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Anyone have experience with gender identity counseling? I'm gonna make some appointments, but I'd like to know what I'm in for first if I can.
I'm an ftm, but I figure gender counseling is the just about the same for everyone. I've been going to GID specific therapy for three years now. It's basically like regular therapy/counseling but generally centered around gender and related isssues. Going in they'll want to know background info like your childhood, growing up, first issues with your gender, general infomation about your family and other relationships, what your current situation is, and your goals. After that, you'll be able to set up a treatment plan. This could be anything from general talk therapy to moving towards getting letters for SRS, HRT, etc. Don't be nervous, just be yourself and try not to hold anything relevant back. Good luck and I hope this helped. :)
What about DIY'ing my hormones? Stupid, risky, unpredictable...? What are your experiences?
I wouldn't recommend it as a med student. It can be potentially dangerous especially because one usually doesn't know their hormone, cholesterol, etc levels and how to prescribe accordingly.
I personally wouldn't do it as a transperson because it could possibly hurt me in the long run from receiving letters for surgery, changing my gender marker on my DL, etc if they thought I would be irresponsible and unwilling to do things legally (by the WPATH-SOC).
Counseling in my experience is like a regular conversation with someone who starts out as a complete open minded stranger.
As time progresses, the person you're talking to knows you more and more, and starts to help you see connections between the things you're talking about, and occasionally steers the conversation down avenues you wouldn't consider, by looking at obvious repeating themes in your thoughts and attitudes.
It's pretty fucking awesome actually and I need to start seeing my counselor again soon. I love how I start out with an attitude of "I don't know you, I've got nothing to prove and I don't give a fuck." to feeling like I can really open up to this person who has a responsibility to help guide you and keep you sane and healthy.
Also, see Tony Soprano's experiences in therapy for an amusing but not really inaccurate idea of the format.