Therapy Center of Philadelphia welcomes anyone who identifies as transgender, gender non-conforming, or with gender non-binary identities and/or experiences, regardless of sex assigned at birth or gender identity. This could include but not be limited to trans women, trans men, gender non-conforming and gender-queer identified folks, as well as transsexuals or anyone on the transgender continuum. You also do not need to be living as your preferred gender.
Our services are trans-affirming with a keen awareness of the historical divisiveness that has existed between the mental health field and transgender communities regarding gate-keeping practices and trans-phobic approaches. Our therapists do not operate solely from a gender-binary assumption and come with experience and training around how to be trans-affirming and competent. Some are transgender or gender non-conforming identified as well.
Psychotherapy (Individual, couples, group)
- Coming out: emotionally, physically, spiritually- to self, family, friends, work, community
- Your relationship to your body
- Dealing with trans-phobia
- Dating, sex, intimacy
- Childhood work- how being trans impacted your experience growing up
- Hopelessness, internalized trans-phobia or shame
- How to build community and support
- Loss and grieving that can come with transitioning
- Celebration and liberation that can come with transitioning
- Support around how to navigate medical transition
Individual therapy could also include working on any issue you have – not necessarily related to your gender identity or transitioning –in a space that you will know is trans-affirming.
TCP also offers a number of groups for transgender and gender non-conforming including a support group, a music group, and a prospective parenting group. Groups can be a wonderful way to meet others going through the same experiences as you and can be an affordable alternative to individual therapy.
In working with transgender and gender non-conforming clients, our goal at TCP is to serve as a partner and supporter in clients’ journeys of gender transition and identity integration. Our aim is to use the therapy relationship to emotionally and clinically support those wanting to medically transition (through surgery or hormones) as well as serve as supports and advocates in experiences of daily living (bathrooms, schools, community spaces).
One way we as clinicians can do this is by writing letters on our client’s behalf, clinically advocating for their decisions and/or safety. As an agency, we aim to support clients in their goals towards more authenticity while also helping them determine the best strategy for the most successful outcome. We do not write letters to condone a diagnosis or pathology, but to use them as tools to help clients achieve their goals.
To achieve this, the agency has put the following guidelines in place. We will review these guidelines after six months (August 2016) to determine how effective they are and if any unforeseen barriers have emerged that TCP could eliminate. Please use our feedback form to offer any comments.
Any client requesting letters for surgery or hormones at TCP will meet with a staff clinician for an initial intake. Once assigned a therapist, they will meet with them for a minimum of three therapy sessions. If the therapist determines that more sessions are necessary in order to effectively complete the letter request, this will be explored with the client. If this request emerges within the context of ongoing therapy, the clinician and client may determine if more time/sessions are needed but do not necessarily need to conduct three specific sessions if there is a clear understanding from the prior work/exploration together.
- As feminists, we believe that trans-inclusion is imperative in addressing gender-based oppression, and that it is the responsibility of feminist organizations to authentically, proactively and intentionally explore this inclusion.
- As an organization, TCP’s commitment to being fully trans-affirming is held by the entire institution including our board, director, supervisors, staff, and non-clinical staff.
- As an organization, TCP recognizes and honors the complexity of gender both inside and outside the gender binary.
- As an organization, TCP understands that provision of fully trans-affirming services is a necessary and essential component of providing high quality feminist mental health services.
- As an organization, TCP is committed to being accountable to build trust within transgender communities particularly in light of the divisive history within feminist spaces and mental health providers. We seek out feedback from transgender community members to meet this goal.
- TCP challenges medical gate-keeping policies by working collaboratively with transgender clients seeking support around medical transition.
- As an organization, TCP has a commitment to keep sessions on a sliding fee scale to increase access but with the awareness that this still will not reach all those in need. We will help those not able to access our services find other options for mental health suppport.
- All TCP therapists will receive multi-level training on the elements of being trans-affirming and inclusive.
- All TCP therapists will have the opportunity to engage in individual and group clinical supervision that gives space to explore trans-specific clinical issues.
History and Transparency Report
In 2012 TCP decided to address this issue with an intentional process and embarked on a journey that included educational trainings, hard discussions, more training, and more discussions. In June of 2013, the TCP staff and board unanimously voted to work towards providing fully trans-inclusive and affirming services.
Since the vote, TCP has dedicated time and resources to attend to the many areas that needed shifting including: organizational structure and leadership, clinical services, outreach and marketing, physical space, and community involvement and accountability. This also includes reassessing our name to make it more trans-inclusive.
“I love this place and wish there was one like it in every state. Trans people like me don’t trust a lot of therapists and can’t afford their fees. My therapist was completely open and accepting of what I was going through. I can honestly say that she helped me become more fully myself despite lots of discrimination I felt in the world. I never could have gone on this journey without her help. ~ 26 y/ old trans client from Fishtown