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Talking therapy support for gender questioning young people

(12 Posts)
TheHumanRace Sun 19-Nov-17 14:34:14

I read the article today on support offered from the Tavi for GNC young people.

On the face of it I agreed with most of what the psychologist was saying about the way they support: promoting a watchful waiting position and exploring other reasons for gender confusion.
She stated that (I recall) only about 41% of children referred go on to a medical pathway. I also got the impression that the Tavi are under huge pressure from parents and children themselves to follow a medical pathway which the medics themselves have misgivings about.

The question I was left with was: so the 59% who don't follow a medical pathway, what support do they get?
Talking therapies were mentioned but then it seemed they only got 3-6 assessment sessions?

What support is available to children who do not medically transition? What evidence is there for the type of support they need?

DJBaggySmalls Sun 19-Nov-17 15:02:18

Talking therapy is under fire for being conversion therapy for trans kids. Of course, medical transition isnt seen as conversion therapy for gay kids. angry
Theres a recent post by a therapist who has this problem, many of the kids she counsels are autistic. I'll try to find the link.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sun 19-Nov-17 15:04:16

HumanRace could you link to the article?

TheHumanRace Sun 19-Nov-17 15:13:01

Article here:

I think that other article from the therapist concerned about conversion therapy is relating to Scotland and the recent paper on affirmation being the only approach allowed?

The Tavi professional did not give the impression that that was currently their only approach, but it was unclear what/if therapy other than medical transition was available to the 59% who did not opt for the medcial transition.

DJBaggySmalls Sun 19-Nov-17 15:22:45

Thats the one. Talking therapy has to be appropriate for kids. Its not like it stops actual transgender kids getting surgery as adults, is it? It just cuts the risk of people who have surgery and regret it.

TheHumanRace Sun 19-Nov-17 15:56:22

I agree, I just wondered if anyone had evidence about what kids who don't follow the medical pathway currently get.

The Tavi article suggests they offer some talking therapy, I'm wondering what/how often, and what the pathway for this option is.

Datun Sun 19-Nov-17 16:23:51


We had a mum of a trans child on here who said she got six sessions and then nothing.

She was at her wits end. Eventually she scraped together the money to go privately. Her child, as they progressed through puberty, started to become more reconciled to their natal sex, with the help of the private therapist.

I don’t have any recent updates, though.

She was scathing about Mermaids as their view point was if your child is not going to be medicalised, then we can’t help you.

It’s a shame Mermaids don’t devote some of their time and energy to talking therapies. Or research into gender dysphoria.

Stopmakingsense Sun 19-Nov-17 17:06:58

The really interesting point was this one from Wren:

This desire can conflict with the clinic’s approach. “Our prejudice is in favour of tolerating a degree of uncertainty, which doesn’t mean we don’t offer physical interventions, but we try to promote, in the face of quite a lot of attacks, the various ways in which we have to be accountable as professionals to the evidence base and to the ethical demands of our job.

“We cannot be too sure in promoting physical intervention for young people when we feel there are development possibilities in which they may come to feel differently.”

I think professionals are finally feeling brave enough to speak out against an essentialist view of gender - they are trying to work “in the face of attacks”??

raffle Sun 19-Nov-17 17:10:24

I’m always interested in the possible link to Autism - I only know 3 people who are transgendered and all 3 have a diagnosis of ASD

TheHumanRace Sun 19-Nov-17 17:13:44

Yes I felt there was a suggestion of external pressure to act against the evidence base and professional ethics.

I wonder what the Tavi think of Mermaids??

Datun I remember that poster,which is partly what made me ask the question. The article implies they offer talking therapy but I recall that parent feeling that unless they went down the medical route there was no support.
Where to find information on experiences fronnthe Tavi who didn't follow a medical pathway?

TheHumanRace Sun 19-Nov-17 17:15:59

Raffle James Caspian on the moral maze stated that young people with autism present at 6 times the rate at gender clinics than NT young people.

FloraFox Sun 19-Nov-17 17:55:03

They say "only" 41% go on a medical pathway but the figures from before blockers were prescribed showed that 80% of kids desisted in their gender dysphoria after going through puberty.

There's an article in the Times today about a Scottish counsellor who is worried about getting into trouble for not affirming transition because she is having good results with talking therapies and the number of her patients transitioning is lower than it would be if she took the affirmation approach.

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