I’m back. I’m here. I want to catch us up on the past several years. I took a hiatus from this blog–that’s quite evident. But if I wasn’t posting, what was I doing? Most of what I was doing was my usual thing. Living my life, taking care of myself and my family, working with my clients, managing my office and trying to balance all of it. I’ve gotten a whole lot better at it and I’ve allowed myself to cut back where I needed and add-on where I wanted. It just took some doing. And I did it.
I’ve focused a lot of my professional energy these past several years on issues around sexuality and gender. I have always seen a lot of LGBTQ folks but in recent years that work has become the most purposeful and intentional work that I do. That doesn’t mean I don’t love all the other things I get to do–I am grateful for all my clients, the issues they bring to me, and the lessons they teach me. The work I do around sexuality and gender, especially gender, has been the some of the most fulfilling and inspirational work I’ve done in a long time. The big shift came when I decided to attend WPATH’s (World Professional Association of Transgender Health) Symposium in 2011. Truth be told, most conferences leaves me disappointed or wanting/needing more. WPATH’s symposium was very different. I met some of the most amazing people doing incredible work all over the world. It was fascinating and inspiring and it spurred my commitment to the work.
I have since created a focus in my private practice on seeing gender-diverse and trans* clients. I see kids, youth, young adults, adults and families as they unravel and discover the spaces and language and meaning around their gender identity. Some of my clients are edgy and out-loud, others are quite “average” and low-key. Some come to explore their gender, others come to deal with all the other sorted issues in life and their gender is a backdrop. Some are eager for intervention and change, others move slowly or grapple with change altogether. Some are so excited about what they come to know, others are scared and overwhelmed. The common thread throughout is the strength and self-devotion it takes to acknowledge their truths, to give voice to those truths, to explore the meaning for them and to decide what they can give and do for themselves to create their most authentic existence. It’s a complete honor to be a part of such an amazing and personal journey with people.
I love the work so much that I have stretched beyond seeing folks in my office. I have made several presentations to groups about working with gender-diverse and transgender clients. I’m not typically excited to present but I have the best time when I get to talk about this issue. It feels like a calling and I am glad to honor it. I have also been working to collaborate as much as possible with local folks who share a goal of making St. Louis a place that celebrates, affirms, services and holds up gender diversity. I have recently started a Gender Consultation group with a few other therapists who share a love for the work. I also stay closely connected to Transparent, the local parent support group, and am working to help support the amazing work they do in our community.
I tell you this because I am proud and excited but also as a preface since many of my posts will revolve around these issues. I hope you find the information I provide here helpful or growth-producing. Feel free to send me feedback, I’m happy to know you’re out there.