|THE TRANSITIONAL MALE|
Therapy: Your First Visit
What to Expect: Helpful Tips
1: Just Be You! Trying to be someone you are not normally wonít fool anyone. Eventually your true self will shine through and the therapist will see through the veil.
2: Try Not To Wear Anything Overtly Female. I am not saying that you would, but stay away frills specifically jewelry, too many rings, ear rings (though men wear them). It wonít hurt to leave the glitter at home once every week.
3: But Don't Dress Uncomfortably or in a Way You Don't Usually. This means if you donít normally wear a tie, donít wear one, things of this nature If you wear something that does not reflect you on a day to day basis, you will be uncomfortable and this discomfort could impede your ability to project yourself and listen well. This could easily distract you. I donít recommend being a slob. Take pride in how you look but donít go against the man you are daily.
4: Donít Act This means don't be too deliberate in your body language or mannerisms. Be the man you are naturally. Deliberate actions will send up red flags. This may show that you might be insecure and may show uncertainty even if that is not what you wish to convey. Most of us have natural male mannerisms. More often MTFís need coaching on how to be a lady and take on a more feminine demeanor. Be friendly, easy going, yet firm and confident.
5: Be Willing to Take Any Psychological Testing You Are Asked To and Do So With Pleasure. Don't question or fight the therapist their decisions or professional requirements. These are part of the process, part of the game if youíd like to take it that far. You may be asked to take just one or many. Attitude shows immaturity, nothing more. These tests are usually personality tests & I.Q. tests. Some of these tests have deliberate lie questions. The question may be asked several times but reworded to fool you. Answer honestly no matter how absurd the questions. Example: you may be asked this very famous question: Have you ever had thoughts that were disturbing or thoughts about hurting someone? If you answer No, you are lying. We all have had times when we wished another ill, wished we could beat the snot out of someone, or wished them bad luck, maybe even death. Thatís just part of being human; being fallible. So, if you answer questions the way you think theyíd prefer, you wonít like the end result. This may delay things until they get to the real you.
6: Donít Second-Guess That Something You Might Say or Share About Yourself or Your Past Will Influence Your Therapist Negatively or Keep You From Being Approved For Hormones. The chances are slim that past childhood trauma will affect your transition. I experienced molestation as a child, I witnessed extreme repeated domestic violence, I had no positive male roll models, there was alcoholism on both sides, I was a practicing alcoholic until 1992, and I had a violent temper for many years in my past but these had no bearing on getting started. I had overcome all these obstacles before I began my transition. Be honest; show you have moved past this, show you have maturity and self-worth.
7: If You Have a Hot Temper, You May Have to Have More Therapy. Many transmen wear their hot tempers like a badge of courage or they feel that because they have had it so rough they are entitled to be angry. That is a sure sign of an immature person who may not be ready for this very daunting task. Everyone has had it rough but itís the guys who can control themselves that transition successfully. If you have some anger issues he or she picks up on, work with the therapist, be an adult, not a child. Ask if there is anything the two of you can do to resolve any concerns he or she might have. There is no use fighting them or quitting. Each time you fight what is requested of you, you delay your transition even further. Each time you throw a fit and quit something, you show more about yourself than you may wish to. And if you fight them on therapy to help with anger problems, you are simply reinforcing what they already know and proving you are not ready for hormones just yet. Swallow your pride, turn down the heat, and relax.
8: Be Proactive Not Reactive. Be part of the solution not part of the problem. Be an active participant in your therapy, donít just sit there like a lump and expect everything to be handed to you. You will have to do some work and thereís no use being a baby about it. Therapy wonít be forever and you might be surprised how good it feels to discuss things to someone you have no emotional ties with. You donít necessarily have to talk about hormones or your transition all the time with them. There is no set protocol despite what you may have heard. This can be very therapeutic on many levels.
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