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Tips for Finding an Effective Gender Affirming Therapist

Why Talking to a Therapist is Important

Deciding to start therapy, regardless of your reasoning, is a challenge in and of itself. Finding a therapist who understands you and your needs is the next big daunting task. Many individuals who identify within the LGBTQIA2S+ community are experiencing even further difficulty in finding a gender-affirming therapist who truly understands the needs of this population.

A group of four friends smile while taking a selfie around a table. Learn how gender-affirming counseling in Madison, WI can offer support by getting in contact with a gender therapist near me. Search for therapy in Madison, WI to learn more today.

Affirmative, or affirming, care refers to a combination of mental, emotional, social,

medical/physical, and legal care toward individuals advocating for them to feel happy, healthy, and safe. This has also translated into Gender Affirming Care (GAC) to include care towards individuals feeling safe, comfortable, and happy in their gender identity. GAC can be beneficial for those who are questioning their gender identity or don’t identify with their assigned sex at birth, experiencing gender or body dysmorphia, don’t agree with traditional gender roles and stereotypes, are seeking a better understanding of who they are, and want to develop a stronger connection and liking to their body.

The process of better understanding ourselves and feeling comfortable with who we are is even more beneficial when done with the support from those who make us feel safe. And this is important: regardless, your therapist should support you every step of the way despite what you specifically need in gender-affirming care. Finding a GAC therapist you feel comfortable with is one of the first steps toward a journey of self-love and self-acceptance. Below are some tips for finding a GAC therapist you are comfortable with that fits your needs.

A top down view of a crowd parading with a rainbow flag. This could represent the support offered by gender-affirming counseling in Madison, WI. Learn more by searching for a gender therapist near me or “gender-affirming therapy” today.

Finding an Effective Gender-Affirming Therapist Letters for Affirmative Care

Some of us may know right away or from an early age, we don’t identify with the sex we were

assigned at birth, while some of us may question this more throughout our lives and with

support from family, friends, and other health and mental health care providers. Should you

decide the route you want to take is gender-affirming surgery and/or starting hormone therapy, you may find that a health care provider, as well as your insurance company, will ask you for a letter from a therapist stating you meet the criteria for the mental health diagnosis of Gender Dysphoria.

Be aware that not all therapists write these types of letters, even if they do provide some level of gender-affirming care. Ask your therapist, or a therapist you may be in consultation with, if this type of letter is something they provide as well as the requirements for the letter (for example, some therapists require you be in therapy with them for a specific amount of time before they agree to write the letter). This is for the protection of both you and the therapist in regard to the letter writing.

How to Know if a Therapist is Gender Affirming

Some therapists will be easily identifiable as they may list in their biographies that they are

LGBTQIA2S+ friendly or have specific training with this population. You may also find that word-of-mouth referrals from a healthcare provider or trusted friend may be helpful, as well as reviews of providers written by former clients.

Other resources include several search engine websites to narrow your search by those who accept and see clients needing gender-affirming care. Some of these include:

This search may require some effort sifting through different therapists and even scheduling several intake appointments or consultation calls. Most therapists offer free 15-minute consultation calls with them where you can ask questions to determine if the fit is right for you. Remember that you can choose not to see someone whom you don’t feel is a good fit for you.

A close up of pride flags flowing in a line on a string. Learn how therapy in Madison, WI can help offer affirming support by searching for “gender therapist near me” or, gender-affirming counseling in madison, wi. 33137

Here are some questions that may be helpful for you to keep in mind or ask during a consultation call:

  • What experience do you have in working with someone from the LGBTQIA2S+ community?

  • Do you currently see other clients with similar needs as myself?

  • Have you had any specific training in transgender mental health care?

  • Do you offer letters for name changes or gender-affirming surgery? If so, what are your requirements to write one?

  • What would you do if I shared something you weren’t familiar with as part of your identity or experience?

  • Do you have regular consultations with other therapists and/or a supervisor? If so, do they understand the needs of myself and my community?

Begin Gender-Affirming Counseling in Madison, WI

You deserve to have the right support that understands your concerns. Our team of caring therapists would be honored to support you from our Madison, WI-based practice. Start your therapy journey by following these simple steps today:

  1. Contact our team to schedule an appointment

  2. Get to know a therapist from our trained team

  3. Start receiving the support you deserve!

Other Services Offered with Golden Vibes Counseling

We know that you may experience more than one mental health concern you may need support with. This is why we are happy to offer a number of services to support you including anxiety therapy, adolescent counseling, BIPOC therapy, child therapy, and clinical supervision. We are also happy to offer therapy for college students, couples therapy, depression treatment, gender-affirming care, grief therapy, and LGBTQ+ therapy. Other services offered include OCD treatment, poly-affirming therapy, psych assessments, reproductive health, stress management, trauma therapy, sexual abuse treatment, and therapy for athletes.


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