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Transitioning and Gender Therapy

Make Sure You Are Seeing A Licensed Therapist


(Aug 14, 2019) by: Alyus Vasquez

All social workers are beholden to the Social Work Code of Ethics —otherwise known as the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics — during their studies and vow to abide by its standards and principles throughout their careers. The following is an outline of the etiology of its creation and major points. The full text is available at the NASW website .

To check the status of the Gender Therapist you are seeing you can go to ASWB License Verification, and input their name and license information.

Unfortunately there are people practicing under the terms "Life Coach", "Coach", or "Gender Therapists" that claim that there is no protocol for the clinical treatment of the transgender community. That is absolutely false. Be aware of people who try to practice as a therapist across state lines where they are not licensed. Make sure their license is current and that they don't have citations on their license. (LCSW) Licensed Clinical Social Worker's are held to certain ethical codes that protect the patient. Beware of therapists who practice EMDR therapy without the proper training. Always ask to see verification of the proper licenses. For more information on EMDR therapy click HERE. In addition to having a current license, make sure the therapist you are seeing follows the WPATH standards of care for transgender individuals. NEVER let a therapist tell you that you can pay them back with ANYTHING other than money. If a therapist asks you to pay them back with working for them, THEY ARE EXPLOITING YOU. If a therapist asks you to pay them back with special favors, THEY ARE EXPLOITING YOU. You deserve better than that.

It is too easy for someone to take advantage of the transgender community because there are so little resources for the trans community. Be safe. You deserve the proper care, and this website is here to help you find it.

You can go here to see the WPATH Standards of Care For Transgender Health

Download the FREE WPATH PDF 

Why There Is a Social Work Code of Ethics


The National Association of Social Workers Delegate Assembly created the first version of the Code of Ethics in October 1960. It has since been revised several times, but it maintains many of the original principles.

The code serves six purposes:

  1. To establish the core values upon which the social work profession is based.

  2. To create specific ethical standards that should guide social work practice and reflect the core values.

  3. To help social workers navigate professional considerations and obligations when ethical uncertainties arise.

  4. To provide ethical standards to which the social work profession can be held accountable.

  5. To initiate new social workers to the profession’s mission, values, and ethical principles and standards.

  6. To create standards by which the social work profession can assess if a social worker has engaged in unethical conduct. Social workers who pledge to abide by this code must cooperate with its implementation and disciplinary rulings based upon it.

The code is also based on the six core values of the social work profession:

  1. Service

  2. Social justice

  3. Dignity and worth of the individual

  4. Importance and centrality of human relationships

  5. Integrity

  6. Competence

Major Points from the Social Work Code of Ethics

The code is composed of thematic sections that outline a social worker’s responsibility to clients, colleagues, employers, and the profession in general. Following is a summary of some of the major points from a few of the sections.


Social workers must:

  • Maintain high standards of personal conduct.

  • Aim to maintain a high degree of professionalism throughout their careers.

  • Hold service to be the most important element of social work.

  • Maintain a high level of professional integrity.

  • Engage in lifelong learning to maintain competence.

  • Guide practice according to scholarly inquiry and use evidence to inform best practices.

Responsibility to Clients

Social workers must:

  • Make clients their primary responsibility.

  • Foster maximum self-determination in clients.

  • Respect the privacy of clients and keep information that has been shared during the course of their duties confidential.

  • Charge fees for services that are fair and considerate to clients.

Responsibility to Colleagues and Employers

Social workers should:

  • Treat colleagues with respect, fairness, and courtesy.

  • Adhere to professional obligations as determined by their employers.

Responsibility to the Social Work Profession

Social workers should:

  • Uphold, represent, and advance the values of the social work profession.

  • Help the profession make social services available to the general public.

  • Educate themselves to become culturally competent and understanding of diversity.

At it's most basic level, social work is about promoting the general welfare of society by representing those who are most vulnerable. Providing social services can sometimes be a difficult task, wrought with ethical uncertainties and challenges. The Social Work Code of Ethics helps social workers navigate these challenges throughout their careers and provides a framework for the principles and standards that they must uphold.

If you or someone you know has had their rights violated by a licensed or non-licensed individual go to The Department of Consumer Affairs and file a complaint with the Bored of Behavioral Sciences. You can also go to  The Transgender Law Center to speak with someone who can help.

Finding A Therapist

It can be hard to find a Therapist that is familiar with transgender issues. Luckily has tons of resources. You can search by zip code and you can choose the option to see someone who is non-binary.

List of Non-Binary Therapists in Southern California.

View the LCSWs on RAC here

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