I connected with Katy Lees through Twitter because the internet is a wonderful place that keeps introducing me to fantastic people. Katy is the author of The Trans Guide to Mental Health and Well-Being, a comprehensive resource for trans folks and the people who care about them. Information about purchasing their book is available at the link above.
Katy was kind enough to take questions from me about their book as well as their work as a therapist for LGBTQ+ folks.
1. First can you tell me a little bit about your background and professional interests?
I’m a person-centred psychotherapist, with a BSc in Psychology and an MSc in Person-Centred and Experiential Psychotherapy. I’ve been working in mental health for nearly fifteen years now, and I’ve been working in private practice as a therapist for three years. I’ve also written fiction and non-fiction for several publications since my early twenties, perhaps most notably for the now sadly defunct Dirge Magazine.
2. Do see therapy clients? Tell me about your practice?
I run a thriving private therapy practice online which centres LGBTQ+ experiences. I mostly see trans and/or non-binary clients, many of whom are otherwise queer, polyamorous, neurodivergent, and dealing with trauma. Working with trans clients as a niche happened mostly by accident – I’m open about being non-binary and using they/them pronouns, and I think this led to lots of trans and/or non-binary people finding me! It’s such an honour to work with my community, whether it’s to help clients who are questioning their gender, clients who need help to process their feelings as they transition, clients who need support as they face transphobia, or trans and/or non-binary clients with any other issues.
3. Tell me about your book?
The Trans Guide to Mental Health and Well-Being is a book about self-care and community care, designed for trans and/or non-binary people. It’s a practical guide for taking good care of yourself, and it covers a wide range of mental health issues that trans people commonly face, including anxiety, depression, body image issues, trauma, suicidal thoughts, and dissociation. I designed the book to be something like a warm, accessible, expert therapist who can sit on your book shelf, ready for when you need them!
4. How did The Trans Guide to Mental Health and Well-Being come to be?
I’d been thinking about writing something like this for a while, especially after looking for some trans-specific mental health help during my MSc and not really finding much. After writing and speaking about my work in mental health and my transness for a while, I started writing the book in 2020 after being approached by my publishers, Jessica Kingsley Publishers. I finished writing the book in 2021, and it was officially published in 2022. You can now buy a copy wherever sells good books!
5. What do you want your readers and potential readers to know about your book?
This book was made to be a resource for trans and/or non-binary people, by a trans and non-binary therapist. It’s there for you if you need a few self-care tips or a bit of a pick-me; if there’s a specific issue or two that you’d like some in-depth help with; or if you’re in crisis. The book can be read from front to back or dipped in to when you need it. – Even though the book was written by and for the trans community, I think it can also be used by therapists, mental health professionals, and allies of trans and/or non-binary people who want to take a look at what some people in the trans community might be going through.
6. Do you have any other upcoming projects?
I’ve had a few conversations with my publisher about writing another book, so stay tuned!