UK conference on “Gender Dysphoria – a Therapeutic Model for Children, Adolescents and Young People”: Part One

by Gary Powell, European Special Consultant on June 22, 2021

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The widespread social problems that are being caused by the increasing colonisation of Western institutions by extreme gender ideology are thrown into particularly stark relief by the explosion in the number of children being referred to gender clinics – including a highly disproportionate number of girls. Compounding this are the consequent fear and paralysis experienced by many clinicians who know that giving voice to their concerns and prioritising child safeguarding over the demanded blind fealty to an aggressive political ideology that seriously undermines basic acceptable standards of clinical practice, are actions that could lead to career termination and public denunciation.

While fear and the threat of detriment so often allow oppressive ideologies to prevail with impunity, human history nonetheless provides countless examples of brave and principled souls who refuse to be browbeaten; and such souls are a great inspiration to others, encouraging a community of resistance that one day may reach the critical mass necessary to galvanise widespread social opposition against an insidious evil. In the meantime, many victims will nonetheless have suffered irreversible and serious harm as a result of society failing in its fundamental duty to safeguard children.

At this conference on psychotherapy for gender dysphoria among children, adolescents and young people, held on 5 June 2021 over Zoom, participants enjoyed the inspiring privilege of meeting a few of the brave clinicians who have refused to genuflect at the altar of extreme gender ideology or to allow a harmful political ideology to negate the wisdom and compassion of their clinical training and experience.

The main contributors were Susan and Marcus Evans, supported by Stella O’Malley, Dr Kirsty Entwistle, Dr Susan Matthews, and the chairman, David Morgan. Susan Evans is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist who worked for nearly forty years in the National Health Service (NHS) in a variety of mental health settings, including the Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) for children at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, (“the Tavistock”). The Tavistock GIDS has been under scrutiny in recent years as a consequence of clinical whistleblowing, an exodus of clinical staff, an internal investigation, a BBC investigation, and legal action taken against it by the “detransitioner” Keira Bell and by “Mrs A”, the parent of a patient, in relation to the prescription of puberty blockers and the question of whether children are capable of offering informed consent to such procedures with potentially irreversible and life-altering outcomes. Mrs Evans now works in private practice in London. Marcus Evans is a psychoanalyst and was employed as an adult psychotherapist in the NHS for 40 years, working for several years as Clinical Lead of the Adult and Adolescent Departments at the Tavistock. Dr Kirsty Entwistle is a psychologist who worked for a GIDS clinic in Leeds, UK. Stella O’Malley is a psychotherapist and the author of “Bully-Proof Kids” and “Cotton Wool Kids”. Dr Susan Matthews works on the history of gender and campaigns for improved care for young people with gender dysphoria. The chairman, David Morgan, is a psychoanalyst who is experienced in treating gender-dysphoric clients.

The speakers revealed the problem of serious political interference in clinical work in the area of psychotherapy for clients with gender dysphoria. They also provided some fascinating insights into what professionally and clinically responsible and competent responses to presentations of gender dysphoria should be, and also into what might be happening in the young person’s life and psyche that could explain why he or she might be presenting with gender dysphoria, often in a fixed and rigid way.

My second piece covering this conference will provide more of the detail shared by the conference contributors concerning their experience of political interference into proper and safe clinical procedures, and it will also set out some of the common traits and experiences of the children, adolescents and young people who present with gender dysphoria. In doing so, it will become clear that the clinicians’ warnings deserve to be taken very seriously, as the inherent dangers and limitations of the “affirmative approach” will become evident: the new “treatment” model that the extreme gender lobby is successfully imposing on the clinical field in a way that attempts to suppress and punish any dissent from clinical staff who believe that psychotherapeutic treatment should be led by science, evidence and open-minded discussion, rather than by a punishing, vengeful and dogmatic political ideology.

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