Do I have to go to counseling to get hormones to transition from female to male?

Katie Leikam
Katie Leikam
LGBTQIA affirming LCSW in Decatur GA

That depends entirely on the doctor you go to for your hormones.  WPATH, the World Professional association for Transgender Health, new standards of care say the therapy before hormones and a letter are recommended. There is a standard of care, ICATH which follows informed consent.  ICATH takes into the consideration that your body is your own and therefore your own choice as to what happens to it. There are doctors in metro areas that practice informed consent where you would not need to have a letter stating you have been to counseling.  Some doctors still require a letter from a counselor.  When you call to set up an appointment, ask the doctor if they require a letter.  If they require a letter, you will need to see a counselor.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Traci Lowenthal
Traci Lowenthal
LGBTQAffirmative Therapist

Hello! You've gotten some great answers here!  I would like to add that transition looks different for everyone. For some folks, transition means hormones, surgery, voice work, electrolysis, and other medical interventions. For other individuals, it means some or none of that.  It's an incredibly personal journey and only you (with the help of supportive individuals) can make those choices for yourself! Hope this helps!  So glad you're reaching out for support! I would also add that you DO NOT need to enter therapy to receive hormones, if you have access to what is called an informed consent clinic.  Informed consent clinics (at least in California) do not require letters or therapy as part of the process.  

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide.   If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Aimee Beardslee
Aimee Beardslee
LGBTQ Affirmative Therapist and Gender Specialist

Hi there, and thanks for your question! To answer your question, I'm going to point you to a link from Dara Hoffman-Fox's blog. Dara is a gender therapist like myself, and everything Dara says is very accurate! 

Ask a Gender Therapist: “I Want to Transition – Do I Have to See a Therapist?”

Also, since you asked specifically about hormones, it really depends on where you live, how accessible transgender friendly medical providers/endocrinologists are in your area, and also whether you feel you would benefit from counseling-regardless of whether a counselor's letter of referral is required from your medical provider. I hope this information helps! 

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide.   If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Lauren Ostrowski, MA, LPC, NCC, DCC, CCTP
Lauren Ostrowski, MA, LPC, NCC, DCC, CCTP
I tailor my therapeutic approach to each client's strengths and goals

I know that most people who are transitioning from one gender to another are required to enter into counseling at some point. Transitioning is a long process and there are many steps. I do not know for certain whether you need to be in counseling before receiving hormone therapy, but I do believe that it is a part of the process prior to an actual surgical transition.

You may consider a book called the Transgender Guidebook. While I have not read this book, a trusted coworker and clinician says that it is very informative.

If you are speaking with a physician about gender transition hormones, they would probably know whether counseling is required at that time or later in the process.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal, as if you want to hurt or kill yourself or someone else, or are in crisis, call 800-273-8255 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week), call 911, or proceed to your local emergency room.

Submit your own question

More Answers