Similar to obstacles faced by LGBTQ+ individuals throughout the decades in healthcare, patients and practitioners find themselves amidst a social clash around the care and treatment of transgender people, particularly transgender youth. While the subject has become politicized overall, Jack Drescher, MD, stresses the importance of mental health clinicians and consultants respecting the subjectivities of their patient’s gender identity and unique journey, no matter the social climate.
Dr. Drescher joins hosts Kerry Horrell, PhD, and Bob Boland, MD, for this episode of Menninger's Mind Dive podcast to discuss the current state of mental health treatment for transgender individuals. Dive in as they discuss how the general public, through some of its youngest members, has come to hold the complexities of sexuality, gender and gender incongruence at top of mind. Dr. Drescher gives advice for clinicians on how to navigate social conversation of an issue so widely discussed and remain a helpful, patient and supportive figure for those in their care.
“There’s a sensationalistic focus on this subject. I’ve seen in many consultations, when there’s a transgender patient on an inpatient unit, everyone forgets everything they know about their field because they’re so focused on why this case is different,” said Dr. Drescher. “That is a disservice because transgender people just aren’t so different from everybody else in all other aspects of their lives.”
Dr. Drescher is a clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University and faculty member at Columbia’s Division of Gender, Sexuality and Health. He also serves as a senior psychoanalytic consultant at Columbia’s Center for Psychoanalytic Training, as well as research and adjunct professor at New York University’s Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, and a training and supervising analyst at the William Alanson White Institute.
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