Welcome to therapy first
Psychotherapy as first-line treatment for gender dysphoria
We’re here to help.
The purest form of listening is to listen without memory or desire.
Therapy First is a non-profit professional association of over 300 mental health providers worldwide who view psychotherapy as the appropriate first-line treatment for gender dysphoria.
We aim to support psychotherapists working with gender dysphoric children, adolescents, and young adults in providing high quality, evidence-based mental healthcare, and to offer public education on mental health and psychotherapy
Therapy First exists because we see a great need arising from the current oversimplification and politicalization of gender dysphoria in the field of mental health.
Join a professional association of mental health providers who view psychosocial support and a whole person approach as the appropriate front-line treatment for gender-related concerns.
Clients & Families
If you or someone you care about is suffering from gender-related distress, we offer compassionate and evidence-based resources and can help connect you to a mental health provider.
We offer resources and information for those who experience regret or grief related to medical transition, including therapists experienced in working with people who choose to detransition.
Join Therapy First
Therapy First’s professional association is open to licensed mental health providers. Once you become a member, you’ll join a community of over 300 professionals worldwide who actively support one another in exchanging ideas and sharing resources.
You’ll also gain access to weekly peer supervision groups, get discounts to Therapy First webinars and trainings, and have the opportunity to list your practice on a public directory of psychotherapists.
Therapy First provides a range of trainings for mental health clinicians working with young people who are questioning their identity.
An Untapped Resource: Leveraging the Family System to Better Treat Gender Dysphoria
Dr. David Haralson
Monday March 18th 11am EST
Healthy systems help make healthy individuals. This workshop provides an overview of systemic therapy which centers on improving family relationships and reorganizing the family structure to improve mental well-being. Gender dysphoria is often treated on an individual basis, but David, Chelsea, and Jeff use empirically-validated systemic therapy models to understand the effect of relationships on emotions and how family dynamics can influence the onset, duration, and purpose of gender-related distress (GRT). The presenters will review two foundational theories of family therapy – emotionally focused therapy and structural therapy – and how these theories can be applied to gender-related case studies. We will use simulated therapy sessions to demonstrate what effective family therapy for gender dysphoria may look like.
Therapy First has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider,
ACEP No. 7505. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Therapy
First is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs. This webinar provide 1.5 hours of CE credits.
Dr. David Haralson is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who specializes in family therapy. As an AAMFT Approved Supervisor, he has received the highest level in training available for systemic therapy. He specializes in emotionally-focused therapy, structural family therapy, Bowen family therapy, play therapy, narrative therapy, and trauma-informed therapy. In his private practice, he works regularly with gender-questioning youth and their family members.
Chelsea Johnson is a marriage and family therapist practicing in St. George, Utah. She is the owner of Paideia Therapy and works with couples, parents, and families. She supports clients wrestling with issues of religion, politics, sex, and identity in finding authentic and full-hearted ways to cherish their loved ones and honor their integrity.
Jeff Bennion is a marriage and family therapist practicing in Murray, Utah. He is in private practice and specializes in helping individual and couple clients reconcile their personal and social values with their sexuality and gender. He has extensive experience conducting workshops and training.
Download Therapy First’s free Clinical Guide for Therapists Working with Gender Questioning Youth. Developed by a team of clinicians with expertise working with gender dysphoric youth and their families, our clinical guide offers mental health providers an introduction to working with this growing population based on the latest research and a solid understanding of psychotherapeutic best practice.
Find a Therapist
We help prospective clients connect with therapists who agree with the tenets of Therapy First’s membership statement.
You can find out more about individual practices by clicking in and viewing their profile.
latest podcast from
Gender: A Wider Lens
Therapists Stella O’Malley and Sasha Ayad explore diverse perspectives through a psychological lens, fostering open dialogue on gender identity, transition, and the transgender umbrella. Their work with gender dysphoric clients and unique experiences yield an informed outlook delving into gender’s psychological nuances. Interviews with clinicians, academics, transgender individuals, parents, detransitioners, and others touched by gender provide varied insights and intimate inquiry into the taboo yet relevant topic.
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