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Joining The Support Board
(07-Nov-2023, 02:45 PM)antfrog Wrote: Hi, I'm the mom of a 15yo daughter who has always been a little different, we thought she was just a tomboy and we always supported her being whoever she wanted to be. But now she is starting to say things like that she thinks she might really be a boy, and her therapist is telling us we should support her in this. I just can't get behind this ... I am looking for resources on finding better therapists for her. Even in our relatively conservative community it's hard to find anyone. I am really new to all this and just looking for help from other parents who've been through something similar. Thanks.

Hi, antfrog! Welcome to this forum. You are in good company and the good news is that there have been so many resources developed for parents in our position to gain some clarity and a sense of not being completely isolated and questioning one's own sanity in this funhouse mirror of a culture we find ourselves in.

Before shopping for a therapist for your child, you might want to start with listening to some episodes of Gender: A Wider Lens, hosted by two experienced (and sane) therapists who work with youth, Stella O'Malley and Sasha Ayad

I think you need to be clear on what you think is happening and why before you go looking for solutions. I think this gender identity stuff seizing the minds of our kids is particularly difficult for us mothers, because we are more likely to start out reeling with guilt and a suspicion that the reason our children seem to want to destroy themselves and transform into someone else MUST have something to do with our incompetence in parenting them. There are some horrible people out there posing as healers, who are merely using the profession of therapy to fill whatever emotional holes they have in their own lives by manipulating vulnerable people into cramming themselves into boxes to serve as evidence for some theory about what humans are. A parent frantic to save his or her child from a delusion is one of the most vulnerable people around . . . and we are irresistible targets for gurus, pseudoscientists, and snake oil peddlers. 

So when shopping for a therapist, remember this: Stella and Sasha warn us that bad therapy is worse than no therapy at all.

From what I've heard them say in the past, I think they might agree with my crack at defining what good therapy is: I think good therapy helps an individual explore what inside their heads might be preventing them from responding with resilience to the realities of being human, living among other humans, in often painful and unfair situations. 

Telling a child they've got something called a "gender identity" stuck in "the wrong body," which they may need to change with drugs and surgery . . . well, I don't think we're crazy to see any therapist encouraging our kids to believe that story as remarkably cruel and dangerous. Of course, once a child has this ideology lodged like a fishhook in his or her mind, it takes some finessing to remove it . . . but you must insist that any therapist you give access to your child explain very clearly and concretely what they mean when they tell you that you must be "supportive," and "affirming" and "accepting." Don't let them muddle you with doublespeak and euphemisms.

Get clear on what is real and what is sophistry.

How much time you have and how you are best able to consume information will determine which of the resources the Genspect site offers you will be useful to you right now. Also there are also a great many other organizations/support groups, etc., you can eventually discover from that starting point.

https://genspect.org/resources/

As far as this forum goes, there are years' worth of postings from parents in situations similar to yours . . . and you may find comfort and ideas from what they share here. Also, there are many generous souls here who will offer you advice and opinions if you ask for it.

In the meantime, Hang in there Mom.  Your child needs you, even while she is doing her best to push you away. As you probably already know, you will need to perform like a Saint to avoid feeling and expressing anger towards her .  . . and you will need to forgive yourself from time to time when you make a mistake here and there as you deal with her. Be clear about what the mistake was, and try to use it to get better at dealing with this nightmare. But don't let that demoralize you into allowing anyone to tell you that you are not the foremost expert when it comes to knowing and loving your child.
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Joining The Support Board - by admin - 12-Oct-2017, 10:44 PM
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