The newest volume of The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child (vol. 68) has a section of papers featuring the latest psychoanalytic thinking about the psychotherapeutic and biological treatment of transgendered children. Dr. Claudia Lament introduces the section by discussing the controversies related to treating these children. Dr. Diane Ehrensaft writes about her psychotherapy with gender nonconforming children. Dr. Rona Knight focuses on normal gender fluidity in children and adolescents, advising against the use of puberty blockers in middle childhood children. Dr. Paul Brinich discusses the idea that gender identity should not be immutably defined in childhood but as a component of one’s self that is influenced by biology, psychology and culture throughout one’s life. Drs. Lissa Weinstein and Hannah Wallerstein caution about the use of puberty blockers in childhood and adolescence given the lack of research that reliably predicts which children will persist or desist in their gender dysphoria in adolescence; they suggest a psychotherapy over an extended period of time that looks deeper than the manifest wishes of these children and their parents before any gender changing decisions are made.
All five of these papers can be freely read on the PSC site: www.psotc.com/ Click on the “Featured Paper” tab on the homepage to view all the papers.