Transgender Child Therapy
Is My Child Transgender?
Does your daughter insist that she is a boy? Does your son prefer to wear girl’s clothing? Does your child request to be called by a cross- gender name? Does your son wish his penis would disappear or your daughter hate the idea that her breasts will develop as a teen? Cross-gender behavior in children can be very distressing for a parent. You may feel embarrassed or frightened by your child’s assertions and preferences for cross-dressing, conventional opposite-gender play and activities. Perhaps your child has been bullied at school for trying to use an opposite-gender restroom or locker room, or you notice more frequent conflicts with your other children as a result of these concerning behaviors.
Raising a child can often be challenging for parents as their children work through normal stages of development.
When your child tells you their body doesn’t match the gender of how they feel on the inside, you may feel lost, confused, or that it’s your fault as a parent. When you don’t have a support system to talk about your concerns you may feel isolated, helpless, and struggle with how to parent or relate to your child. Do you wish to understand and accept your child for who they feel they really are and support them through their childhood and beyond?
Gender dysphoria is an issue with accepting one’s biological gender assigned at birth. It is not a mental illness. In transgender children, their natural, biological body does not fit with how they feel inside. There is nothing wrong with who your child is, but you may find yourself fearful for your child’s emotional health, issues at school or while socializing with peers, the effect on siblings, and the challenges for transgender children that can arise when puberty hits. You may wonder if you can shoulder parenting a transgender child as they navigate a world ripe with prejudice, unacceptance, misunderstanding, and your own dashed expectations of the life you envisioned for your biological son or daughter.
What Will Life Be For My Transgender Child?
You may worry about future challenges transgender children may experience as they present their true selves to a seemingly unsupportive world. Will they develop low self- esteem, self-loathing thoughts, anxiety, depression, and self- harming behaviors? You may be concerned about your transgender child’s sexual orientation or whether they will be able to have healthy, loving relationships in adulthood. Additionally, your other children may feel ostracized by peers at school and be verbally or physically abusive to their transgender sibling. You may experience marital or relational strain and feel unsupported by extended family and friends.
But there is hope! With transgender children counseling, you and your family can learn how to support and love your transgender child, gain understanding, and develop skills for better parenting and communicating as a family.
Transgender Child Therapy Can Strengthen Your Family
I imagine learning about and parenting a transgender child is new and uncharted territory. You may be wary of discussing your concerns with other family members or friends and welcome a trained and sympathetic ear to help you absorb and process what you are experiencing. I will offer you guidance, support and resources to help you on your own journey.
Once you understand how to encourage, love, and develop empathy, your transgender child will feel safe to embrace their authentic self, and you and your family can help them navigate through the world. I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Board-Certified Sex Therapist, and have extensive training in transgender issues, as well as have worked for years with children and their families. As a provider of transgender children therapy in Boca Raton, I can help you and your family develop effective tools to assist you with understanding, loving, and accepting your transgender child. I offer you a safe space where you can feel at ease discussing your concerns without judgement or blame.
I use a solution-focused approach to transgender children counseling to help you address concerns and challenges you and your child are facing at home, school and in your community. I will provide you with resources for support groups, blogs, and referrals for doctors who prescribe hormones and other medical options to help you feel empowered, well informed and validated.
But you still may have questions or concerns about transgender children therapy…
It’s probably just a phase…
If your child regularly is insistent that he or she is the opposite gender, prefers cross-dressing in gender-typical clothing, requests being called a cross-gender name, or wishes their penis would disappear or hates the idea of developing breasts, your child may have gender dysphoria. Rather than writing these issues off as “just a phase”, you can work toward understanding and developing better coping and parenting skills to support your transgender child.
I don’t have the time or money…
While transgender children therapy does take time and money, the benefits are immeasurable. You will gain abundant insight, support, and resources to help understand and accept your transgender child.
I’ve tried counseling before and it didn’t help…
I understand that successful transgender children counseling is based on building a trust and rapport with your therapist. Perhaps there wasn’t a connection with your previous therapist, or they didn’t understand issues inherent to gender dysphoria. Few psychotherapists pursue training in transgender children therapy and sex therapy in addition to their chosen field of psychology. I have extensive training in all these area as well as years working with children and their families. I regularly attend and have facilitated transgender support groups in the community as well as transgender health conferences and workshops to be apprised of the latest medical updates and psychoeducation.
The First Step in Supporting Your Transgender Child is Understanding Them
If you need assistance in working through understanding your transgender child, or have further questions, I encourage you to contact me or call (561) 213-6327 for a free 15 minute phone consultation.