Adolescents can have a difficult time developing a general identity, especially during puberty. Sometimes, teens question what gender they best identify with. As outlined by psychologist Jung, all people have a masculine and feminine side to their personalities. Whereas many teens find it easy to identify with the gender they were born with, others find it more challenging. Transgender teen treatment can help transgender teens and their families cope with common issues seen among the transgender teen community such as depression, bullying, and self-loathing.
One important thing for transgender teens to understand before fully transitioning to the opposite gender is the amount of discrimination and various types of pain often faced. Hormonal treatments, surgical treatments, and plastic surgery can all be physically painful in addition to financially burdensome. Many people are not welcoming to transgender and transsexual individuals. Most teenagers struggle to find a sense of identity. This common “coming of age” struggle can be much more difficult for transgender teens. Transgender teen treatment focuses on helping teens and their families understand the full ramifications of what transitioning to the opposite sex will be like in addition to helping teens and families find strategies to address current issues.
Transgender teens often suffer from higher rates of depression and trauma than their peers. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a popular type of talk therapy that is often used to address depression by identifying thinking errors. Humanistic therapy is also a popular type of talk therapy that is typically used to address trauma. In addition, bibliotherapy is a quality way to help teens and families understand more about gender identity issues. Bibliotherapy basically involves reading recommended books at home and later discussing any issues with a mental health professional after taking the time to process the reading and think of any pertinent questions or ways the reading related to a certain situation. Many psychologists and counselors identify with a combination of different therapeutic philosophies and can effectively guide transgender teens and families through an often difficult time. However, it is ideal to find a licensed mental health professional that specializes in transgender teen treatment.
Transgender teen treatment goals are typically developed in the first or second therapy session. Different individuals almost always have different goals that can be readily attainable. Whereas some transgender teens might be primarily interested in exploring their identity, other transgender teens might be primarily interested in finding ways to cope with bullying and depression. In the end, treatment is meant to be a helpful source of information and coping techniques tailored to meet individual needs.