Psychoanalysis & You is an APsA podcast about psychoanalysis and everyday life hosted by Dr. Gail Saltz.

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Show Notes

There is a growing opposition to treating children and adolescents with the DSM-5 diagnosis of gender dysphoria or the ICD-11 diagnosis of gender incongruence.

But as psychoanalysts, we have an obligation to remove politics and ideology from the treatment room and do what’s best for the people we serve.

So, how do we learn to recognize our own fears and leverage our training to best treat young people navigating gender dysphoria?

Dr. Jack Drescher, MD, is Training and Supervising Analyst at the William Alanson White Institute, Adjunct Professor at the NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, and Senior Psychoanalytic Consultant at the Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research. Dr. Drescher is also a 2022 recipient of the Sigourney Award in recognition for his work around gender and sexuality, and he served on the APA’s DSM-5 Workgroup on Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders and the World Health Organization’s Working Group to revise sex and gender diagnoses in the ICD-11.

On this episode of Psychoanalysis and You, Dr. Drescher joins host Dr. Gail Saltz to discuss public anxiety around gender dysphoria and the legislation that forbids transgender people from getting treatment.

Dr. Drescher discusses the ethical problem with ‘talking to children until they change their mind’ as the only treatment for gender dysphoria and addresses the concerns of policymakers and parents around detransitioners.

Listen in for Dr. Drescher’s insight on understanding and allowing for the nuances of gender and learn how our training as psychoanalysts can be of particular benefit to families dealing with gender dysphoria.

Topics Covered

·      What’s behind the growing opposition to treating children and adolescents with gender dysphoria or gender incongruence

·      How what’s happening now with the transgender community compares to past reactions to homosexuality

·      How Dr. Drescher thinks about educating a public that is afraid and wants to create laws forbidding transgender people from getting treatment

·      Why Dr. Drescher recommends finding a practitioner with expertise in treating transgender children before you make any decisions re: hormones or puberty blockers

·      Dr. Drescher’s response to conservative psychoanalytic voices who suggest talking to children until they change their mind as the only treatment for gender dysphoria

·      What Dr. Drescher says to parents and policymakers concerned about the ramifications of interventions for transgender young people who change their minds (known as detransitioners)

·      Why there’s resistance among some psychanalysts to recognize the existence of biologically-based gender dysphoria

·      The mental health concerns surrounding young people who suffer from gender dysphoria

·      How our training as psychoanalysts can be of benefit to families dealing with gender dysphoria

·      The exaltation of gender stereotypes in our culture and how young people benefit from parents who are comfortable with atypical behaviors


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William Alanson White Institute

APA 2023 Annual Meeting

2019 Texas Custody Battle Over Child’s Gender Identity

WPATH Standards of Care Version 8

‘The Distortions Hindering Gender Affirming Care’ in La Repubblica

Sex and Gender: The Development of Masculinity and Femininity by Robert J. Stoller

APsA Staff