Transgender Issues – The Basics

By Marcy Marklay, LPCC - Therapist, Lindner Center of HOPE Gender identity is a person's inner sense of being male, female, neither or both. Gender nonconforming refers to those who have behaviors and interests that run counter to what is expected of a male or female. Gender dysphoria refers to an individual's affective/cognitive discontent with gender assigned at birth; gender dysphoria refers to the distress that may accompany the incongruence between one's experienced or expressed gender and one's assigned gender. Transgender people are often unhappy with aspects of their bodies that do not conform to the gender they feel they are on the inside. There is a conflict between gender identity and biological sex and expectations. Transgender refers to the individuals whose gender identity is in contrast to their biological sex from birth. Gender dysphoria can occur in children, adolescents and adults. Sexual orientation is not the same as gender; it has to do with who we find attractive. Transgender individuals face discrimination and report a staggering rate of attempted suicide. It is estimated that 41 percent of transgender individuals have attempted suicide. This is greater than 25 times the rate of attempted suicide of the general population. It is estimated that 75 percent of transgender youth experience harassment; many experience physical assault and sexual violence. Anxiety and depression can often be found in transgender individuals. The needs of this community range from basic - safety, shelter, food, protection against discrimination and violence, to dealing with family, school and dating relationships, to transitioning with hormones and or surgery, and coming out concerns. It is crucial to respect them and respect the preferred name and pronouns they identify as, not to assume the gender or pronouns they use. Transgender individuals may face a lack of support or even open hostility from their family and friends, churches and Interested in touring communities. This rejection fuels high levels of anxiety and depression and makes the coming out process very difficult for many transgender people. They often have higher rates of peer isolation and hopelessness. Coming out is a process of telling others that one is transgender, or gay, lesbian, bisexual or questioning. Parents need to educate themselves and be open to understanding their transgender child. Parents may have strong reactions with feelings of loss, worry what others may think, concerns for harassment, physical harm, possible regret, too young, not believe the child is really transgender, etc. It is important to work with a trusted mental health professional. Parents have their own social, cultural and religious views that must be addressed. `It is important to keep the communication open so the transgender child or teen can understand it is a difficult transition for the parents as well. Transgender teens and their parents benefit from support groups, in person or in a safe online network. Each student needs to be in a supportive school environment. School administrators, counselors and teachers can help implement zero tolerance policies on bullying so that all students, including transgender [...]

By |2019-10-21T21:00:04+00:00October 15th, 2019|Family, Transgender|0 Comments

Family stress – pushing against obstacles instead of pushing into each other.

“Our fate is shaped from within ourselves outward, never from without inward.” (Jacques Lusseyran) Last week I was called by a couple single mothers who needed my consulting - right then. Neither had the funds to pay my fees. They both came from nonprofits for whom I do work. I was unusually busy last week. Lots of travel. Other clients to which I had to attend. But, for me, my practice is my internal voice calling. I cannot turn my back on a cry for help. I am an independent therapeutic consultant. I run my own business. Creating boundaries and sticking to business practices is very important for one who wants to have positive cash flow - and frankly, who doesn’t? It is even harder when your clients are likely to have incredible personal challenges that warrant an investment of your time and research - sooner rather than later. Still, my intellectual property is worth the cost of my fees and I know I bring incredible value to my clients. You pay accountants, lawyers, doctors and even your hairdresser for knowing their profession. Therapeutic educational consultants invest in traveling to programs, ongoing education and research and cultivating industry relationships to provide our best advice and strategy. But last week, I worked for free. Totally for free. I feel that part of what makes us human is the ability and need to connect with others. When we stray from this natural inclination because it doesn’t match our business model, I wonder how good that business feels? I have been reading The Anatomy of Peace published by The Arbinger Institute. (ISBN 978-1-62656-431-2) One of the themes is that we forget to see one another as a person, but rather an obstacle to something we want. You are driving down the road and someone in front of you slows down or wants to turn creating a delay in your travel. It is easy to create an image of an “object” that is getting in our way, rather than remember that there is a human driving the car with needs and wants just as valid as our own. When there is chaos in our families, it is often because we become focussed on our own needs and stop thinking of our loved ones as their own persons - like, if I honor my promise to cut the grass, I will be late for tennis. I blame you because I promised you I would do it and now I see you as the reason I might be late. Then I get mad and protest. Then you see me as irresponsible perhaps objectified as immature. The cycle continues. We become our behaviors, we are what we are doing, not who we are. It is our feelings and thoughts create behaviors. This is what everyone else observes. Behaviors. “Generally speaking, we respond to other’s way of being toward us rather than to their behavior. ....... our children respond more to how we’re regarding them than they [...]

By |2019-10-21T20:31:12+00:00April 9th, 2017|Anxiety, Family, Therapy|0 Comments