Leone Centre Glossary

Transitioning in LGBTQI Therapy


Transitioning in LGBTQI therapy is a complex journey, involving personal, social, and sometimes medical changes. This term encompasses various stages and processes that individuals may undertake to align their physical and emotional selves with their gender identity.

Common challenges

Many individuals face significant emotional and social challenges when transitioning. These can include relationships, managing expectations, and dealing with societal attitudes. Therapy offers support to help individuals handle these aspects.

The process of transitioning

Transitioning is a deeply personal experience and can involve several steps:

  1. Personal transition: Understanding and accepting one’s gender identity.
  2. Social transition: Coming out to family, friends, and colleagues, and making changes such as adopting a new name, pronouns, and wardrobe choices.
  3. Medical transition: For some, this may involve hormone therapy or surgeries to align their physical appearance with their gender identity.

Therapy provides a safe space to explore these stages, offering guidance and support adapted to each individual’s needs.

About transitioning

Transitioning is a unique experience for each individual. It is important to recognise that not everyone will choose or need the same steps in their journey.

How therapy can help

Therapy helps individuals work through the complexities of transitioning by offering a supportive environment to discuss feelings, challenges, and decisions.

How therapy works

Therapists work with clients to create a personalised plan that respects their pace and choices. This can include exploring identity, preparing for social transitions, and discussing medical options if desired.


What does transitioning involve?
Transitioning can involve personal acceptance, social changes, and sometimes medical procedures to align one’s physical self with their gender identity.
Is therapy necessary for transitioning?
While not necessary for everyone, therapy can provide support and guidance, helping individuals work through the emotional and social aspects of transitioning.
How long does the transitioning process take?
The duration of transitioning varies greatly among individuals, depending on their personal circumstances, goals, and the steps they choose to take.


  1. Stonewall UK: Transitioning
  2. NHS: Gender Dysphoria
  3. Mind: LGBTQI+ Mental Health
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This glossary provides definitions of various counselling terms and approaches for informational purposes only, without implying endorsement or service provision