Get Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Gender and Sexuality

What is a Gender Affirming Therapist?

Asher is a gender-affirming therapist. Gender-affirming therapy is a therapeutic stance that focuses on affirming our client’s gender identity and expression and does not focus on “fixing” or “repairing” the individual. There is nothing to fix or repair (except for the society we live in). We believe you are the expert on yourself and your own gender identity. We are here to help you explore your gender identity and we will assist you in affirming who you are, how you experience your gender, and understanding how this intersects with other areas of your lived experience.

I am interested in transitioning genders. How can you help me?

For many people, they know that their assigned gender at birth does not match their authentic gender identity.  There are many options for individuals who would like to live as their authentic gender identity.  In addition to our clinical experience, many of our therapists have personal lived experience in gender transitions from social, emotional, and physical standpoints. Whether it is your desire to begin living as your gender identity or find a place outside the binary system, our clinicians can provide resources to you and work with you to live your life to the fullest. Often parents, employers, and friends can cause stressful situations when we are deciding to transition. We will work to understand your personal goals, help you make an informed decision, and to coach and support you through your journey. Our clinicians have many different gender-affirming resources to share with you that we have vetted ourselves (i.e., medical doctors, surgeons, hair stylists, massage therapists, etc.). Additionally, we will work with you to support and assist you through navigating the medical system and gatekeeping so you can access things like hormone replacement therapy or gender-affirming surgeries. 

I want to tell my family I am gay or transgender but I'm scared. Can you help me? 

First of all, yes, we can assist you. Telling others you are gay, bisexual, lesbian, queer, transgender, or non-binary is a very large step in your journey. At IPC, we can act as a support and educator as you decide whether or not to come out to your family, friends, or coworkers. Our clinicians have a great deal of education and personal experience in these areas. We would love to support you as you navigate all aspects of informing your social circles of your sexuality or gender identification.

Why would I need a therapist for a gender or sexuality transition?

Sexuality, sex, and gender are believed to be crucial parts of daily life and overall happiness. Let’s be honest, being queer or gender expansive can be challenging because of the world we live in. We can receive messages daily from the media, our parents, and our coworkers that can cause harm, even from the most well-meaning people. Those messages take a toll on our mental and physical health. At IPC we will help support you as you navigate how these messages impact you. Also, all transitions are hard, especially when it comes to our sexualities or genders. While we may know the transition is necessary, it isn’t always easy. Our clinicians will assist you in supporting your mental health, understanding how to jump through the hoops to access gender-affirming medical care, navigating the confusing governmental systems to change your name, figuring out how to date, use bathrooms comfortably, etc etc etc. There are so many components to these transitions that sometimes it is just nice to have someone with lived experience to talk to about them!

What if my son or daughter is displaying a different gender role? 

If your son or daughter is displaying a gender role different than they have been assigned at birth, it can be a confusing and difficult time for family members, teachers, peers, and friends. We will work with your family to supply resources, education, and support. We are here to help, you don’t need to navigate this on your own. Research stated that familial support is the number one indicator that a gender-expansive human will thrive!

I think my daughter or son may be gay. Can you help us with this?

At IPC, we can help your family create the most supportive, loving, and educated environment for your child and your family. Our clinicians will work with your family to understand your goals and desires given any situation and will find a way for your family to maintain a positive atmosphere regarding sexuality expressions.

Why is it important to come in as a family if it is only my child that needs help?

Well, because none of us exist in a vacuum! We are all impacted by the environments in which we live and the people that surround us. To best support gender-expansive children, our clinicians know that we must include the parents in this process. A child may know exactly who they are but if their family is not supportive and does not have a complete understanding of what is happening and what to expect, the whole family system can struggle. In addition, in gender therapy, we know familial support is the main factor in the gender-expansive person thriving in their life

Romantic and Intimate Relationships

My partner and I are having a hard time communicating. Can you help us? 

Yes, our clinicians at IPC can help. We have been educated in relationship/couple and family counseling and have been working directly with relationship systems for years. We use an integrative therapeutic approach for our romantic and intimate relationships, including Narrative Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Experiential Therapy, Solution Focused Based Therapy, Emotion Focused Therapy, and various post-modern theoretical approaches to help your relationship heal. Our clinicians will work with your relationship system to increase communication and understand each other’s attachment needs to help rebuild your relationship from a stronger foundation.

We are in a polyamorous/open/ethical non-monogamous relationship. Can you help our relationship? 

Our clinicians have worked with many relationship types (i.e., polyamory, open, and relationships of ethical non-monogamy) to improve communication, improve intimacy, discuss relationship roles, heal attachment wounds, and flourish through challenges an intimate relationship may face in the society that we live in. At IPC, we have a comprehensive understanding of polyamory, open relationships, and ethical non-monogamy and can help strengthen your relationships and meet your relational goals. We have clinical experience working with multiple partner systems at a time.

My partner and I want to enhance our sex life. How can you help?

We view sex as an integral part of many romantic relationships and believe that a healthy sex life can improve communication and overall relationship satisfaction. Our clinicians will discuss your goals, fantasies, desires, and wishes, and work with you and your partner to find a wonderful way to be consensually intimate. Many times, sex can be very vulnerable and we may need to increase emotional intimacy prior to focusing on sex. Some people are also asexual or aromantic and we can work with your partnership(s) towards your desired intimacy goals. At IPC, we will work to normalize your experiences so that you and your partner(s) may have your desires expressed.

I think I am attracted to all genders. Can you help me?

Bisexuality, pansexuality, and other various identifications are very real and an amazing thing for many people. Being attracted to various genders can be very confusing for some individuals. Our clinicians can work with you to discuss your fears, concerns, fantasies, and desires. Asher can assist in the navigation of your own sexuality and how to be affirming and date within LGBTQIA+ communities.