What the assessment involves
The assessment is a collaborative, interview style discussion, conducted over several appointments. Your psychologist will discuss with you the number of sessions required as the assessment progresses. It involves completing questionnaires and discussing with your psychologist your experiences of gender, including your gender identity and gender development, gender incongruence, and gender dysphoria*. You will also be asked about your overall psychosocial history and about your mental health across your lifespan. The assessment is conducted in line with the standards of care set out by WPATH and differs depending on age and the type of affirmation being sought (e.g., hormones or surgery). The WPATH standards of care are available here: https://www.wpath.org/publications/soc
Importantly, the assessment is not designed to ‘decide’ your gender identity and your psychologist will not ‘tell you’ what your gender identity is. Your gender identity is always your personal journey and understanding to reach. In general, the assessment is designed to explore (i) the impact of gender dysphoria in your life, (ii) the impact of other difficulties, psychological and otherwise, that might negatively impact outcomes of affirmation/transition, and (iii) the presence of other difficulties that might present with gender variance (please see the WPATH standards of care above for a full overview). This does not mean that if you have a mental illness or are experiencing psychological distress that you would not meet the criteria for affirmation, it may just mean that your psychologist will work with you to ensure these difficulties are well managed to decrease the chance they will negatively impact your affirmation. The assessment also explores readiness for affirmation, expectations, and supports. If required, there may also be elements of therapy included in the assessment process as deemed necessary by your psychologist. As part of the assessment, and with your permission, your psychologist may need to speak to other healthcare professionals involved in your care, family, teachers, etc., particularly if you are under 18-years-of-age. Once the assessment is complete, your psychologist will be required to write a report to whichever medical professional is supporting you in your affirmation (e.g., a GP or surgeon).
Assessment and report costs
Assessment sessions are charged at our standard fee for a clinical psychologist: $210.00 for a 50 minute session. With a GP referral and valid mental health care plan a rebate of $129.55 is available for each session. There are additional costs for the report and your assessing psychologist will discuss these costs with you. Medicare does not provide a rebate for reports.
Availability and access
Assessment sessions can be done face to face at the clinic (dependant on COVID lockdown restrictions) or via Telehealth. As Telehealth is available, assessments can be done Australia-wide. Please contact the practice on 03 7023 4780 or email@example.com to check availability.
WPATH guidelines: https://www.wpath.org/publications/soc WPATH are the standards of care for Transgender and Gender Nonconforming People.
Royal Children’s Hospital: https://www.rch.org.au/adolescent-medicine/gender-service/ and https://www.rch.org.au/uploadedFiles/Main/Content/adolescent-medicine/australian-standards-of-care-and-treatment-guidelines-for-trans-and-gender-diverse-children-and-adolescents.pdf Australian Standards of Care for Trans and Gender Diverse children and adolescents.
Transhub: https://www.transhub.org.au/ a digital information and resource platform for Transgender and Gender Nonconforming People and their loved ones.
*Gender dysphoria is the feeling of discomfort of distress that can occur in people whose gender identity differs from their sex presumed at birth, or sex-related physical characteristics.