Why Should Support Group Matter to You! / by Dr. Natalia P Zhikhareva

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Let’s be honest.  Transition can be challenging.  Heck, oftentimes it is frustrating, leaving one feeling angry at the unfairness of being born in the wrong body.  And while friends and family can offer a supportive ear during difficult times, we have to be mindful of their personal boundaries.  

As a transgender specialist, I often recommend support groups to all of my clients, regardless of their current support system.  

You may be wondering why someone would consider adding a support group on top of individual therapy, especially considering the additional cost.  After all, individual therapy is an investment both financially and personally.  

But what would you do if I told you it doesn’t have to cost you a penny?  You heard me right.  Free.  The only investment you’ll be making is a personal one.  One that can aid you throughout your transition.

Do I have your attention?

Good.  Here are a few of the reasons why a support group should matter to you!

REALIZING YOU ARE NOT ALONE

Oftentimes in my Transition & Beyond Support Group, someone would describe their first group meeting.  They often say, “You know, until I went to the group, I didn’t realize there were other people dealing with the same gender stuff.”  

This realization brings a feeling of relief and connectedness to others.  A support group connects you with other trans people who are experiencing similar issues.  And while each person may be at a different point in their transition, joining a group offers a window into how individuals cope.  

EXPRESS WHO YOU TRULY ARE FOR THE FIRST TIME

Knowing you are attending a group full of trans identified folks can boost your confidence and encourage you to present in your preferred gender for the first time.  In fact, sometimes people in my group would arrive a bit early to change into preferred clothing in the bathroom so that they can embody who they are. 

SHARE YOUR FEELINGS AND FRUSTRATIONS 

Group is an excellent space to offer a supportive environment, especially during difficult times.  Sharing your personal feelings in a safe environment with people going through similar experiences can be incredibly therapeutic.  

LEARN WAYS TO COPE

Feeling overwhelmed and stressed about your situation? Not sure when to come out or how to start HRT?  In a group, you’re able to get advice from members who have been where you are and share what they found helpful throughout the process.

REALIZE POSSIBILITY OF TRANSITON

It is very powerful when you see others in the group who are further along in their transition or individuals who have transitioned many years ago.  These positive role models show you that transition, especially passibility, is possible, which brings hope and excitement for the future.  

This are just a few of the benefits of why you should consider attending a support group.  Now I did mention it won’t cost you a penny.  At least, not if you consider the following support groups in Los Angeles area:

ACTION PLAN

Browse the above listed support groups.  Pick one.  RSVP.  Attend. 

Call Dr Z 310-946-6361 to book a complimentary face to face consultation.