Adult Gender Services

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Adult gender servicesOn this page you will find a description of our services, information about our providers, what to expect at your first appointment, and resources for trans and gender non forming individuals, partners, and familes. The PHS approach to transgender health care is comprehensive. Our services are intended to provide clients with a “whole self” approach to healthcare. We offer individual, group, and family psychotherapy, psychiatry services, specialty medical care, hormone therapy, consultation and advocacy about gender issues, and referrals for surgical interventions.

At PHS, we embrace a transaffirmative perspective. We believe that being transgender is a natural part of the gender diversity of human experience and embrace the full spectrum of gender experience, including non-binary identities. We believe being transgender is a wonderful aspect of who you are, and want to support you in whatever steps you may want or need to take to become more fully authentic in your expression of your gendered self. Many transgender people struggle with feelings of gender dysphoria (the clinical term for discomfort with your birth assigned sex), both emotionally and in your body. Consistent with the research on transgender experiences, we believe that medical interventions can be helpful in relieving gender dysphoria. Many transgender people choose not to or are unable to pursue medical interventions, and we believe psychotherapy can be helpful in the process of making these important decisions, and exploring what interventions may be or not be best for you in your unique gender path.

What to Expect at Your First Appointment

What to Expect at Your First Appointment

When you call for your first appointment, our intake coordinator will take your insurance information and some initial details about your concerns. You may be placed on a waitlist at this time, referred out to a community provider (if appropriate to your goals), or scheduled with your medical provider (if you are only seeking medical consultation/intervention).

You will be sent a packet of information about our clinic, the Center for Sexual Health, along with some forms to complete. you will bring these forms with you to your first appointment. They will include some background questions about your mental and physical health, your family history, and other relevant details. There will also be information about privacy and confidentiality. We have included samples of these forms below.

When you arrive at the clinic for your appointment, you will walk into our waiting room, and check in with our front office staff. If you have a preferred name that is different than your current legal name, you can share that name with the intake person when you initially call. If your name preference changes, just share your preferred name with the front desk staff or your therapist.

Your therapist will come and walk you from the waiting room to their office. They will then review your confidentiality and ask you if you have any questions about the clinic. In the first session, your therapist will take a history of your gender concerns and ask you about your goals. You will review the forms you filled out with your mental and physical health history. the therapist may ask you questions about your sexual health as well, since we are a sexual health clinic.

At the end of the first session, the therapist may give you some additional forms to fill out. You will review with your therapist your goals in coming to the clinic, and depending on what your goals are, will be scheduled for additional meetings with the therapists, or referred to our internal medical provider, or an outside provider. The therapist will review their recommendations for what may be helpful for you given your goals. This can include individual, group, family psychotherapy, and/or medical referral, psychiatric referral, or a series of session to prepare a letter of referral for a surgical intervention.

We have included the most common forms we use with clients; our medical interventions form, informed consents for feminizing and masculinizing hormones, and what to expect at your first appointment with a hormone provider.

PHS Feminizing Hormone Informed Consent
PHS Masculinizing Hormone Therapy Informed Consent

Clinic Services

Clinic Services

Clinical services for transgender individuals and their families can include:

  • Physical health care, including prescriptions of appropriate medications and feminizing and masculinizing hormones
  • Psychological, physical, and psychiatric evaluations Individual, couples, and family psychotherapy
  • Therapy for crossdressers and their partners
  • Interpersonal process support groups
  • Recommendations for gender affirming surgeries
  • Support and services across medical transition journey
  • Gender exploration support
  • Counseling for intersexuality
  • Competent trans specific sex positive sex therapy and psychoeducation
  • Hormone Therapy Support in navigating insurance barriers to care
  • Secondary letters for gender affirming surgeries

We follow the World Professional Association for Transgender Health Standards of Care v.VII, 2012.

Consultation, Advocacy, and Training

Consultation, Advocacy, and Training

A wide variety of consultations are available, including the facilitation of coming out in the workplace or school and the provision of customized trainings. Our staff offers seminars, lectures and workshops as well as continuing education for health and social service providers. We also provide forensic evaluations and expert witness testimony.

Faculty engage in a variety of advocacy and policy initiatives focused on increasing transgender health equity, increasing trans visibility, and increasing knowledge and awareness of trans health issues.

Training is available in the form of post-doctoral fellowships in transgender health, rotations for medical students and residents, one on one consultations, and consultations for groups and agencies. Contact us at phs@umn.edu for more information.

Transgender Therapy Groups

Transgender Therapy Groups

The group therapy available at PHS is intended to offer a blend of support and interpersonal process therapy. Transgender therapy groups support a spectrum of gender identities and provide opportunities to learn from the experiences of other members, build social support, gain support in progressing on identified therapy goals. Facilitated by two therapists, the groups meet twice a month for two hours and are closed groups (meaning the same members come to each session). Group members are expected to come to every group session and to make at least a three month commitment to group.

Open support groups are available in the community. Patients often use an outside support group while using individual therapy or medical services at PHS.