A patient opens up on how Vicky, our Self-Care Therapist, is helping her during her transition.
"At my previous placement the staff said they would help me to be who I wanted to be. I said that I wanted to change my gender - I didn’t want to be trapped in my body that I didn’t not like - but they told me that while I was in hospital, people would not help me to change from being a man to a woman. I was there for three years.
Eventually I was moved to St Andrew’s Healthcare and after my second ward-round the MDT agreed to refer me to a Gender Re-Alignment Clinic. It was then agreed that the nursing team could paint my nails and plait my hair. After a while of working with the nursing staff and not displaying any risks, a Self-Care Therapist called Vicky was able to come onto the ward. Vicky had experience of working with other people like me who had realised that they no longer wanted to be the sex that they were born.
Vicky was very nice and put me at ease. She worked with me to start waxing my body, and since then we have moved onto teaching me how to apply make-up and be more confident in the body I am currently in.
These sessions with Vicky are important to me because she is teaching me the skills that I need to continue to live my life as a woman. When I first started the sessions I felt really nervous because I didn’t know what to expect or what Vicky knew about me. Over time I feel a lot more at ease, both when working with Vicky and also whilst I am on the ward. Since I started these sessions and become more confident my self-harm levels have reduced a lot.
At the moment my sessions are only once a month due to Vicky having to see all the patients within Northampton. I think to help me stay calmer and manage my emotions better it would be worthwhile if the sessions happened more frequently.
Vicky is currently supporting me as I work towards an AQA qualification, which is again helping me to feel positive about both myself and how I can help other people, like me, who want to be in a different body."
From everyone at St Andrew's, we'd like to thank Vicky, and congratulate our patient!