Gender dysphoria occurs when a person is conflicted between their physical or assigned gender at birth and the gender that person identifies with creating a multitude of mixed emotions and feelings. These feelings can affect a person’s behavior and self-image. The desire to transition to the gender they identify with is a process that affects each person differently.
The process of transitioning involves three types:
- Hormone therapy
- Surgical reconstructive procedures
- Coming out to friends and family
- Asking others to use the pronoun that represents their gender identity
- Changing their appearance through dressing to reflect their gender identity
- Changing their name
Some people transition quicker than others, depending on how they feel, and not all people that have gender dysphoria will go through the actual transition process. Transitioning can be done medically or socially and not necessarily both together.
The mixed feelings that can arise during this time can create anxiety, depression, and self-doubt. Having a safe place to discuss these feelings is crucial, and having gender dysphoria counseling with a non-judgmental therapist can help bridge the gap between the known and the unknown.
The Onset of Gender Dysphoria
Many people with gender dysphoria will first notice these feelings in childhood, but some won’t have them until later in life.
When children feel as if they are in the wrong body, it can be a scary feeling for them, causing incredible distress. Feeling unsure of who you are supposed to be is hard enough as an adult, let alone a child.
Signs and Symptoms of Gender Dysphoria
- Depression and withdrawal – Many people, especially children, do not feel comfortable talking about such a complex and personal topic, so they retreat and may become depressed.
- Admission of feeling uncomfortable in their skin – Talking about actual feelings is, of course, the telltale sign and should be addressed with sensitivity and care, and utilizing gender dysphoria counseling can help with that process.
- Crossdressing – Choosing to dress more like the opposite sex because that makes them feel more like themselves is a sign, but not necessarily a definitive one. This action could also be just a “curiosity phase.”
- Fear of puberty – When puberty hits, the body will change, and if it turns more into the person that they do not want to be, then that can be quite frightening.
- Anorexia – Not eating is a way of self-destruction and a way of saying that a person is unhappy with who they are.
- Anxiety – Not being able to understand the changes that are happening in the body and mind can create a tremendous amount of anxiety.
With the right person to talk to, gender dysphoria can be taken from a scary place to a safe place and one in which the person can finally embrace.
How to Support Yourself During Gender Transition
Dealing with gender transition requires a sensitive and highly trained professional that specializes in gender dysphoria counseling. Many different forms of treatment can help, including:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – CBT has been proven to help with social anxiety disorder, which is highly prevalent among those with gender dysphoria.
- CBT is based on our thoughts, creating our feelings and behaviors, and if we restructure our ideas, then we can change our outcome.
- Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) – NLP helps to reconcile inner conflict with people having gender dysphoria by accepting who they are.
- NLP reconnects the conscious and unconscious mind to develop new skills to overcome negative patterns of behavior.
- Hypnotherapy – Hypnotherapy helps to bring about a deep state of relaxation or a trance-like state where one can be more responsive to helpful suggestions. This form of therapy can be used in conjunction with other types of treatment, especially CBT.
- Helps to build resistance when coping with discrimination and/or oppression
- Enables the person to accept themselves fully
- Support for dealing with the “coming out” process to friends and loved ones
- Promotes self-confidence, courage, and resilience
- Works directly with specific issues such as:
- Loss of identity
- Relationship issues
At Miami Hypnosis and Therapy, we help support gender transition by utilizing CBT, NLP, and hypnotherapy through counseling for gender dysphoria. We strive to bring the right blend of therapeutic applications to each patient. Since everyone is unique in their wants and needs, then having the proper form of treatment is vital. Our treatment regime can help put that light at the end of what seemed to be a very long and dark tunnel.
There is no better time to start living the life you were meant to live than right now. Take that first step on your incredible journey and contact us today!