Transgender Project Powerpoint


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Transgender Project Powerpoint

  1. 2. <ul><li>We have spent much of this class learning from books and articles which help us understand the various issues that transgender people encounter. </li></ul><ul><li>There has been a wealth of knowledge given to us and sometimes it seems so much to take in that it can be overwhelming. </li></ul><ul><li>One thing that we’ve noticed, while working as therapists, is that you can learn much more from clients than you do from the books. </li></ul>
  2. 3. <ul><li>For this project we decided to interview a few more people that identify themselves as transgender people and learn about their experiences, fears, and concerns about therapy. </li></ul><ul><li>We also asked them what they would want a therapist working with a transgender person to know. </li></ul>
  3. 4. <ul><li>We interviewed 12 Additional people for this project. </li></ul><ul><li>In order to help protect the anonymity of the interviewees there will be no demographic information given specifically. </li></ul><ul><li>Both MtF and FtM people were interviewed. </li></ul><ul><li>The people interviewed were from various ethnic, socioeconomic, and religious backgrounds. </li></ul><ul><li>The people interviewed varied drastically in age and current living location. </li></ul>
  4. 5. <ul><li>During the interviews we specifically asked the interviewees the following questions. If you have been in therapy, what led you to go into therapy? </li></ul><ul><li>If you have not been in therapy, what has prevented you from going into therapy? </li></ul><ul><li>What have your experiences in therapy been? </li></ul><ul><li>What would you like a therapist working with transgender people to know? </li></ul>
  5. 6. <ul><li>The following are the responses we got from these main questions with our interviewees. </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;A life lived in fear is a life half-lived“ </li></ul><ul><li>- Native American Proverb </li></ul>
  6. 7. <ul><li>What prevented you from seeking out therapy? </li></ul>
  7. 8. <ul><li>“  I’ve never had a problem with therapy or talking to people in the therapy industry. I’ve just never had the courage to be so honest with a therapist, another person, or possibly with myself about my own condition, as I do today.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ This client later expressed it was because of the anonymity that she felt by talking to a stranger over the phone.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I have never felt comfortable talking to people about what is going on with me.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I worried that they would judge me.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I heard that therapists don’t know much about transgender people and I don’t want to spend my time teaching them.” </li></ul>
  8. 9. <ul><li>“ I have never been in therapy, I never thought I needed it besides, I can’t afford to pay someone a hundred dollar an hour to tell me that something is wrong with me. I have friends who did go and they said the doctor didn’t help much just looked at them like they were crazy. Who know though, I might have to play the game if I want to get my hormones, the right way!” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I’m not sure I want my feelings, history, hopes, etc. dissected in such a cold clinical way.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Psychiatrists are like the eunuch in the harem. They know what transvestism is, they can describe it, they can demonstrate it, but they can’t actually explain it!” </li></ul>
  9. 10. <ul><li>These are some of the common themes that we noticed with this question: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fear of being open with another person or with self </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The therapist not knowing what it is like </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fear of judgment </li></ul></ul>
  10. 11. <ul><li>What led you to therapy? </li></ul>
  11. 12. <ul><li>“ I saw my first therapist before I ever found chat or had any type of support group. The first thing that led me to the shrink was an overwhelming sense of loneliness because I was two afraid to talk to people around me about my circumstances. So that was number one, someone to talk to without worrying about being outed.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I Knew I was a good person, but I needed some sort of reassurance that what I was doing was not wrong. I already knew in my mind that I was a transsexual but how I could go on in life being me and not losing my family was my biggest concern.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I was referred by a transwoman that responded to my questions about transition on the same site I met you from.” </li></ul>
  12. 13. <ul><li>“ I was told I had to so that I could transition.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I was tired of not having anyone to talk to.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I needed to talk to someone.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ No one else understood me, so I thought I would try a therapist.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I wanted someone to tell me I wasn’t a freak.” </li></ul>
  13. 14. <ul><li>These are some of the common themes we saw in those responses: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reassurance that they were “ok” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of other support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of being understood </li></ul></ul>
  14. 15. <ul><li>What have your experiences in therapy been like? </li></ul>
  15. 16. <ul><li>“ I generally find therapy to be helpful and I enjoy it.” </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;I guess the main issue is that it's hard to describe what it's like to have a gender identity issue to someone who is unfamiliar. She doesn't &quot;get&quot; why I like to go out as a woman or why I want hormones.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ My first therapist told me to use a rubberband and “snap” my arm when I wanted to wear women’s clothing so that it “would go away.” It was horrible, I never wanted to see a therapist again. My second therapist was amazing, she helped me get to where I am today.” </li></ul>
  16. 17. <ul><li>“ I was very nervous and so was my therapist but that was early on, over 15 years ago we went through the process together and I need her support especially since my family had no idea what was happening to me.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I wasn’t sure what the therapist would think of me or if she would understand especially since she was born female and didn’t have any gender issue herself.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ My first few therapists’ knew nothing; I spent all my time correcting them instead of getting help. </li></ul><ul><li>I didn’t think I think I needed to see anyone but once I got comfortable I found I had a wall up and only in my therapist office could I let it down. She was a great therapist though very patient and knowledgeable I didn’t feel like I had to apologize about who I was with her.” </li></ul>
  17. 18. <ul><li>“ I’m not sure why I had to see a therapist, it was like another hurdle to jump in order to get to my goal; I got nothing from the experience, he had no idea what I was talking about and once I got the letter I ran, fast!” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I have now seen no less than six consultants, all have 'diagnosed' me as having a GID, all have approved me for any and all surgery necessary or desired, yet I am no nearer than I was ten years ago. </li></ul><ul><li>I didn’t like the fact that I had to see a therapist to get my surgery and to be fair I am not particularly enamored with the fact that I have to see a psychiatrist! “ </li></ul>
  18. 19. <ul><li>These are some of the general themes we saw in these responses: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Frustration/anger at having to see a therapist to be able to transition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nervousness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unknowledgeable therapists </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Having to teach/correct them </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Therapy being helpful and useful once the person was comfortable </li></ul></ul>
  19. 20. <ul><li>During the course of these interviews there was some additional information that came up. The following are some additional things we would like to share. </li></ul>
  20. 21. <ul><li>These are some concerns that people listed about therapy/therapists. </li></ul>
  21. 22. <ul><li>“ I would have a problem with a person how was actively attempting to make trans people ‘normal.’” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I went to a gender conference and met a few therapists there. One is rather close and after talking to her I thought that seeing a professional could be helpful. Unfortunately, she's not in my plan. My insurance plan requires that I first use their employee assistance plan, which referred me to a couple of people. I started to see the one who I felt most comfortable with despite her limited experience with gender issues.” </li></ul><ul><li> Sometimes they have no choice even with choosing the person to be vulnerable with </li></ul>
  22. 23. <ul><li>One thing that hadn’t been brought up before is how our power as a therapist can affect people, even when we are not being “therapists.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I would have a problem with a person how was actively attempting to make trans people ‘normal.’ A friend who was quite close to me, actually two friends, are therapists. Both of them discouraged me attempting any form of transition. One, stating that he could always tell men who were transitioned, and that the whole field of transition therapy is incorrect, and was giving false hope to those hoping to have a positive experience from transitioning. The second, took that stance as well as being against transitioning for religious and theological reasons.” </li></ul>
  23. 24. <ul><li>Another thing we also need to keep in mind as therapists is not to make assumptions about people. </li></ul><ul><li>The follow quote came from an interviewee when discussing an experience in therapy before they were fully aware of their issues themselves. </li></ul><ul><li>“ First I must say that a psychologist that I was very close to at 20 thought I should be gay.” </li></ul><ul><li>This interviewee listed that being told they should be gay “messed [them] up for years” because they truly thought this is what they should be and were not able to explore other options for themselves for many years. </li></ul>
  24. 25. <ul><li>I hope that you all found this information as enlightening as we did. </li></ul><ul><li>We need to understand how much power our position can hold and how much help or harm we can cause people. </li></ul><ul><li>We also need to always keep in mind how painful these issues can be to talk about and how scary it can be for people to talk about them. </li></ul>