The following therapists understand that gender dysphoria is a complex and multi-faceted issue that can be caused by many factors. They will not simply "affirm" your child, instead they prefer to take a more cautious, psychologically-informed approach to treating children and young adults with gender dysphoria.
They will take the time to truly understand your child and explore the roots of their dysphoria.
And they are willing to consider healthier, less-invasive alternatives for dealing with your child's gender dysphoria before resorting to social and/or medical transitioning.
Dr. Kenneth Zucker is a psychologist who led the Child Youth and Family Gender Identity Clinic (GIC), in Toronto, one of the most well-known clinics in the world for children and adolescents with gender dysphoria, from 2001-2014.
Dr. Zucker is one of the most frequently cited names in the research literature on gender dysphoria and gender-identity development, and the editor of the prestigious journal Archives of Sexual Behavior, he took a leading role helping devise diagnostic and treatment guidelines for gender dysphoric and transgender individuals.
Dr. Zucker describes his approach to treating children and adolescents with gender dysphoria as "biopsychosocial developmental model. In a broader way, my clinical work is informed by attachment theory."
He accepts self-referrals or referrals from other professionals (e.g., teachers, pediatricians, family doctors, other mental health clinicians).
He accepts referrals from anywhere in Canada, the United States, or anywhere else.
Dr. Oren Amitay is a registered member of the College of Psychologists. He has been working with clients/patients in various hospitals and his private clinic since 2001. He provides psychotherapy and conducts psychological, personality and intelligence assessments. He works with a diverse group of clients, ranging from late teens to seniors, one-on-one, in couples or families. He covers every theme imaginable, including issues related to school, work, relationships, family, sexuality, finances, major life transitions, depression, and anxiety, to name a few.
Dr. Amitay does not work with kids unless within the context of family therapy, and he would not claim to be an expert in Trans issues, but he would be happy to talk with families to help them figure out what steps to take.
***Lisa provides consultations to PARENTS of teens who are exploring their identity only***
As a social worker and a Jungian analyst, I have become increasingly concerned about the rush to affirm children’s and young people’s transgender self-diagnosis, and then transition them to the opposite sex. I am particularly worried about social and medical transition among teens whose transgender diagnosis arose “out of the blue,” without a significant history of early childhood dysphoria. I fear that, via their well-meaning desire to validate young people in pain, therapists are discarding basic principles of psychotherapeutic care.
My views have been informed by my work with detransitioners, as well as with parents of trans-identifying teens. I have also sought to educate myself further by listening to trans people, parents, clinicians, academics, lesbians, feminists, educators, gays, and others who are writing and speaking about gender. I believe that transition may be a viable and even necessary option for some people. I support the right of adults to choose this option with appropriate therapeutic care and support. I certainly believe that trans people deserve human rights, legal protection, humane care, and respect. However, there are potential physical and psychological dangers of transition, and we need to exercise astute clinical judgment and caution when working with young people who are seeking transition.
Sasha Ayad is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) who works with children between the ages of 11 and 18.
I’ve spent the last several years doing research on gender identity, gender dysphoria, and medical transition I’ve worked with teens and adults who have lived through challenging experiences around these issues. I’ve developed a unique approach to helping kids who struggle with their gender: I use non-judgmental, compassionate, dialogue that focuses on exploration rather than immediately seeking to affirm and transition your child.
Kaitlin Staples, MA, ATR-BC, LPC, is a registered board certified art therapist and licensed professional counselor in Philadelphia, Pensylvania working with tweens, teens, and adults.
I have many years of experience working with addictions, eating disorders, relational trauma, family dysfunction, depression, and anxiety. I am an active member of the eating disorder and body image communities. In the eating disorder community, we have recognized for some decades now that the nature of body image issues and eating disorders stem from a symbolic connection to the individual's internal world. I have been working with tweens and teens in agency settings for a few years now, and as I have listened to more and more stories of ROGD and trans teens I have recognized so many common threads to that of eating disorders and body dysphoria in general. These threads have led me to further working with this population.
In my private practice, I now work with teens/tweens and their parents to help repair relationship ruptures and create space for a symbolic understanding of all that is happening internally and externally. My approach aims to make sure all involved in the process are seen, heard, and understood. Our process will explore all angles with an organic and fluid approach leaving no stone unturned. I help to create space and time to make informed and conscious decisions. Through artwork, dreamwork, and traditional verbal psychotherapy we will explore beneath the surface of the individual to uncover the roots of dysphoria. While I of course support the LGBTQ community, I recognize that there is a recent epidemic of "social contagion" within the adolescent community and we need to proceed with caution and care to avoid permanent damage to those seeking transition.
Kaitlin offers both in-person and virtual therapy to patients in Pennsylvania and beyond.
Anne Rettenberg, LCSW is an Licensed Clinical Social Work psychotherapist in Manhattan who works with adults, including parents. She is trained in family and couples counseling.
Anne finished her MSW at New York University in 1991 and worked in mental health clinics and substance abuse treatment facilities prior to starting private practice. She is also a consultant to a state agency. Anne has been in private practice since 2001.
"My perspective comes from psychodynamic and family systems theories, and from feminist theory. I'm opposed to unnecessary medical procedures. I am a humanist as well as a feminist, and I believe in compassion for the body and in taking a holistic approach to healthcare."
Anne conducts in-person individual, couple and family sessions.