exclusively written for GenderDysphoriaAlliance.com
by Roselynn Jayla
Mental health treatments can change and even save the lives of people experiencing gender dysphoria. Experts from the Society for Evidence-Based Gender Medicine highlight that an increasing number of people with gender dysphoria experience complex mental health conditions. It’s already tough to deal with gender dysphoria alone, so the experts emphasize the importance of keeping a wide range of treatment options available for people.
Though your experiences are very personal, you may find that exploring your feelings will be much easier with the help of an experienced professional. So, if you’re considering getting counseling, here are the following benefits that you can look forward to:
Aids people in self-discovery
Many people start to experience gender dysphoria during their childhood and teenage years. People are still forming their identities during this age period, which is why it’s encouraged to get help from experienced counselors that can guide you with your self-discovery.
As such, nonprofit organization Genspect recommends gender exploratory therapy as one model of care that can help people cope with their distress and confusion. Allowing people to explore their identities through therapy and counseling enables people to achieve clarity, even at a young age. Through this non-invasive strategy, you can become more certain about yourself before considering invasive options for your transition.
Provides support for their well-being
A perceived incongruence, or conflict between parts of your self can be difficult. Gender dysphoria can even be so intense that you can experience isolation, low self-esteem, depression, and anxiety.
So before your mental well-being worsens, it’s critical to get support through mental health counseling. Maryville University states that mental health counseling is similar to social work, but what sets the former apart is that it provides proper treatments for anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, suicidal thoughts and other conditions. Mental health counselors provide the emotional support you need while identifying resources, outreach programs, and treatment plans that can improve your mental state. Through this intervention, you can become happier and more confident as you discover deeper connections between your thoughts, feelings and behavior, some of which is unconscious.
Guides them to the best steps for their transition
Counseling does not just help people with gender dysphoria in exploring their identity and boosting their mental health, but also to decide the next best steps in their transition.
Some may think that surgeries and hormones are the best solutions for people with gender dysphoria. However, exploratory therapy should open up individuals to a wide range of outcomes. Through proper counseling, some people may discover that medical interventions are the best solution for them, while others may find that their lives will be much better if they honor their unique experiences through their current bodies.
Improves their relationships with loved ones
Gender dysphoria can also cause people to isolate themselves from people, including their loved ones. One of the benefits of counseling is that it can help both you and your loved ones understand and support one another.
A neurologist from Fordham University speaking to the Psychiatric Times points out that a caregiver’s response and adjustment to a child’s identity development can greatly affect their mental health. Unfortunately, in this highly political environment, few families are well-informed about the nature of gender dysphoria in childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. Most families experience grief, confusion, and anxiety when a child (of any age) expresses a desire to be the opposite sex. They may struggle to know who to trust and how to best support their child, or how to explain to other family members and friends what their child is going through. Families often need their own support and have their own process to go through. A professional can help mediate conflict and improve communication, boundaries, and understanding.
You don't have to deal with gender dysphoria on your own. By working with a mental health professional, you'll be able to explore all the factors that may be contributing to your distress, so that you can make the best choices for your well-being.
For more information about Gender Exploratory Therapy, please visit: https://genderexploratory.com