If you are consulting a medical professional (such as a surgeon, endocrinologist, or GP) to help you with your gender affirmation, you might be referred to a gender-specialising mental health practitioner for an assessment.
This assessment is sometimes called a ‘WPATH assessment’ or ‘gender assessment’. The purpose of this process is for a gender-literate mental health clinician to ultimately provide your medical team with information that helps them determine how to safely support you with your gender affirmation. For example, someone like me (a clinical psychologist with a special interest and advanced training in transgender health) can help you create a solid plan for managing any significant physical or mental health conditions that would otherwise likely interfere with your affirmation process.
To help structure and guide this assessment process, I rely on several sources depending on your planned medical procedure/s:
- The criteria set out in the World Professional Association of Transgender Health (WPATH) Standards of Care.
- For adults seeking hormone therapy, the Australian Professional Association of Transgender Health (AusPATH) Standards of Care for Gender Affirming Hormone Therapy
- When assisting young people, the Australian Standards of Care and Treatment Guidelines for Trans and Gender Diverse Children and Adolescents
These Standards of Care vary in their specific recommendations, but they are all based on what empirical research and expert opinion has found to be associated with better outcomes for people experiencing gender incongruence.
On average, it takes me 3-6 sessions to gather the information needed to complete this process, and typically another 1-2 weeks to write your report. (Please see the client information section for my session fees, and please note there is a separate fee for writing the report). If I expect the assessment or report writing process to take longer than this, I will mention this as early as practicable and give you a clear explanation for why I would like more time.
Trans, non-binary, gender-diverse, and gender-questioning people have been the majority of my client bookings for over a decade now, and this wealth of experience has helped me understand the reasons why someone might initially feel apprehensive about this assessment process. I’d like to reassure you that your experience with me will always be an affirming, respectful, ethical, transparent, and safe one.