Psychotherapy for trans people

Is therapy completely worthless, or might it have some use?

Reparative therapy has always failed, because of how it envisages health, and what it attempts to do. Aversion therapy attempted to make the victim associate their desires with pain, fear, discomfort and misery. If the therapist, claiming that the person needs to control their desires, to fit in with normal society, prevented the person from acting on their desires, that would be a “success”.

For me, any organism seeks out its own health and good. Just as a broken bone knits together, so the mind turns towards what will fulfil it. People are different, with different gifts, and that fulfilment is different for each. The individual does not cross-dress because she is disgusting, and wants to be disgusting, as my mother said, but as the best way she knows of approaching health. The question would be, why does she cross-dress? What does it achieve for her?

The aim would not be to prevent the person dressing, but to find options for her. Is there another way of proceeding, which she prefers? The choice would still be the patient’s. Barry wrote of a person who transitioned role and was going to have surgery, but then reverted and found a partner.

You might favour transition if you imagine that men should be a certain way, women should be a different way. If men are generally more “masculine” whether this comes from nature or nurture or social construct, you may be more comfortable expressing yourself as a woman. Even if you don’t believe these restrictions are appropriate, you might observe that they exist, and feel you will be more accepted after transition.

Intensive psychotherapy would find your wounds and scars. What are you repressing? What shames you, what do you fear in yourself? We are a social species, and trans women in particular are intensely pro-social. We are made in the image of God, loving, creative, powerful, beautiful. What do you want from life? Again, the question is not “Why are you so broken that you contemplate transition?” It is “Who are you?” I have addressed this question after transition, as everyone must, some time.

norah-neilson-gray-little-brother

4 thoughts on “Psychotherapy for trans people

  1. Obviously people resorted to aversion therapy because no other means of getting the person to stop cross-dressing seemed to work. So they threw Freud at ’em, said deep down they hated their mother, wanted to sleep with their father, whatever. Blamed the patient’s upbringing, blamed society. The most important thing, of course, to maintain the income stream, is never let the patient realize the whole goal of getting them to stop cross-dressing is an invented one.

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