualised assault. You can learn more about this group here.
RELEVANT TRAINING INCLUDES
A number of university courses in sexual health at the Master’s Level or higher, including: Psychology of Sexuality and Human Development (2017); Sexual Health - Issues and Perspectives (2019); Sex Positivity - In Theory & Practice (2020); Sexual Health Education (2020)
Intensive Sex Therapy Training Program, Guelph University, 2019
CPATH 2019 Conference & Pre-Conference Training Program, Including Trainings on Primary Care and Informed Consent Approaches in Transgender Health & Gender Affirming Surgeries - Exploring Options and Post-Op Care
ASPSH 2018 Conference: Diverse Approaches to Sexuality for Diverse Communities
Sexual Attitudes Reassessment (SAR), 2018
Various Somatic Sex Education Trainings & Intensives (ex., 2018)
“In the social jungle of human existence, there is no feeling of being alive without a sense of identity.”