Note: As of January 2017 I am no longer conducting stand-alone Hormone Readiness Assessments, though I will continue to offer that service for folks who are in counselling with me and decide that they are ready and wanting to take that step. This is not because I believe that everyone needs counselling before starting hormones, as many people do not! I believe in supporting adults to make informed decisions about their own bodies and healthcare. However, I have found that I do not have the time or energy to do assessments outside of the context of an established counselling relationship, and so for now I will not be doing them.
There are other people in Victoria who offer stand-alone Hormone Readiness Assessments. Below is some information about the process that may be useful to you.
What Does a Hormone Readiness Assessment Involve?
Typically, people seek an assesssment after they have been to see an endocrinologist, which requires a referral from their family doctor. Sometimes, the family doctor will request that the assessment be completed before they make the referral. One way or another, according to WPATH guidelines, before prescribing HRT the endocrinologist needs to receive a letter of a assessment from a qualified mental health professional stating that a person is ready to begin this process.
The assessment process generally involves talking about your gender journey, any gender dysphoria you have experienced, and your hopes and expectations about hormones and transition. Typically it also involves some questions to get a sense of your background in general -- your family, your work, your support system, etc. The assessment is also a process of informed consent, and so possible side effects and fertility implications are also discussed. Any significant mental or physical health problems will need to be discussed, and be "reasonably well managed" before you are able to begin HRT.
Please note: the assessment is not a test that you have to pass, and a wide variety of trans experiences and narratives are accepted and supported.
Generally this process takes around three sessions. However, in some cases more sessions are required to adequately explore and discuss the issues that arise.