Gender Dysphoria Treatment: A Critical Discussion of Medical and Psychotherapeutic Approaches in Adults and Young People

Proceedings of ‏The 2nd World Conference on Teaching and Education

Year: 2021


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Gender Dysphoria Treatment: A Critical Discussion of Medical and Psychotherapeutic Approaches in Adults and Young People

Marios Dimitrios Chatzinikolaou



Gender Dysphoria focuses on the psychological state at which individuals experience low levels of perceived satisfaction regarding their primary and secondary physiological traits, their biological gender, and their assigned societal gender roles. This condition primarily requires multidisciplinary and personalised treatment. Scientific evidence suggests that utilisation of gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogues, puberty blockers, and gender-affirming surgery may reduce distress, enhance mental health and quality of life, while diminishing Gender Dysphoria. However, some researchers contend that medical procedures pose adverse limitations since they may result in complications, feelings of frustration, and supplementary procedures undergone for aesthetic purposes. Moreover, individuals’ age of readiness to pursue medical interventions and deal with additional issues such as post-surgery fertility and regret also need to be addressed. Conversely, psychotherapy and counselling intend to assist such individuals in accomplishing long-term relief relating to their gender identity, developing their interpersonal skills, and confronting Gender Dysphoria comorbidity. Yet, many psychotherapeutic schemes insufficiently address crucial facets of Gender Dysphoria, namely societal discrimination stemming from subsequent stigmatization, promotion of resilience among this highly marginalised population against unprecedented tribulation, and body dissatisfaction, thus not providing a complete relief of gender dysphoric feelings. Therefore, it is essential to appropriately address psychosocial functionality enhancement, integrate novel treatment propositions into a holistic therapeutic plan, and further develop/validate Gender Dysphoria metrics that can be universally accepted in order to prevent pathologisation of these individuals. It is also recommended that further qualitative data, needs assessments, and empirical studies be gathered, while carefully abiding by the necessary ethical considerations.

Keywords: clinical psychology, depathologisation, multidisciplinary care, psychopathology, quality of life.