Helping children and adolescents with gender dysphoria

Published in Gender Medicine Author: Troy Weber-Brown, MS, LMFT

According to the National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Health Education Center, specialty care clinics have been caring for more adolescents — at younger ages — over the last 10 years. A common issue for these kids is gender dysphoria. People who have gender dysphoria feel strongly that their gender does not match their biology.

If left untreated, these young patients can be at increased risk for mental health problems and substance abuse. While most dysphoria is found to fade around age 10-13, it’s important to support the mental health needs of this population.

In my role as a gender therapist on CentraCare’s Gender Medicine team, I work to provide specific expertise in diagnosing and treating gender dysphoria. It is important to evaluate and treat any mental health or chemical health concerns from transgender, transsexual or gender non-conforming individuals. Failure to do so could prevent these individuals from making healthy decisions regarding their medical care during their gender transition.

Specifically, a gender therapist supports patients and their families by affirming, nurturing and challenging them as they work through concerns related to gender journey. To affirm is to truly welcome them and celebrate their correct gender with them. Transgender, transsexual and gender non-conforming individuals experience dysphoria, depression and anxiety. They may feel socially isolated. A gender therapist will often help a patient learn to manage their emotions, thoughts and behaviors with the overall goal of connecting with the correct body, mind and soul necessary to develop healthy relationships and sustain ongoing health.

Learn more:

Troy provides care for patients of all ages including adolescents and adults. To schedule an appointment or learn more about the Gender Medicine Program, call 320-654-3633.