The initial assessment is made by one of our psychotherapists and will be concluded by one of our doctors. We aim to complete your assessment within 4-5 months.
There is plenty of time to discuss things during the assessment; don’t be embarrassed about asking questions, however small or trivial they may seem. Your treatment begins with information-giving and, according to individual need, specialised psychological therapies during your assessment.
You will be seen on three occasions by one of our therapists and then by one of our doctors, to conclude the assessment phase of your care. By the end of your assessment, we will agree with you a description of your situation (this may be a medical diagnosis) and advise you about your options to resolve your concerns. You may need time to think about these.
During this time, you will be encouraged to discuss a whole range of topics from your own personal story of gender identity concerns through to your specific aims for developing your identity and new role in society. The purpose of this is to explore with you the impact of your gender experience on your personal development.
We will also talk to you about your life, school, family and all other aspects of life. It’s important for us to get a complete picture of your life so that we can help you not only to achieve your current goals but also to identify and set yourself new goals in areas that you might not previously have considered.
Following this, if future medical interventions are a likely need, you will be offered an appointment with one of the medical team. If there is anything that you would like to discuss with them, it’s best to make a note of your queries and bring the questions to your consultation.
At the end of your period of assessment, you will be given a written copy of your individual care pathway, describing what interventions have been agreed between you and the clinical team, and the likely timing of those interventions. This document will be reviewed regularly and amended as agreed with you but will remain your guide to your progress on your journey. Please do not expect to be recommended to start hormone therapy immediately, as the doctor is likely to want to liaise with your GP and arrange various tests before this.
Following the assessment phase of your treatment, you will be seen approximately every six weeks by your therapist and every three months by your clinic doctor. Every effort is made, but cannot be guaranteed, for you to see your therapist on the same day you see your clinic doctor. It is possible for some of the other alternately six weekly psychotherapy meetings to be carried out through a video-conference platform, such as Skype.
A proportion of clients who are referred to the clinic do not proceed to hormone therapy or gender reassignment. This may be because they do not experience gender dysphoria and were simply seeking advice and acknowledgement, or they may have had no wish to transition, or they may have been prevented from receiving treatment for medical reasons. This does not prevent them from receiving ongoing psychotherapeutic support with one of the therapists.