These are some of our practices and beliefs about Informed Consent:
- Not everyone that identifies as transgender will seek medical intervention.
- For those who are seeking medical intervention, your therapist will engage with you in an informed consent process that includes:
- Discussion of your sexual and gender history
- Possible implications of the diagnosis of Gender Identity Disorder
- Exploration of the risks and benefits of hormones or surgery on areas of your life including but not limited to family relationships, fertility, legal documentation, sexuality, mental and physical health, finances, insurance, employment, etc.
- If you are 18 or over, you can consent for yourself to receive hormones or surgery but most physicians will still request documentation from a therapist of your work together.
- Once the client and therapist have addressed all the relevant areas, they co-write and co-sign a letter that can be given to a medical provider that states that the client is informed of the risks and benefits associated with medical transition and is consenting to treatment.
- The letter written is factual and does not involve the evaluation of readiness by the therapist, other than agreeing that you have been informed and are able to provide consent.
- The number of sessions involved in the informed consent process varies greatly from person to person from as little as 2 to 10 or more. A letter for a physician can be co-written at any time but can only be an honest representation of what has actually occurred in the sessions. Medical providers are more likely to accept a letter that can demonstrate that thorough preparation has taken place.
RECLAIM believes that trust is a fundamental part of clients being willing to engage in an honest exploration of their gender experience and that the perception of “gate keeping” on the part of the therapist can undermine this trust. The above stated practices are intended to reduce/eliminate the role of gate keeping in the relationship.