Following referral from your local community mental health service, you can typically expect the following:

Psychiatry/psychology

What happens:

  • Receive appointment letter.
  • Attend the Clinic.
  • Discuss what you might gain from coming to the GIC and what we can do for you.
  • Talk about current life, past history and any problems you have or have had.
  • Discuss and agree appropriate referrals at this stage e.g. speech therapy.
  • Assessment for suitability for hormones if requested and if two-part initial assessment is completed.
  • Assessment for suitability for ENT Surgery if requested and if two-part initial assessment is completed.
  • Assessment for suitability for Genital Surgery if requested and if ongoing assessment is satisfactorily completed.
  • Referral for counselling and/or psychotherapy if needed and if two-part initial assessment is completed.
  • Most patients will undergo a two part assessment involving 2 separate appointments, occasionally a third appointment will be required for patients with complex medical conditions or social circumstances.

Counselling Psychology Services at the GIC

There is a Counselling Psychology and psychotherapy service at the GIC. All referrals must come from within the GIC. You must be seeing one of the clinicians within the GIC already in order to be referred on for psychotherapeutic services. We offer group and individual counselling psychology and psychotherapy as well as a therapeutic workshop programme and a yearly event for trans youth.

Group Psychotherapy

There are two psychotherapy groups at the GIC. One runs fortnightly and one monthly.

The monthly group is facilitated by Senior Specialist Psychology Associate Christina Richards and Consultant Psychologist Dr Penny Lenihan.

The fortnightly group is run by Consultant Psychiatrist Dr Sheraz Ahmad and Consultant Psychiatrist Dr Andrew Davies. Group psychotherapy is an opportunity for people to exchange and express ideas and concerns in a structured environment.

Group psychotherapy can be a good place to hear about other people’s ways of dealing with things that are happening in your life, and other people’s views on how you are, or could be, dealing with them.

Individual Counselling Psychology

The individual counselling psychology service at Charing Cross GIC is provided by counselling psychologists in doctoral training.

Individual counselling psychology at the GIC consists of ten sessions each lasting one hour at the same time every two weeks. These sessions may deal with problems such as depression and anxiety, rather than transgender issues themselves, although of course trans issues may well form a part of the presenting issue and will be considered along with all the other things in the client’s life.

Therapeutic workshops

The workshops run at the GIC are an opportunity to explore specific issues with others who are similarly affected by them. Current workshops, all facilitated by Consultant Psychologist Dr Penny Lenihan and Senior Specialist Psychology Associate Christina Richards, are:

Intimate relationships and sexuality for trans women

In this workshop we consider sexuality, sexual identities, intimate relationships and sexual expression. This workshop is only open to clients now living as women.

Intimate relationships and sexuality for trans men

In this workshop we consider sexuality, sexual identities, intimate relationships and sexual expression. This workshop is only open to clients now living as men.

Positively trans

In this workshop we explore self image, self expression and presentation, guilt and authenticity for transgendered people.

Consultant Psychologist Dr Penny Lenihan and Senior Specialist Psychology Associate Christina Richards also run a yearly event called the:

Trans Youth Event

In this event a 50-70 participants and up to one significant other (for example a parent or partner) meet to hear presentations from experts working in the field. These include people talking about psychology, psychiatry, surgery, hormones, hair removal, speech and language therapy and a variety of other topics of interest to trans men, trans women and people who aren’t sure they fit in either of these categories. The presentations are aimed to provide lots of information about what actually happens in these interventions. There is also plenty of opportunity to ask questions. The event is only open to people aged between 18 and 25.

What we don’t do

Ongoing counselling

We do offer a basic general counselling psychology and psychotherapy service and plan to expand within the limited resources at our disposal. Counselling of transgendered people for non-trans issues, however, should generally be undertaken through primary care (GP), secondary care (local mental health trust) or privately.

Electrolysis and laser / IPL

  • Facial hair or body hair
  • Genital hair prior to surgery

We have a private hair removal specialist who is linked to the clinic – Sara Thomas. Hair removal can therefore be provided for some patients via the NHS and some privately. In the event that hair removal is funded by the NHS, patients who are entitled can claim back travel expenses from their local PCT.  We are also happy to discuss with patients other providers of both electrolysis and laser/IPL.

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