148 - Identity Indoctrination & the Black Hole of Gender


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In this episode, Sasha and Stella explore the complexities facing therapists curious about supporting gender dysphoric patients:

  • The fear some therapists harbor of professional repercussions, such as being blacklisted or facing job loss, when engaging in candid gender-related discussions.

  • Navigating differing perspectives within the therapeutic community with the evolving dynamics of gender in contemporary society.

  • The unique approach required for working with clients who may have deeply ingrained beliefs due to indoctrination.

  • The complexity of clients with gender dysphoria who may not seek relief, as their dysphoria justifies their gender identity.

  • The challenges associated with clients not connected with their emotions.

  • The influence of autistic traits on communication styles, sensory experiences, and social interactions.

  • ...and so much more.

This conversation emphasizes the need for therapists to navigate this intricate terrain with genuine curiosity and an understanding of the diverse experiences that individuals bring to the table. It’s a discussion highlighting the challenges and growing concerns about the limitations of affirmation-only approaches for both patient well-being and therapeutic progress. Together, Sasha and Stella stress the importance of tailoring therapeutic approaches to meet the individual needs of clients with diverse experiences, acknowledging that a one-size-fits-all method may not be suitable.

This is a well-rounded take on investing in the process, embracing client-therapist dynamics, managing differing worldviews, and leaning into the fundamental therapeutic value of asking questions.

Resources & Links

Gender Dysphoria: A Therapeutic Model for Working with Children, Adolescents and Young Adults

Cynical Therapies: Perspectives on the Antitherapeutic Nature of Critical Social Justice

Time to Think: The Inside Story of the Collapse of the Tavistock's Gender Service for Children

A Clinical Guide for Therapists Working with Gender-Questioning Youth, Version 1

"My friend's roommate gave me a shot of T at a Barbie party, now I'm questioning everything"

Jonathan Shedler on X(Twitter) @JonathanShedler

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If you liked this episode, more episodes you might find interesting include:

Gender: A Wider Lens
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.