Mental Health Providers
We believe that transgender and gender diverse people deserve quality mental health services (whether this be a part of your transition related care or ongoing mental health care) provided by competent professionals who have experience and training in working with our community. Over the Summer of 2018, we conducted a survey of mental health providers in the state of South Dakota to ask for more information about the types of trainings mental health providers had received, their policies about providing letters for transition related care (such as hormone therapy), and the number of transgender clients they had served, along with a number of other questions. Rather than suggesting any one therapist, we believe that our community should be empowered to make their own informed decisions about who they receive mental health services from. We have provided the results of the survey here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1m03bTreFERjiMephbIp900i2_I3VtjlfoR1rbRRCx9I/edit?usp=sharing
How do I choose a therapist?
There are many things to consider when choosing the right therapist for you. We would encourage you to have a phone call with the person you are considering seeing before going in for an appointment. It is 100% okay to ask a person about their experience and knowledge about working with transgender people, their policies on providing letters of support for transition related care, and their general approach to therapy, or anything else you want to know about their professional experience and background. If you find that a therapist is not working for you, consider talking with them about what is not going well and consider finding a new therapist who can meet your needs. You should never have to endure mistreatment or disrespect from a therapist, such as misgendering or someone questioning the legitimacy of your transgender identity. If you are encountering something like this, find a new therapist who will support you and be affirming of your identity. There also are many types of professionals (such as psychologists and clinical social workers, among others) who provide mental health services and a variety of approaches to therapy (such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and many others). The links below will help you learn some about the different types of providers and approaches, but we encourage you to do additional research to make sure that the credentials of your therapist have provided them with quality training and that there is evidence to support their approach to therapy.
Here are some resources that will help you in choosing a therapist:
- Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapist – What to Expect From Therapy (includes description of various approaches)
- American Psychological Association – How to Choose a Therapist
- Anxiety and Depression Association of America – Choosing a Therapist
- How to Know if Your Therapist is Really Helping You
Want your information added to our resource list? Know a therapist who should be listed on our page?
If you are a mental health provider in the state of South Dakota and would like your information reflected in the results of this survey, please add your responses here: https://goo.gl/forms/vHcTJZI3aWvoKcKN2
If you are a community member and know of a therapist who should be listed in our results, please send them a link to the survey and ask them to add their information.