Transwomen can make an appointment with our psychologist Michelle Hufkens for several reasons:
We also provide online counseling sessions via Skype for transgender clients!
Unfortunately, in Belgium, it is still common practice that a transwoman is asked for an “approval” by a psychologist of psychiatrist that she was diagnosed with gender dysphoria before she can start with hormone treatment. Fortunately, more and more votes are making an end to this offensive situation (as if transgenders are unable to determine their gender), but at the moment the whole transition really gets a lot easier when an approval is issued by a psychologist or psychiatrist.
Fortunately, we don’t have a long waiting list. Our psychologist will usually be able to see you on short notice. She will take her time to get an impression of how you are doing, what your needs are, and how we could help. Usually you will receive a letter of approval for HRT within 3 to 5 sessions. You can then make an appointment with an endocrinologist. Our in-house endocrinologist, Professor Van Gaal, can also see you on short notice.
There is much more to transition than the physical part – we would like to be part of your personal story. Together, at your own pace, we look at where your difficulties lie, support you when necessary en give you ‘psychological tools’ when needed. People look for help for a variety of reasons. In practice, however, it appears that the threshold for asking for psychological help is often experienced as (too) high; sometimes people wait until difficulties have been piling up for too long. Transwomen are no exception here, on the contrary, even. The fear of being judged, or not taken seriously by a healthcare professional, may be a reason not to call for help when necessary. And that is very unfortunate.
We strongly advise our patients to make every effort to involve any family members and dear friend in the transition. This may prevent you from suddenly becoming completely alone in your transition, and also that your loved ones feel deserted by you. Of: Given the duration and intensity of the transition process, the social support of your closest ones can give a lot of strength. Therefore, it can be a great help (for yourself as well as for them) to involve any family member and dear friend in the transition; that is why they can also be offered emotional support with us.
A couple of good conversations between your loved ones and our psychologist can do miracles. If desired, we can bring them in contact with others who are in the same situation, which allows experiences to be exchanged.
You still have another question? Feel free to ask! We will answer your question and if generally applicable add it to the FAQ of this page.