Gender Non-Conforming/Gender Dysphoria Services and Resources

Therapist: Elizabeth S. Arauz, LMSW

Services offered include:

  • Directly assessing gender dysphoria in children, adolescents and adults.
    • Clients must meet with the therapist, in-person, before any referrals/letters will be completed.
    • Family/guardian participation is required for individuals under the age of 18 years whom desire medical intervention.
  • Providing family counseling and supportive psychotherapy to assist children, adolescents, and adults with exploring their gender identity to help alleviate stress related to their gender dysphoria and other psychosocial difficulties.
  • Referrals to medical professionals for health assessments when physical interventions, such as puberty suppressing hormones, surgery to change primary and/or secondary sex characteristics, etc., are desired to alleviate feelings of gender dysphoria.
  • Education and advocacy in the community (i.e. daycare centers, schools, camps, employers, etc.) on behalf of individuals experiencing gender dysphoria.

*This is particularly important in light of evidence that individuals whom do not conform to socially prescribed gender norms may experience harassment in the community; therefore, putting them at a higher risk for social isolation, depression, self-harm, and other negative psychological symptoms.

Families will be supported/educated while managing uncertainty about their child/adolescent’s psycho-sexual/gender outcomes to encourage development of a positive self-image. The therapist and families should offer ample room for the client to explore different options for gender expression. If parents do not allow their child to make a gender role transition, we also offer counseling to assist them with meeting their child’s needs in a sensitive, nurturing, and safe environment.

Options for psychological and medical treatment of gender dysphoria include, but are not limited to:

  • Changes in gender expression and rolls which may involve living part-time or full-time in another gender role consistent with one’s gender identity.
  • Hormone therapy to feminize or masculinize the physical body.
  • Surgical interventions to change primary and/or secondary sex characteristics (i.e. breast/chest, external and/or internal genitalia, facial features, body contouring, etc.)
  • Psychotherapy – individual, couple, family or a group sessions available

In addition to, or as an alternative to the psychological and medical treatment options described above, other options can be considered to help alleviate gender dysphoria:

These options for social support, changes, and gender expression include, but are not limited to:

  • Face-to-face and online peer, family, friend support groups, and community organizations that provide avenues for support, education, and advocacy.
  • Voice and communication therapy
  • Hair removal through electrolysis, laser treatment, or waxing.
  • Breast binding or padding, genitalia prosthesis or padding, etc.
  • Change of name and gender marker on identity documents (license, passport, etc.)

* The prevalence of ASD, or Autism Spectrum Disorder, seems to be higher in clinically referred gender dysphoric children than in the general population (de Vries, Noens, Cohen-Kettenis, Van Berckelaer-Onnes & Doreleijers, 2010)