One of our standalone services includes assessment for medical care as it relates to gender identity. Kara practices a “facilitated progress” model, which includes screening for various elements of life that impact decision-making and can be impacted by medical care, and work with clients and support people to find the best timing and options for you, select the best provider based on your needs, and help you prepare for how the procedure impacts various parts of your life.
Kara has held a focus on gender and sexuality issues since graduate school, including focusing her thesis on the lack of gender and sexuality content in her social work education. In addition to other continuing education opportunities focused on various aspects of healthy sexuality and gender affirming services, she participated in the Brave Space training in Summer 2018. This meets WPATH guidelines for ability to write letters for gender-affirming medical care. While providing this service is new for Kara and Ancora Counseling, we are constantly work to improve our understanding of the procedures, insurance dynamics, provider experiences, complications, and alternatives available to you so that we may be of use to you as you move forward.
Assessments can sometimes be stand-alone experiences, or can be conducted during the course of therapy or over some follow-up sessions. When working with teens, Kara values sharing information with guardians or caregivers whenever possible and safe, to help families feel supported through this sometimes challenging process.
Our time together will result in a treatment recommendation, which sometimes is an immediate referral to a medical provider, and sometimes includes counseling, family involvement, completing other goals, or more planning prior to or concurrently with a referral. In rare circumstances, we may decide together that medical care is not appropriate at this time, and we will help plan for alternative ways to meet your needs.
Note that in order to send letters to insurance companies and medical providers, Kara will be required to include a diagnosis of gender dysphoria. This diagnosis does not fit everyone’s experience, and she is happy to discuss how to navigate these requirements while honoring your experience and identity.