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therapeutic reservations

I admit I have some reservations about gender therapy.

First let me state that I think it is a good thing to seek help when you are in distress. You need to bounce your feelings off someone and have them ask you questions or simply have them listen while you speak thus providing you with a sounding board. We benefit greatly as human beings from simply unloading our thoughts and fears by sharing them with another human being.

However, I now believe that there is no substitute for the natural gestation period that time and patience affords you.

You need to catch your breath and spend many hours reflecting on your own. You need to analyse your thought processes which have been coloured by social and parental conditioning and allow yourself the time to dissect them. In essence, you need time to understand what makes you tick.

I remember sitting in the waiting room before going in to see Helene Cote (a gender therapist I saw for a short time while I was still reflecting on a possible transition) and briefly meeting a fellow patient. I struck up a short conversation with this person and came away with the impression that there was something wrong there. She was somewhere in mid transition but I sensed some sadness in her. I estimated that she was in her mid fifties. Afterwards upon entering Helene’s office she was surprised to hear that we had struck up a conversation because she confided that this patient was very wary of speaking to strangers and had some social interaction issues.

After three sessions with Helene, I decided to abandon the entire process. I wanted to spend more time reflecting on my own and get to really know myself. The year that I spent doing this was the most productive and therapeutic one I have ever spent in my life.

My feeling now is that if I had gone into a therapy setting at that time I might have been influenced into transitioning more easily before getting my own thoughts in order. Of course I understand that many people transition lucidly and after much reflection but I also know of others who have regretted their decision.

No one can choose or influence your life path for you and any major life decision should be made in the sobering light of a deep introspection.

You owe yourself nothing less.


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