Becoming whole: Could integrative medicine heal the mind-body split in gender dysphoria?

by worriedmom

Worried mom lives in the Northeast, and is the mother of several children. She works in the nonprofit area, and is a voracious reader and writer in the area of gender identity politics. She is available to interact in the comments section of this post.


Imagine this world: A child is sad, depressed, and struggling with uncomfortable, odd, or scary feelings about his or her body. Maybe a little socially awkward, maybe a lot. Worried about the fact that his or her interests don’t seem to fit in well with peers’. Maybe being mocked or bullied, because s/he doesn’t “act like” the other kids. Perhaps that child is having trouble making friends, or is even having intrusive thoughts that make it challenging to succeed at school, athletics or social life. Maybe that child has started puberty, and is concerned or ashamed about the physical changes in his or her body, and the way other people are reacting to those changes. The changes might not feel so good, even be quite unwelcome. The child’s body is perfectly healthy; the mind–not so much.

In this world, our child can go someplace where people know that there’s a solid and extensively documented connection between the mind and the body. In this place, treating the child involves taking into account the physical, social, psychological, community, environmental, and spiritual realities of the child’s life. Here:

  • The patient and practitioner are partners in the healing process.
  • All factors that influence health, wellness and disease are taken into consideration, including body, mind, spirit and community.
  • Providers use all healing sciences to facilitate the body’s innate healing response.
  • Effective interventions that are natural and less invasive are used whenever possible.
  • Good medicine is based in good science. It is inquiry-driven and open to new paradigms.
  • Alongside the concept of treatment, the broader concepts of health promotion and the prevention of illness are paramount.
  • The care is personalized to best address the individual’s unique conditions, needs and circumstances. Practitioners of integrative medicine exemplify its principles and commit themselves to self-exploration and self-development.

integrative medicine circle

Our child receives sensitive, understanding care, to help navigate through a hard time in life. His or her feelings are taken seriously (which isn’t always the same thing as literally). S/he will learn techniques such as meditation, guided imagery, and deep breathing to help cope with discomfort. Our child may have the chance to learn yoga, or T’ai Chi, qi gong, healing touch, and other movement therapies such as the Alexander technique. S/he may try out massage, biofeedback, acupuncture, or hypnotherapy. Non-western therapies, such as Chinese medicine or Ayurveda, are a possibility.

The medical care our child receives is coordinated with other therapies to help him or her feel comfortable, accepted, and confident. Perhaps our child will receive social skills training, with peers, or have the chance to interact with a specially-trained service animal. Maybe someone at this special place will work with our child using art therapy, music therapy, dance therapy or even horticultural therapy.

When all is said and done, our child is healed, calm and well, without ever breaking the skin! S/he is prepared to face the challenges of teenage and adult life, understanding that “feelings aren’t facts,” and equipped with techniques, ideas and support to help manage those unpleasant or unhelpful thoughts should they recur.

What is this place you ask? Well, it’s only the hottest trend in medicine these days. Call it integrative medicine, holistic, alternative, or complementary… whatever you call it, this approach to healing has taken the Western medical world by storm. World-renowned treatment centers have formed integrative medicine units – Memorial Sloan-Kettering, the international cancer center, is one of them. The Mayo Clinic is another. Many integrative medicine centers are affiliated with major teaching hospitals or medical schools. Over 40% of U.S. hospitals now offer at least some integrative medicine techniques to their patients.

The foundation of integrative medicine is the recognition that there is a profound, and not yet completely understood, connection between the human mind and the human body. That this connection exists is no longer open to question – otherwise, no drug trial would control for the placebo effect! Beyond this, research has shown that humans can, indeed, use their minds to control or change the way their bodies feel. These techniques provide a powerful way for people to actively participate in their own health care, and to promote recovery and healing for themselves.

not just the disease

While the jury is still out on the efficacy of some “CAM” practices (CAM being the term of art for “complementary and alternative healthcare and medical practices”), what is not in dispute is CAM’s rising popularity and acceptance among the general population. Far from being a “fringe” or counter-culture phenomenon, in certain patient populations, CAM use has been as high as 90%, and has been estimated at 38% for the United States as a whole.

According to the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine:

HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) scores are higher when patients receive integrative services. In one study, 76.2% of patients who received integrative services for pain in the hospital felt their pain was improved as a result of the integrative therapy. [Source] Health-related quality of life was significantly improved for patients who received integrative care. Treatments were also found to reduce blood pressure, decrease anxiety and pain, and increase patient satisfaction in thoracic surgery patients. Additional studies have corroborated the observation of reduced pain and anxiety in inpatients receiving integrative care.

In addition to its use in fields such as pre- and post-surgical and cancer care, integrative medicine is increasingly used to help patients manage or cope with such chronic medical conditions as diabetes, arthritis, Crohn’s disease (and other IBDs), asthma, allergies, hypertension, headache, insomnia, and back pain, as well as psychiatric maladies such as anxiety, depression, phobias and PTSD.

People who practice in this field do not argue that integrative medicine is the cure for all ills:

Using synthetic drugs and surgery to treat health conditions was known just a few decades ago as, simply, “medicine.” Today, this system is increasingly being termed “conventional medicine.” This is the kind of medicine most Americans still encounter in hospitals and clinics. Often both expensive and invasive, it is also very good at some things; for example, handling emergency conditions such as massive injury or a life-threatening stroke. Dr. [Andrew] Weil is unstinting in his appreciation for conventional medicine’s strengths. “If I were hit by a bus,” he says, “I’d want to be taken immediately to a high-tech emergency room.” Some conventional medicine is scientifically validated, some is not.

A 2010 review of the medical, corporate and payer literature showed that:

to start, immediate and significant health benefits and cost savings could be realized throughout our healthcare system by utilizing three integrative strategies: (1) integrative lifestyle change programs for those with chronic disease, (2) integrative interventions for people experiencing depression, and (3) integrative preventive strategies to support wellness in all populations.

boy trapped in girl bodyWe’ve certainly gone quite a while in this post without mentioning the word “transgender,” but the implications for the application of integrative medicine in this area should be crystal clear. If folks are literally or even metaphysically “born in the wrong body,” or if dysphoria is primarily caused by an incongruence between one’s physical sex and one’s gender (“what’s between the ears doesn’t match what’s between the legs”), then dysphoria would appear to be a mind/body problem of the first order.

In fact, it would seem that the transgender phenomenon is the prototypical example of a mind/body disconnect – because in the case of dysphoria, all involved acknowledge that the body in question is perfectly healthy. Something seems to be amiss in the way that the body and the mind are connected, or in the way the mind thinks of or perceives the body. So, what’s the application of integrative medicine principles to the problem of dysphoria? Wouldn’t it seem like the two are a natural fit, and that dysphoria would be the perfect arena in which to use these techniques, which are now in the medical mainstream?

You would think that, but you would be wrong.

Suppose, as is all too common nowadays, that our child’s feelings of distress and discomfort are interpreted by a parent, pediatrician, teacher, or other well-meaning professional, as the harbinger of an incongruence between the child’s sexed body and his or her brain. Let’s visit a few pediatric gender clinics (there are more than 40 such clinics in the United States alone) and see what’s on offer for our confused and hurting child.

At the Boston Children’s Hospital Gender Management Service clinic (GeMS), one of the oldest pediatric gender clinics in the U.S., the course is clear. The child meets with a clinical social worker whose job it is to “make sure that you fully understand our protocol.” The child is referred to a therapist who will need to work with the child for a minimum of three months (gosh, a whole three months to decide on something that will completely dominate the rest of your life!). Next is an appointment with a GeMS psychologist for a specialized “gender-related consultation” and then… it’s off to the races with the pediatric endocrinologist.

The Seattle Children’s Hospital Gender Clinic provides pubertal blockers, cross-sex hormones and “mental health support and readiness discussion.” The shiny new gender clinic at Yale New Haven Hospital offers “puberty blockers,” “cross-hormone therapies” and “mental health services” focusing on “readiness.” Not to worry, of course, since “male to female” surgery may be obtained for those over 18 through Yale Urology. Here’s another one: the Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago Gender Development Services department “provides medical consultation, medical intervention (e.g., cross sex and pubertal delaying hormones) and health research with gender non-conforming youth across the developmental spectrum of pediatrics and adolescence.” Oh, and here’s another one: Cincinnati Children’s Hospital’s Adolescent and Transition Medicine Department (note “Transition” is right there in the title of the department) provides “puberty blockers, gender-affirming hormones, menstrual suppression and referrals for therapy, psychiatry, psychology, pediatric endocrinology, pediatric gynecology, nutrition and other services as needed.” The University of Florida’s Youth Gender Program provides “consultation, psychotherapy, psychiatric medication management and assessment of medical readiness for cross-sex hormone therapy.”

Celeb ftmsA short note on the term “readiness.” It’s interesting and perhaps unintentionally revealing that this word shows up on so many pediatric gender clinics’ websites in connection with gender counseling, rather than other terms that could be used such as “suitability,” or even “screening.” “Readiness” connotes a certain inevitability about the transition process – for instance, an educational psychologist assesses a child’s “readiness” for school. The question is not if a child will go to school, of course, but when.

Although I’ll admit I haven’t reviewed the websites of every single one of the 40 U.S. pediatric gender clinics, so far I haven’t seen any that are incorporating integrative medicine techniques and principles. What seems clear is that pediatric gender clinics do not view their mission, in any sense, to include assisting their patients in resolving dysphoric feelings short of medical intervention, much less engaging in discernment or decision-making as to whether medical transition is appropriate in any given case. In fact, as we know, the primary approach to the treatment of dysphoria in the United States has shifted away from the much-maligned “gatekeeping” of the past, to an “affirmative” model. What this means in practice is that the patient (or the patient’s parents) dictate the terms of engagement; if you’re going to a “transition” clinic, guess what you’re going to get?

And although much lip service is given to the idea that a child is on a “gender journey,” it’s pretty clear from the gender clinics’ websites that this journey has only one expected destination. Most of the gender clinics’ websites contain cheerful, if not glowing, testimonials to the happiness that lies ahead for their successfully transitioned patients (“Never a Prince, Always a Princess” “Becoming Lucy,” and of course, “Born in the Wrong Body”).

The Gender and Sex Development Program, housed at the Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, is especially upbeat about the amazing future in store for their pediatric transition patients, with links to a documentary entitled “Growing Up Trans,” testimonials from grateful parents and thankful teens, and multiple links to news stories with titles like “Trans Teen in Chicago: From Surviving to Thriving,” and “When Boys Wear Dresses: What Does it Mean?” (hint: the correct answer isn’t “nothing”).

gender spectrumIn fairness, it’s possible that the mental health assistance pediatric gender clinics promise their young patients could include helping children and families decide whether medical transition is the optimal outcome. It’s impossible to know whether psychiatric care given by a therapist who is professionally affiliated with a transition clinic would still be unbiased about the subject. But anecdotal evidence certainly suggests that “gender therapists” are personally and professionally invested in the transition narrative to the exclusion of all other therapeutic approaches.

Moreover, one of the primary activist goals of the transgender lobby is insuring that young patients do not have access to integrative medicine, CAMS, or to any other treatment modality, besides “gender affirmation” (i.e. medical transition for all who seek it). “Conversion therapy” bills, which prohibit therapists and other professionals from adopting any other treatment approach for pediatric gender dysphoria other than gender affirmation, have already been passed in seven states and many cities, and federal legislation that arguably would enshrine “gender affirmation” as the sole acceptable treatment has been proposed in the current Congress. (Even legislation which confuses the issue would also confuse would-be caregivers and create a chilling effect.) A new lobbying group, 50 Bills 50 States, has been formed to push for anti-conversion therapy laws to be passed in all states that do not currently have them.

One point on which all sides in this debate can agree is that gender dysphoria represents a radical “disconnect” between the mind and the body. But there is another, fundamental, “disconnect” at work here, too. We know, and have known for millennia, that there are many ways to address mind/body dysfunction that do not entail wholesale alteration of the body, which can succeed in healing and strengthening the mind. Integrative medicine blends the best of these techniques with Western medicine to obtain the healthiest outcome for the patient, yet those involved with pediatric transition appear resolutely blinded–if not hostile–to any potential application in their own field… willfully “disconnected” from current medical thinking and practice.

In fact, if the activists get their way, the “healing place” envisioned for our child at the beginning of this article will not only remain imaginary, but will be outlawed throughout the United States. Parents–indeed, all people who care about children–should be very, very worried.

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26 thoughts on “Becoming whole: Could integrative medicine heal the mind-body split in gender dysphoria?

  1. Thank you for writing this! I was thinking about this earlier today: Why is it that when a teen has gender dysphoria, we say automatically that the teen IS transgender? Why do we make the jump to transition? Why can’t we say that the teen HAS a disconnect between mind and body (known as gender dysphoria), and give them appropriate treatment? For the vast, vast majority of teens, appropriate mental health treatment will ease dysphoria (or relieve it completely) so pharmaceutical treatments are not necessary. Only in the most extreme, rare cases is medical transition necessary. How do the so-called experts determine a treatment plan before they even meet the patient?
    But no. We don’t do this. We jump to the diagnosis that the teen IS their illness/condition. We encourage them to focus their whole lives on this. They give up activities that they enjoy. They narrow their circle of friends. They cut out their families. I don’t know of any other condition where this is encouraged. I have heard many, many times that we should say that a person HAS Autism, instead of saying that a person IS Autistic. A condition that a person deals with is not the most important thing about them.

    Liked by 4 people

    • It has been a while since I was a young mom, but certainly when I was, and I have the feeling things have only accelerated since then, most moms were incredibly concerned about what was going into their babies’ and young children’s bodies. Moms worried about vaccines and the timing of them, they worried about hormones in milk and other dairy products, they worried (hugely) if for whatever reason they didn’t nurse, and they worried about pesticides, buying or making only organic baby food and cereals. Moms did NOT entirely trust doctors and in fact there was a lot of skepticism about “traditional medical advice.” Mothering Magazine, which I used to pore over every month, would be a great example of this mind-set. The goal was to adopt the child-rearing practices that were closest to nature, like extended nursing, co-sleeping, baby-wearing, and more.

      I’m certainly not saying this is the only correct approach (especially when it comes to vaccines), but those very same careful parents are now, yes, blindly accepting the recommendations of doctors to put known harmful chemicals into their precious children’s bodies, and to greatly interfere with natural, biological processes. Where is the skepticism now? Isn’t trying to change someone’s biological sex about the most “un-natural” thing you can do?

      Liked by 4 people

    • I have incorporated this concept in my discussions with my kid – challenged her to think of herself as a person with gender dysphoria rather than a person who “is trans.” The symptoms would be exactly the same, but the perceptions could be wildly different. “Person with dysphoria” can be viewed as a person who is having feelings that can change over time. Whereas “person who IS trans” sounds like someone who has a birth defect or some other verifiable biological condition. Which science just does not currently verify. I really do believe that thinking of yourself as “person with dysphoria,” even if the dysphoria is extreme, is a key step toward keeping all options open. (Vs. “you are trans, transition or die.”)

      Third-Way trans has a very good video on this very subject, which I have recommended to my kid. Whether she has ever watched it — eh, doubtful. Nevertheless, the seed about the potential for reframing has been planted. https://thirdwaytrans.com

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you worriedmom for this well-researched piece. Imagine treating the whole person and doing no harm. Imagine that. Affirmative Care– how can this model possibly help anyone? For children and teens questioning their gender, affirmative care will be affirmative for the money it brings the clinic and the surgeons, but not affirmative for the care offered. I would think Integrative Care would get to the root of things. Perhaps an Integrative Care approach would consult with the family for their history, even ask the young person about online sites visited and what peers are doing. A panoramic view of the whole person–just imagine how much healthier we all would be.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I absolutely love and appreciate this website! We, my family, are going through this gender dysphoria with my youngest daughter. From the very beginning of this experience you are swept up in a tidal wave, so to speak, to just accept it and to not even try to figure out what in the world has caused this and WHY these precious children are feeling the way they are feeling! I know, like this very intuitive, caring and loving mother and author of this blog, that in my gut there is an underlying problem and that with prayers and therapy hopefully we can get to the root of why she is feeling this way and that her issues are not because she is truly a boy inside a girl’s body. Please continue to educate and inform us and God bless your efforts to help the poor souls going through this.

    Liked by 2 people

    • One thing that I really wish we could do, except we can’t, is to get up to about 10,000 feet and look down and figure out why this (the transgenderism craze) is happening right now in our society. When we look back at certain psychiatric or medical fads, like recovered memory, it’s easy to pick out the other social and economic forces that were at work that produced “what” they did, “when” they did. It would be great to see if we could get outside of our culture and figure out why this is happening now, wouldn’t it? It’s just too bad that having that understanding wouldn’t diminish the pain and damage, though.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The social and economic forces can be named. Neoliberalism is both an economic and social force—deregulated capitalism and the idea that we are all free agents choosing choices rather than an interdependent society. This is what allows clinics/doctors/industries to market gender identity as a consumer product that they can sell to earn a profit. (The fact that the health system is for-profit and is therefore more concerned about selling “cures” than actually increasing health is relevant here.) There is also a backlash against feminism and Marxism which aims to reduce our class consciousness and encourage us to think of ourselves as individuals with individual problems rather than oppressed groups or people who are hurting because of the culture. A part of the anti-feminist backlash is a return to the idea that stereotypes about men and women (sex roles) are innate rather than a product of patriarchal culture. I think that the explosion in the objectification of women and girls through pornography is also making a lot of girls traumatized and dissociating, and they may not be able to articulate that is what’s happening since real feminism has been suppressed. To learn more about this, watch the excellent lecture by Gail Dines available on YouTube “Neoliberalism and the Defanging of Feminism.”

        Liked by 1 person

      • Not to be contentious, Purple Sage, and I do understand your thoughtful post – but I am somewhat doubtful of the idea that there is a “backlash” against Marxism. That would imply that it was ever adopted on any kind of a scale in this country, wouldn’t it? And also, I guess I am more interested in, for instance, if there is a backlash against feminism, why now? Ideas gain currency for a reason, and lose it for reasons as well, what are they?

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      • It isn’t just those directly involved in transgenderism who stand to profit. Capitalism is in an investment crisis that was one of the causes of the 2007-present slump. At least some elements of capitalism are still hugely profitable, but they are running out of places to put that money. There are many things they could invest in that would be both ethical and profitable, but to them are not profitable enough to justify losing liquidity for years or decades.

        They want brand new industries that can sustain booming growth for decades. In the age of finance capital, bankers and investors will benefit as much as operators. This is why people like George Soros are supporting not just transgenderism but also decriminalisation of all drugs and all aspects of the sex industry. While these are hardly new industries, they are completely fresh territory for legitimate institutional investment.

        But if it was just about money there would be no reason for the NHS to support transition, because it only costs them money. So there is a state-supported ideology behind this as well.

        The backlash against Marxism is primarily within radical politics, comprising of postmodernism, identity politics, privilege theory and call-out culture. How much outside help these have had is unknown. Marxism has also been nobbled from the inside, again by unknown means, and we are left with the likes of this and this.

        Purple Sage, how well do you think Marxism and radical feminism fit together? In some ways they look like a good match, but there is a different logic to them. Capitalism at least makes a twisted kind of sense, while patriarchy just seems like evil for the hell of it.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Good luck to you and your family. I thought RgutsRloudandclear had an excellent outline posted in the About section regarding how they have helped their daughter see her way through this.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. My daughter was experiencing anxiety since entering the gifted program in 4th grade. She had overwhelming episodes where she couldn’t cope. A year in therapy did not help much. The school was very responsive but the issues weren’t resolving. I took her to a chiropractor that uses supplements and some energy work. We identified some patterns of behavior that were cleared. She is much happier and has no reaction to many of the things that triggered her.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The gender affirmative model does not teach coping techniques for dysphoria at all, so if you are an adult who wants to transition and has to wait for whatever reason you are not really helped in the meantime. It’s ridiculous, really. I mean they say the alternative is suicide but in the same breath say they don’t need to be in a psych ward if you agree to transition them months or years down the line.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I would really appreciate if there was a forum where we could discuss these kind of issues without them being in relation to a post on this site. Is there one or could it be of interest for you who run this site to create one? I think this site is amazing so don’t get me wrong, but I have so many thoughts on this that I feel might not relate to what’s been written, and I would also love having an easier way to respond and keep track of other people’s responses than this community allows. Am I the only one thinking like that? A Facebook group for example would be more interactive and allow for easier ways to share thoughts.

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  7. I am a skeptically minded woman, and I think science is the best method humans have developed to counteract our very human tendency to see what we want to see, to remember the “hits” and forget the “misses”. For this reason, I don’t think I could trust integrative/alternative medicine, for this, or any other problem.

    First, if we look at the science, biological sex, M &F, is a remarkably robust biological mechanism that is responsible for the existence of all of us humans, and every animal and the vast majority of plants and even microbes on this planet, and has functioned successfully for 1.2 billion years. And despite what cultural relativism says, not only animal behavior, but human behavior, interests and culture are shaped by the traits that male and female biology generate. And, thanks to science, we know that even with surgery to cosmetically resemble the opposite sex, and hormone blockers and cross-sex hormones, the person doesn’t really have a “sex change”. Every cell outside germ cells, will continue to contain the XX or XY chromosomes the person has had since fertilization. (I say XX or XY because as far as I know nobody claiming to be trans has any of the genital deformities that go under the not-terribly-illuminating term “intersex”)

    The main problem I see is that integrative/alternative medicine is basically uncontrolled experiments by the practitioner on the patient. Alternative medicine is centered around the practitioner responding to the patient’s report of how the treatment or treatments appear to be acting. There really is no objective standard to measure the reported responses against. I don’t see how it is possible, in such an interaction, to be able to get the person who is identifying as trans to question that view. And I think questioning that view is key to breaking the cultish spell that seems to be driving the trans/non-binary movement among young people today.

    It seems to me that if we are to have any chance to reach a person who is claiming to be trans or non-binary (or otherkin, or trans-abled, or any other new “identity” that is incompatible with physical reality) the most important thing we can do is to make every effort to bring the focus to physical reality and the physical impossibility of changing sex, and that not being able to do everything one might want to do is not the end of the world.

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    • Hi Trish- I definitely agree with your paragraph below:

      First, if we look at the science, biological sex, M &F, is a remarkably robust biological mechanism that is responsible for the existence of all of us humans, and every animal and the vast majority of plants and even microbes on this planet, and has functioned successfully for 1.2 billion years. And despite what cultural relativism says, not only animal behavior, but human behavior, interests and culture are shaped by the traits that male and female biology generate. And, thanks to science, we know that even with surgery to cosmetically resemble the opposite sex, and hormone blockers and cross-sex hormones, the person doesn’t really have a “sex change”. Every cell outside germ cells, will continue to contain the XX or XY chromosomes the person has had since fertilization. (I say XX or XY because as far as I know nobody claiming to be trans has any of the genital deformities that go under the not-terribly-illuminating term “intersex”)

      Regarding Integrative Medicine, I think it could help some of these confused teens, simply for the care and attention they receive. I do believe in verifiable science and I believe in care for the whole person. I had a family member undergoing conventional medicine and chemo for cancer and he did so much better when the care of Integrative Medicine was added to his regimen. It could have been as simple as the doctor listening and spending a lot of time with him.
      At any rate, Affirmative Care is not the answer for the delusional and those caught up in a social trend.

      Like

    • I would believe that what works for one might not work for the other. A lot of people would love to have their breast cut off wether they accept sex to be unchangeable or not. Passing as the opposite gender is what these people are after, and I can’t see how arguing about biology would change that. For me who have experienced some kind of gender dysforia it was nothing like that who made it go away, rather finding a way to be comfortable and appreciated as a woman without having to conform to restricting gender roles that didn’t seem to fit me. I guess every approach that’s loving and consistent is good, but I think being flexible and tackling the problem from many angles is key since the root causes of dysforia can be very diverse.

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    • Interesting – my personal experience with alternative medicine is otherwise, but you’re right that the vast majority of treatments have not been rigorously studied or evaluated. At this point, though, given the resistance of many teenagers to change or reason, I’m not sure how well a straight-ahead, “pure science” approach would work, either. I’m sure, for instance, that many of us have said to our children, many times “if you don’t get what you want it isn’t the end of the world,” to no effect, or to the effect of hardening their position in opposition.

      Hopefully we can both agree that in dealing with a child or teen who claims or appears to suffer with gender dysphoria, we should try whatever is most likely to help that individual resolve it, short of drastic and permanent interventions.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. I’m a skeptic too, and think alternative medicine is hogwash, but it does serve emotional purposes. It should all be tested not for efficacy (that’s beating a dead horse), but for potential harm. Anything safe and cost effective is okay with me. In situations where nothing much can be done, I can see getting these treatments as a realistic strategy for feeling cared for clinically. Not everyone is ready for the hard work that makes therapy pay off. You have to be ready to talk first. This kind of thing could lead to that.

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