UK – New Model for Clinicians when treating Gender Dysphoric minors
Susan and Marcus Evans are the two psychotherapists who are former employees of Tavistock Gender clinic in the UK. They presented a paper at a multi-disciplinary conference in January this year which reflects serious concerns about the transition of children before maturity. They encourage a psychotherapeutic model that provides a process of psychological exploration, in which an individual’s personality structure, beliefs, defence mechanisms, and motivations are assessed and examined in a supportive environment. This follows concerns from multiple professionals at the gender clinic, parents of gender dysphoric children, and ex-patients who regard the current “affirmative treatment” model as doing more harm. This eventually led to the High Court of England ruling that children under 16-years cannot consent to life-altering medical treatments due to immaturity.
“A rigid one-size-fits-all affirmative approach is unhelpful. Where children are concerned, we need a new model to ensure more clinically rigorous, balanced, and ethical assessment and treatment protocols. At the very least, the ordinary ethical standards of good practice must be restored to this area, as our duty, first and foremost, must always be “do no harm.”” Their proposed model concentrates on helping the child assess pain and differentiate the type, degree, and cause of pain because it can represent a helpful indication of something that needs attention. A wish to transition is often described by those who experience it as a belief that they were “born in the wrong body,” and consequently deprived of an idealized relationship with their physical self. The ideal we all have, at some level, is a self that would be loved and accepted by others, and by ourselves.
“The denial of the psychological factors influencing the desire to transition can unwittingly lead the patient and health professionals to embrace concrete, affirmative solutions, while ignoring relevant aspects of the individual’s mental-health situation and personal history.” As can be seen in “depressed patients that feel worthless and suicidal; anorexics feel too fat, and starve themselves; and obsessional patients perform rituals repetitively before other interactions.”
“A trans-identifying child can become more fixated and invested in the daydream idea, and it becomes a belief that if only they’d transition, all their problems would resolve.” Because of this, “the desire to reduce pain and anxiety by rushing into either social or medical transition needs to be resisted, as there are long-term costs that a child in a fixed state of mind is unable to imagine or understand.” More
USA – Alabama considers banning transgender drug treatment for minors
For a second time, Alabama state considers banning transgender experimental drug treatment on minors. The bill took a step forward in a hearing of the Senate Health Committee voting 11-2 approving to make it a felony for doctors to administer hormonal drug treatment that transitions people 18-years or younger who identify as transgender. Alabama is one of at least eight states where conservative lawmakers are pushing similar measures, arguing such decisions should wait until adulthood. More