Navigating Your First Online Therapy Session for LGBTQ Counselling: What to Expect and How to Prepare

Gender-affirming counseling can be a critical source of support for individuals who are exploring their gender identity or undergoing gender transition. While traditional in-person therapy has long been a valuable resource for this population, the rise of online therapy has opened up new opportunities for accessing gender-affirming counseling from the comfort of one’s own home. However, many people may feel unsure about what to expect from their first online therapy session, particularly if they have never participated in therapy before. In this article, we will explore what a first online therapy session for gender-affirming counseling might look like, and provide some tips and insights for making the most of the experience.

Your telehealth appointment has been booked and now you’re thinking about how your first video session might go. This blog post covers the basics.

Firstly, your session occurs through Jane App’s new video conferencing feature. I’ll send you a link by email to sign up for Jane App and complete your intake form online. You’ll sign in to Jane App from your web browser and access the link to start your video therapy session. Make sure your microphone and video have connected.

As a woman who is white, trans, queer, and a person with a physical disability, I’m mindful of the need for you and me to feel safe, seen, and heard in therapy. I state my pronouns and give you a chance to share yours with me. We introduce ourselves, sharing aspects of our social location that may support us during our work together.

Next, we discuss responses written on the intake form you completed online. This gives you a chance to share any permanent details and it gives me a chance to get a sense of what brings you to therapy with me. Then, we go over confidentiality, consent, and basic guidelines for ensuring a professional and ethical therapeutic relationship.

We continue with a conversation that reveals what’s been on your mind, what needs to change for you, and what you hope to work through during your online therapy sessions with me. I may share what has inspired me to do this work, including my training in Focusing-Oriented Therapy, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy®, and Narrative Therapy.

Finally, near the end of our session is a good time to assess how we’re a good fit. This is the time to ask questions. If you’d like to continue working with me weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, we’ll book your next session by video. You’ll receive an email that confirms your next appointment’s date and time.

Overall, the first online therapy session for gender-affirming counseling can be an exciting and transformative experience. It can provide individuals with a safe and supportive space to explore their gender identity and navigate the challenges of gender transition. By preparing for the session, setting realistic expectations, and communicating openly with your therapist, you can make the most of this opportunity and take important steps toward living authentically and achieving greater well-being. Remember that therapy is a process, and it may take time to see progress or experience significant change. However, with patience, persistence, and the guidance of a skilled therapist, you can build a brighter and more fulfilling future for yourself.

Disclaimer: As a registered clinical counsellor and registered psychotherapist (qualifying), I'm sharing insights on my blog for informational purposes, not professional advice or treatment. My writing aims to inspire you to consult your own healthcare or mental health provider. Remember, your decisions based on the blog content are solely your responsibility. Please explore other resources if this understanding doesn't align with your expectations. Thank you.

Clayre is a trans, queer, and visually impaired psychotherapist with a busy online therapy practice. Based on the West Coast of Canada, she is a Registered Clinical Counsellor in BC (18118), a Counselling Therapist in AB (2035), a Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) in ON (13869), and a Canadian Certified Counsellor (10006504). When she isn't in session, she's reading, teaching, writing, or forest bathing. Work with Clayre: get in touch or book online.

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