Tips for therapists working with detransitioned women

1. One pronoun check, then give it a rest. Be proactive with front office staff and colleagues regarding not “they”-ing the client or overly subjecting her to the pronoun question.
2. Be mindful of the basics of your therapeutic technique, and the ways your discomfort with a detransitioning client is making you lose it.
3. Let the client externalize her gender dysphoria.
4. Explore what your client is bringing up, rather than guiding her towards topics you believe are key.
5. Self-examine how you are recreating in the therapy room social dynamics that the client names as frustrating.
6. Believe the client about the unusual beliefs/relationships/dynamics of their peer group. Be upfront about what you don’t know.
7. On the flip side, be aware of how much of therapy is the client educating you and brainstorm together how to contain how much of your time together goes towards educating you.
8. The story matters. Let your client have authority over her story.
9. Don’t tell the client how important the experience should or shouldn’t be.

In summary, let the client experience having authority in your therapy room.

Creative Commons License
Tips for therapists working with detransitioned women by Carey Callahan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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