The Family Partnership provides culturally relevant mental health counseling to members of the transgender community and their families. Our therapists can work with you to explore gender identity and to develop and pursue your gender goals. We use a variety of therapeutic approaches to match your needs, which may include completing an informed consent process to facilitate medical interventions. We also provide culturally informed therapy for issues such as depression, anxiety, grief and loss, family issues and trauma.
We work with children, adolescents, adults and families who are dealing with gender identity development. We offer therapy in English and Spanish.
What We Do
Wherever you are on your gender journey – from just starting to explore gender to already living your most gender-authentic life – we can support your goals and help you manage the stresses of life in a respectful, affirming therapy environment. Some common issues we address are:
- Gender exploration and identity development, including non-binary identity development
- Transition exploration and support, including informed consent letters
- Family and partner relationships
- Stress related to dysphoria, bullying, transphobia and other forms of social pressure
- Support for non-transitioning family members and partners
- Depression, anxiety, self-harm, trauma and other mental health issues
We can also help you connect with other affirming providers, activities and resources in the community.
We base our therapy in the belief that your gender identity is yours to define and express, whether or not you pursue or even want medical procedures such as hormone therapy or surgery.
If you do need letters in support of gender-confirming medical interventions, we will work with you to support those goals. We seek to maximize trust and collaboration while minimizing “gatekeeping.” Our informed consent process will include meeting with a therapist for at least 2-3 sessions and will address issues such as your gender history, your gender goals, diagnostic issues, risks and benefits of planned medical interventions and exploration of the impact of transition on important areas of your life.
Please click here for a full description of our informed consent process, including information on fees and options to minimize cost to you.
John Reilly, LICSW
Lake Street – John works with children, adolescents and adults in family and individual therapy. He treats individuals and families affected by depression, anxiety, trauma, disruptive behavior disorders and attachment issues. John has 27 years of experience and has expertise in helping families adapt to meet needs of family members experiencing serious and persistent mental illness.
Xavier Schmitz, MSW, LICSW
Lake Street – Xavier works with adults and adolescents from an empowerment perspective, focusing on supporting and challenging clients to express their full, authentic selves. He works with clients on issues of mood dysregulation, trauma recovery, relationship concerns, gender identity (transgender spectrum), sexuality, identity development, chronic illness (including HIV), environmental concerns, and life transitions. Believing that therapy is most effective when approached holistically, he partners with clients to incorporate cognitive, emotional, somatic, and ecologically-based strategies. His theoretical background includes training in sensorimotor psychotherapy, nonviolent communication, family systems, gender emergence, attachment, and cultural competency. Xavier is the Clinical Supervisor for the Diversity Social Work Advancement Program (DSWAP).
Do I have to be working on gender issues or planning transition to work with a therapist on the Transgender Mental Health Team?
No. You identify as transgender, genderfluid or gender nonconforming without wanting any medical intervention, or you may have trans experience in the past and not need to specifically address gender identity now. You may wish to have a culturally competent therapist because you want to be free to discuss other issues with a therapist who understands your identity. You may also wish to seek out a therapist with a gender specialty because someone important to you is working on gender identity or identifies as transgender.
Do I have to see a member of the Transgender Mental Health Team to get a letter of support for medical procedures?
No. In many cases, informed consent letters are necessary even long after you have been living in your authentic identity and do not require a lengthy therapy process. The members of our team have the most specialized training, but all our therapists have access to consultation and support around gender identity issues and the informed consent process. Please talk to your therapist or our intake specialists to determine if another one of our clinicians can complete the informed consent process with you.
Will I get a diagnosis of Gender Dysphoria if I start therapy about gender issues?
Maybe. Your therapist can talk with you – and listen to you – about the pros and cons of using this diagnosis. If you are seeking an informed consent letter, you and your therapist can review your insurance policy’s requirements for diagnosis and make a decision together.
For more information about the transgender mental health services at The Family Partnership, please contact Xavier Schmitz at email@example.com.
To schedule an appointment or make a referral, please call our intake line at 612.728.2061 (English) or 612.728.2089 (Español).