Reid Vanderburgh - About Reid

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Moving toward an expanded life
My Background

My Education
Reid Vanderburgh, February, 2006 I am a therapist in private practice in Portland, Oregon. I began my transition in 1995, and started taking hormones in 1997, at the age of 41. I received my B.A. in Psychology from Portland State University in 1998. I received my M.A. in Counseling Psychology (specialization Transpersonal Psychology) from John F. Kennedy University's Graduate School for Holistic Studies in 2001. My thesis topic, which I already had in mind prior to beginning my course of study, was Gender Dissonance: A New Paradigm, in which I presented a new way of conceptualizing therapy with transgendered clients, using a model of identity emergence rather than a medical model of psychological pathology. I now utilize this model in my work with trans clients.

I am a member of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (formerly Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association, or HBIGDA), and the International Foundation for Gender Education (IFGE), as well as the American Asssociation of Marriage and Family Therapists. My Oregon MFT (Marriage and Family Therapist) license number is T0507.

Therapeutic Philosophy
My job is to facilitate a process of self-knowledge, as my clients figure out who they are and who they want to become during the course of their life transformative process. I am a witness to process, and an occasional guide along the way. It is my job to help clients along their path, without determining for them what direction the journey may take. The question I help clients answer is, "How do I want to live my life?"

When a client's path includes transition from one gender role/bodily sex to another, I also offer occasional observations from my own experience of transition, and what I've noticed witnessing many other transition processes. While I may make occasional observations to clients, there isn't a "one size fits all" transition path, no right or wrong way to actualize core identity. Thus, if a client tells me something completely different from anything I've experienced or heard before, my reaction is not to judge them wrong, but to thank them for teaching me something new. To read more about my philosophy of the therapist's role in transition, see Thoughts on the Standards of Care, Post-Transition Therapy, A Therapist's Manifesto, and How to Choose a Therapist.

In working with all my clients, I follow these guidelines: Only my clients know who they are; only my clients can answer the question, "How do I want to live my life?"; and only my clients are qualified to decide what path is right for them, and how quickly or slowly they move along their path. I provide guidance in making decisions, answer questions as best I can, and help clients learn to trust their own intuition and self-knowledge.

My therapeutic approach is holistic in nature. Many people are familiar with the concept of holistic therapy within the context of non-western medical approaches such as acupuncture. What does 'holistic psychotherapy' mean? For more information, read About Holistic Psychotherapy.

If you would like more information about my therapy practice, please visit my Client Information page. If you have further questions, please visit my Frequently-Asked Questions page.

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