Interview with a Sex Reassignment Therapist

We thought that an interview with a Sex Reassignment Therapist would be a valuable addition to SexInfo so readers could gain a general understanding of the profession.

1. What is your title?

Sexologist with a PhD in human sexuality.

2. How did you decide you wanted to be in this profession?

In college I had a classmate who was a transgendered, and I did not understand what this classmate was all about and it frightened me. However, I took a course that discussed this subject and I began to understand what my classmate might have been thinking. That was when I knew being a sexologist was my calling in life. I found this subject fascinating, and I always wanted a profession that would allow me to help people. Plus, there was a high demand for professionals to work with this specific population, especially in 1978.

3. Do you have the authority to deny your patient a sex reassignment?

Yes, potential sex reassignment recipients are required to obtain two opinions. One opinion must come from their primary therapist, and the other has to come from a psychiatrist. The two professionals determine whether or not a person will be granted sex change surgery based on a variety of factors.

4. Is there a certain process a patient must undergo in order to be eligible for a sex change?

Yes, there are. The potential recipient must be in therapy for two years and have lived in the gender role that matches their identity for at least one year.

5. What is your advice to people who are considering a sex change? 

Seeking counseling is the best advice I could give, since the correct path will become more apparent with counseling.

6. What does your daily work routine consist of?

I meet with patients and talk to them about any issues, confusions, and concerns they may have. We work together to try and clarify those problems, and I make sure they are on the right path. Essentially, "I work with them to help them express their true selves."

7. What kind of schooling and/or training would one have to undergo if they wanted to become a sexologist? 

It varies quite a bit. One can come from many different educational backgrounds, such as coming from social work or marriage and family counseling. Eventually, one will have to get their therapy degree, concentrating on gender issues with workshops, books, classes, and experience.

8. Do you ever relate to your patients problems?

Of course I relate to their problems. They are in such deep pain and I am a empathetic individual. Some of my patients have much tragedy in their life: Their parents have disowned them, they have lost their children, and have lost jobs as a result of their gender issues. Their problems can be quite devastating, consequently affecting me. Sometimes I am the only person in my patients' lives that accepts and understands them. After so many years in this profession, I have finally learned how to not get ulcers from stressing about my patients' troubles.

9. Are there any helpful websites you can think of?

For more transgender health information visit :

http://www.transgendercare.com/

Find a transgender support group meeting and fun events close to you:
http://www.tgforum.com/

Ask your own questions or browse through the website's abundant transgender resources. A chat forum is also available:
http://www.susans.org/

 

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