Everyone faces challenges. Sometimes, talking to a specialist in transgender psychology can help. If you identify as transgender, nonbinary, or any of a range of identities, you want to make sure that you find a safe space to go to.
At UVA, we offer affirming, informed mental health services. We’re not here to treat your gender identity. Being trans or nonbinary is not the source of mental illness. Our psychologists are here to listen and support your needs as a whole and unique individual.
Mental Health for Transgender Patients
At UVA, we provide a safe space where patients can speak openly about their identity journeys. Psychologist Joey Tan, PhD, discusses how he establishes a positive and collaborative relationship with his patients. View mental healthcare transcript.
Mental Health Issues
We’re here to help you manage whatever problems you face, big or small, including:
- Gender dysphoria
- Substance abuse
- Relationship issues
- Stress related to bias, stigma, discrimination
Connecting with local community groups can help. See our list of local LGBTQ resources.
Struggling with Identity & Gender Dysphoria
If you’re unsure about your gender identity, you’ve come to the right place. You can explore your feelings and thoughts, whatever they are. You don’t have to have a fixed idea or label for yourself to make an appointment.
Having a gender identity different from the sex assigned to you at birth does not mean you are mentally ill. However, this gender difference can cause distress, called gender dysphoria. This mental health condition can create symptoms of discomfort, depression, and anxiety. It can require treatment and care.
Dealing with oppression in whatever form can feel stressful and overwhelming. Minority stress describes the daily toll oppression can take. This negative impact affects physical health and wellness, as well as your mental and emotional health.
If you struggle with painful and negative emotions, know: You are not alone.
Our Approach to Mental Health
We’ll get to know you as a person first, not a patient. Making a mental health diagnosis comes after understanding who you are as a unique individual.
The Respect to Expect
Many identities, expressions, and perspectives exist in the trans community. You’re the expert on you and your experience. Our job isn’t to tell you what to do. We’re here to work with you – and to find out what works for you.
Making a Plan
We aim to collaborate with you to identify the issues you face and how to address them. We’ll work together to problem-solve. By the end of each visit, you’ll have a plan. You’ll know what the next steps look like, and you’ll feel empowered to move forward.
It’s Your Timeline
Some people see a therapist on a short-term basis. Others may want and need counseling over a longer period of time. We’ll work together to help you decide what makes the most sense for you.