Proper categorization of individuals with gender dysphoria allows rational psychotherapy. The treatment of an aging transvestite who requested sexual reassignment is presented to demonstrate the clinical features of the disorder and the course of the illness. The initial task was to place the patient into the proper clinical category of individuals with gender dysphorias. The clinical details of this disorder include an episoidic course with individuals who have previously had clear masculine identities. In the past they have been labeled secondary or marginal transsexuals as well as fetishtic cross-dressers. The patient, who had a long-standing history of cross-dressing, reacted to specific life stresses by the symptomatic wish for sexual reassignment. The individual psychotherapy consisted of phases of symptomatic expression, emerging depression, interpersonal awareness, symptom resolution and disavowel of the wish for sexual reassignment. The genesis of this perversion appears to be identification with a phallic maternal figure, Discussion of the descriptive and dynamic literature is reported in relation to the reported case. Identification of important losses in this patient's recent life allowed proper diagnosis and appropriate ongoing therapy to prevent the patient from irreversible surgery for a condition that was a symptom not an ingrained belief of gender dysphoria.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Psychology