3 Core Themes In Gender-Affirming Therapy

A person's sex refers to the biological composition of the body. Gender is the sex that the person identifies with most. In situations where there is a discrepancy between a person's sex and gender, a myriad of social problems can arise.

It's important that people experiencing this type of existence speak regularly with a gender-affirming therapist. Gender-affirming therapy focuses on several core themes that are designed to help affirm who a patient is and what their gender may be.

1. Trauma

It is almost inevitable that anyone who questions their gender identity will experience trauma at some point during their lifetime. This trauma can be direct or indirect, but it all can affect the way a patient views him or herself.

A therapist specializing in gender-affirming treatment can help patients identify the traumatic messages and behaviors that have helped to shape their own views on gender diversity.

Being able to process these types of trauma in a therapeutic setting can help patients become more at peace with who they are.

2. Depression

Many of the patients seeking gender-affirming therapy suffer from severe depression. This depression can often be linked back to the traumas that the patient has endured in the past.

Feelings of shame can trigger anxiety, and a lack of societal and familial support can leave patients feeling very much alone. Gender-affirming therapy strives to help patients identify the root cause of their depression and then learn healthy coping mechanisms to overcome depressive thoughts.

Many of the facilities that provide gender-affirming therapy also host support groups where patients can meet others coping with the same issues and begin to form a strong social network of support.

3. Sexuality

Transgender and gender nonconforming (TGNC) individuals can struggle with their sexuality. Despite a growing understanding of and tolerance for gender diversity, the sexuality of many TGNCs is still placed into discrete boxes. This is especially true in terms of sexual orientation.

Gender-affirming therapy can be a great place for patients to start exploring their sexuality in a safe environment. Through targeted therapy, gender-affirming therapy can help patients see that sexual orientation presents in many different ways and can be very fluid over time.

This knowledge allows patients to better understand their own thoughts and feelings in a way that doesn't cause self-hatred or shame.

Good mental health care is essential to the happiness and well-being of any person struggling with issues related to gender identity.

Contact a practice like Tim Bracaglia Counseling to learn more.