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The Differences Between Transgender and Gender Dysphoria and How Therapy Can Help

Gender dysphoria and being transgender are related concepts, but they are not exactly the same. 

Gender dysphoria is a psychological condition where an individual feels significant distress or discomfort due to a mismatch between their assigned gender at birth and their gender identity. This feeling of dysphoria can cause significant emotional and mental health issues for the individual. 

Gender dysphoria is not a mental illness or a choice, but rather a genuine and valid aspect of a person's identity. Individuals with gender dysphoria may experience a disconnect between their internal sense of gender and their physical characteristics, leading to feelings of incongruence and discomfort.

Treatment for gender dysphoria often involves a combination of therapy, social support, and medical interventions such as hormone therapy or gender-affirming surgeries. It is important for mental health professionals to approach individuals with gender dysphoria with empathy, respect, and understanding, and to provide affirming and inclusive care that supports their journey towards self-acceptance and authenticity.

However, for those who continue to experience gender dysphoria into adolescence and adulthood, it can have a significant impact on their mental health and well-being.

Transgender, on the other hand, is a term used to describe individuals whose gender identity does not align with the sex they were assigned at birth. Being transgender is not inherently tied to experiencing gender dysphoria, as not all transgender individuals experience distress or discomfort related to their gender identity. 

To summarize, gender dysphoria is a specific mental health condition related to the distress caused by a mismatch between gender identity and assigned sex, while being transgender is a broader term used to describe individuals whose gender identity differs from their assigned sex. 

As an LMHC, I am committed to providing affirmative therapy for transgender and gender dysphoric  individuals, helping them to navigate the complexities of gender identity and find peace within themselves. If you are struggling with gender dysphoria or are questioning your gender identity, know that you are not alone. I am here to support you on your journey towards self-discovery and self-acceptance. In addition to individual and family therapy, I facilitate a group for lgbtq+ individuals. Please talk to me to see if you would be a fit. 

Contact or 561-903-TALK (8255) to start working towards a more authentic and fulfilling life. 

See also Veronica's article, Would You Still Love Your Mother if You Found Out She Is Lesbian?

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