Informed Consent Model
The informed consent model in affirmative care for gender diverse folx is an alternative approach to the traditional gate keeping that many mental health professionals have been taught.
Gate keeping puts therapists in the role of determining who is appropriate (or worthy) of getting gender affirming medical care. In this model the therapist, the DSM and WPATH are all put on a pedestal as the experts and clients are put in the role of having to prove themselves in order to get care.
In the informed consent model, the trans or non-binary person is viewed as a human being who is capable of making choices about themselves, their health, and their medical care.
The therapist’s role then is to simply ensure the client has the needed information to make an informed choice.
In my particular practice this means that if someone wants a letter from me for hormones or surgery, I will typically set up one 1-hour appointment for an evaluation, and then write them a letter.
I do not believe that I know better than another person what choices are best for them and their bodies.
For almost all other medical or surgical procedures we do not require a client to get a mental health evaluation or approval, and no one bats an eye at this. So. what makes gender affirming medical procedures any different? The answer is internalized and systematized transphobia.