Meet The Team
Susannah is a private Speech and Language Therapist based in Bristol. She can see people in clinic or via Skype for voice feminisation work and is also happy to help people find a Speech Therapist nearer to them. Please have a look at her website for more information.
Marianne Oakes (Dip Couns)
I am a qualified counsellor who also identifies as Transgender. Gender identity is a beautiful journey to be enjoyed and relished. Given the right help and support, we can all find our contentment in life, let me help you find yours.
Your Journey with your Counsellor
Your journey starts whenever you want it to. It can be when you first discover your true gender or when you make that first call to talk to someone who understands.
When does it start?
- When the misalignment of body and brain finally gets too much to bear.
- Whenever you are ready.
- When you decide what you want to do.
- When you decide who you are.
- When you are willing to make changes to your life.
It starts when you are ready
None of this can happen until you are comfortable and accepting of who you are.
Emotionally your journey started the day you realised something wasn’t right, when you struggled with inner conflict and others expectations, denying your feelings, locking away your true self, your very own way of being and your own special wants and needs.
How did you get here?
It started with feelings of desperation and anxiety to find out more about who you are. And now? Now you are developing the courage to accept that you are transgender, learning that it’s OK to be yourself and to allow the real you shine through, beginning to accept yourself and learning to love yourself.
Your counsellors role
So, what is the role of your counsellor and how can specialised gender therapy help you? Your therapist will have years of experience and knowledge bringing together a unique way of working with you and some of these skills will enable you to make changes, or enhance your skill set, at your own pace.
Helping you feel confident
You will learn to feel more confident, to increase your sense of self esteem, to be comfortable in the here and now and to accept that some days will more of a struggle than others. You will begin to feel enabled.
Should you wish to start hormone therapy or have been referred to a Gender Identity Clinic, your counsellor will be able to support you through the changes from start to finish.
“But you can only lie about who you are for so long without going crazy.”Ellen Wittlinger
Dysphoria is perhaps a word that you are familiar with, a word that crops up at regular intervals in your life, for many daily. It can also bring with it an intense feeling of shame, guilt and such a powerful and devastating anxiety that there seems to be no way to control it.
With the help of your therapist you can find ways of coping with it, controlling it with strategies worked out to fit in with your strengths. You will learn that not everyone will understand and judgement will be passed. You will learn to accept that you can’t change other people’s attitudes or opinions and more importantly, it’s not your responsibility to do so.
Life is for living
Accepting that each and every one of us is different and unique is part of life and living authentically. You will become aware that your life is for living and deciding what you are on the inside is what counts and that it needs to be represented on the outside as well.
Beginning to make changes, no matter how big or small and accepting the fears, excitement and apprehension that goes along with your special journey is all part of the bigger picture and that you will handle every challenge as it’s presented to you.
The counsellor is there to support you throughout your transition, to encourage you, to laugh and cry with you, to set goals with you and to offer signposts to other avenues which may be helpful along the way.
Helping you through
To be there on bad days, to help you through worst days and to celebrate achievements no matter the size, with you. Your therapy will be 100% confidential, consistent and real, completely non judgemental and a safe place for you to share your thoughts and feelings no matter what they are however, the role of a counsellor is not to tell you what to do but help you see alternatives and choices which you may have not thought about.
The relationship you have with your counsellor will built on trust and the ability to listen to you, the client, and your individual needs.
Many blood tests and swabs can be done by home testing kits, in the comfort, privacy and safety of your own home. If you need an x-ray or a scan then I can arrange this at your local private hospital.
Need a second opinion or to see someone a bit quicker than on the NHS? If you need to see a hospital consultant or specialist then I can arrange that for you at a private hospital local to you.