Stella and Sasha sit down with Jessie Mannisto, the Editor in Chief of Third Factor Magazine, a publication for and about uncommon people and their uncommon paths through life. Jessie expands on the many overlapping experiences of gifted, creative, intense, and gender dysphoric individuals. They explore some critiques and uses of terms like ‘queer’ and ‘asexual.’ Stella and Sasha ask Jessie about androgyny, loneliness, ordinariness, and exceptionalism in dysphoria people. And what’s up with...
Published 07/23/21
Are stereotypes always harmful? Should we use stereotypes to predict and impose behaviors and preferences onto others? Some people believe transgender identities defy stereotypes while others believe they reify them. And where does stereotyping come from? This is a mental shortcut with complex roots and crucial implications for the gender debates.
Published 07/16/21
Heather Brunskell-Evans is a philosopher and sociologist who studies the intersection of medicine and culture. She joins us today to trace the ways in which queer theory evolved in academia and moved into the broader culture, including the Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) in the UK. Explaining how a social justice angle is key to the ‘affirmative model’ of care for gender dysphoria, Heather recounts a few key moments when she realized there were authoritarian elements at play in...
Published 07/09/21
Sasha and Stella answer listener questions… again! They start by highlighting recent episodes inspired by listener feedback. Next, they discuss the financial implications and complexities involved in adult children using their parents’ medical insurance. They reflect on the different roles that can emerge between mothers and fathers of gender dysphoric youth. Other questions address the similarities between body dysmorphia, gender dysphoria, OCD, and other ruminative anxieties.
Published 07/02/21
Jungian Analyst Bob Withers joins us to discuss the differences between gay conversion therapy and gender identity conversion therapy. We examine the possibility of misinformed therapists “transing the gay away” and suggest that perhaps the dark history of conversion therapy may not be over. Bob delves into his view of psychosomatic symptoms and draws on his background in philosophy and medical history to understand our current fixation with one’s subjective sense of identity. Bob also...
Published 06/25/21
As they wrap up their initial Behind the Curtain series , Sasha and Stella discuss important issues surrounding the termination of therapy. How do we know when the therapeutic process should end? Does a resolution of gender dysphoria mean it’s time to end the therapeutic relationship? Does the start of a medical transition indicate a good time to end? And how can therapists leave the door open for a client who may want to return at a later date?
Published 06/18/21
Marcus and Sue Evans both worked as clinicians in the Tavistock Centre in London for many years. Noticing red flags since the early 2000s, Sue was the first whistle-blower in the Tavistock Centre and Marcus resigned as its governor because the concerns raised by therapists, parents, and managers were systematically dismissed. Marcus and Sue have recently released their book https://firingthemind.com/product/9781912691784/ (Gender Dysphoria: A Therapeutic Model for Working with Children,...
Published 06/11/21
Sasha and Stella continue their series which peers behind the curtain of depth work with gender-questioning clients. Today, they weave in philosophy and psychology to discuss the importance of authenticity, happiness, and connectedness. They also explore the value of art in the slow evolving process of an emergent Self.
Published 06/04/21
After the therapist has laid the foundations of therapy and established a trusting relationship, the process moves into the middle stage. This is the meat of the therapy! In this episode, Sasha and Stella explore the dynamics that can elicit change in the individual. They consider the curious vs. fixed client, self-esteem issues, broadening the client’s focus, and how to speak meaningfully about gender in therapy.
Published 05/28/21
This is the first episode in a short series which takes listeners behind the scenes of a gender exploratory therapy process. Although there has been plenty written about Gender Affirmative Therapy, very little has been written about a concept often described as Gender Exploratory Therapy. Sasha and Stella discuss the specifics of establishing a therapeutic alliance when a person is questioning their gender identity. They describe different strategies involving issues such as names, pronouns,...
Published 05/21/21
In today’s episode, we begin to answer some of the many questions sent to us by listeners. Can we be born in the wrong body? Do parental role models influence children to reject or seek transition? What is the impact of a trans partner on a teenagers’ sexuality? How do siblings of trans people experience these changes in the family? Listen in to see if your question was answered and how Sasha and Stella plan to explore these topics in future episodes.
Published 05/14/21
“Lauren” is a 32-year-old lesbian who has moved with ease across the gender spectrum over the course of her lifetime. Lauren offers a positive story about how being gender non-normative and having a complicated gender experience can be a pleasant and interesting experience. Cautioning against the heavy and urgent discussions about medicalizing gender expression, Lauren wonders if we can become more playful and even joyful about gender?
Published 05/07/21
Continuing the discussion about the new type of boy who is seeking to transition, we speak to Angus Fox, author of a series in Quillette. Angus explains why he thought it so important to earn the trust of parents who participate in clandestine meetings about their gender dysphoric sons. We discuss the role of systematic thinking in ROGD boys and the encouragement of their female friends to transition. Angus also provides his insights as a gay man remembering his own challenging boyhood.
Published 04/30/21
Many presume that ROGD only impacts girls, but there is a significant number of boys who appear to show the hallmark traits of Rapid-Onset Gender Dysphoria. Not quite fitting in with Ray Blanchard’s classification of homosexual transsexualism or autogynephilia, these boys tend to be softly spoken Mommy’s boys, highly intelligent and hyper-ruminative. Many prefer to remain safe at home in their bedrooms and become fixated on medical transition. In this first of two episodes, Stella and Sasha...
Published 04/23/21
Hyper-active, inattentive, immature, and impulsivity are just some of the common traits associated with ADHD. These may not have an obvious link to Gender Dysphoria and yet gender variance is found to be 6.64 times more likely among individuals with ADHD. We discuss how ADHD manifests in girls and boys, how society responds to ADHD traits, and how this interaction can lead to gender-related issues.
Published 04/16/21
This last year of lockdown has been a strange and unsettling time for many. We have heard reports of gender issues escalating rapidly and we have also heard accounts of people leaving all thoughts of gender identity far behind. The impact of our restricted lifestyle on our mental health is explored and some strategies that might help in these difficult times are suggested. Stella and Sasha give listeners from around the globe shout-outs and audience members are invited to request future show...
Published 04/09/21
The startling links between ASD and Gender Dysphoria are raising plenty of questions as clinicians wonder why children on the spectrum tend to struggle with gender. Also, which comes first: ASD or gender nonconformity? In this episode, we explore how autistic traits may cause youth to question their gender and become attached to identity labels. And we wonder if this has implications for the trans movement.
Published 04/02/21
Loneliness, isolation and confusion often characterises the experience of parents of the gender dysphoric child. A parallel process emerges where the children are obsessed with transition and the parents become obsessed with ROGD. Trying to set loving boundaries is often misinterpreted by others as the parent being the last standing bigot. In this episode we try to empathise with parents who feel they’ve lost control over their child’s wellbeing
Published 03/26/21
Carol is a 40-year-old detransitioned butch lesbian. She transitioned at 34 and is part of an often ignored group: adult lesbians turned trans men. Carol tells us about the initial highs of transition and how things took a turn for the worse…
Published 03/19/21
The misinformed presumption that gender dysphoria can only be managed through medication and/or surgery is blown out of the water in this episode. Sasha and Stella emphasize that dysphoria is a type of human distress, like any other. They discuss many different ways to understand, manage, and reduce gender dysphoria.
Published 03/12/21
Gifted and exceptional children seem more inclined to gender nonconformity and they represent a significant proportion of the ROGD teens discussed in Dr. Littman’s research. Sasha and Stella explore why there may be a link between brilliance and transgender identity.
Published 03/05/21
The psychologist Erik Erickson’s theory of psychosocial development makes some essential observations about the period of adolescence and identifies the questions at this phase of life as “Who Am I?” and “What can I Be?”. Sasha and Stella examine this developmental period and ask how the concept of gender identity lays atop the teenage struggle for belonging, individuation, sexual development, and autonomy.
Published 02/26/21
Therapist Timothy Courtois pursued graduate education to deepen his knowledge of the role sexuality and intimacy play in our lives. He quickly came to feel that this program was using some of the same tactics of moralizing and indoctrination that he’d left behind after leaving a controlling religious community. We discuss the program's mixed-up understanding of sexuality, consent, and power dynamics in relationships. We set the stage for future conversations about a richer psychological and...
Published 02/19/21
Few people are aware of how much the political discussion around gender and sexuality has been touched by queer theory. This philosophy questions how we know what we know and turns hierarchies on their heads. Sasha and Stella explore the “smashing of binaries” in their therapeutic work and personal lives and discuss the positive and negative outcomes of taking queer theory thinking to its limits.
Published 02/12/21
How and when did gender become such a heightened political issue? And what are the psychological implications for individuals and the collective? The origins of feminism, the LBG liberation movement, and the emerging transgender movement are explored within a psychological and cultural framework
Published 02/05/21