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How therapy can help with gender identity and expression of gender.

Gender identity and expression of gender.

Gender identity, the gender an individual identifies as or perhaps, that they don’t identify as either male or female. As for gender expression specifies characteristics and behaviours an individual identifies as “masculine/feminine” like behaviours, or conversely, neither. But gender identification and expression of gender actually aren’t as simple as these explanations you read here. The whole purpose is not to put people in boxes, not to see it all as black and white, and to accept and embrace people as individuals, and not to expect them to categorise and label themselves to make things easier and simpler for others to grasp.

Common things people may struggle with;

Stigmas, opinions, and myths can accompany gender identification, particularly from people with strong beliefs but little understanding. It can be overwhelming and confusing to deal with all of these opinions and judgements. Someone’s unwelcome and strong view of you may set you back just as you start to feel like you’re beginning to understand and accept this part of yourself and grow confident about it. Support and acceptance from loved ones. 

As I listened to an episode from an anonymous one-time session with the amazing therapist Esther Perel, this client explains that although her father is loving towards her, positive and supportive, she never actually received acknowledgment about how he felt towards her sexuality in this case, and this part of her. 

This shows how complicated it can be with loved ones, as some may not accept the gender identity you identify as at all; some may have a complete misconception of it altogether, while others may not. However, they may still feel love and positivity from their loved ones; acceptance could mean more than just that.

A sense of belonging

When the world insists on telling someone which toilet they should or shouldn’t use or which sports category they can or cannot compete in, it can be difficult for that person to know where they belong because there are so many competing views and political ideologies surrounding sexual identity and gender expression.

How therapy can help

There are a lot of additional concerns and emotions people might have surrounding the topic. Although having a supportive and understanding community is great, therapy can help you reach a deeper and more profound level of self-awareness and enlightenment. Therapy is a safe and supportive environment that will allow you to figure out your identity, develop self-love and self-appreciation, and feel secure with the parts of yourself that you have already figured out. Additionally, you and your therapist can work together to identify the coping strategies that are most effective for you at times when specific comments related to the topic may make you feel uncomfortable or when you receive unwelcome, unfavourable opinions.

Therapy is a big step, so take one step at a time. 

Contact the team at My Solution Wellbeing, and a member of our counselling team would be more than happy to guide and advise you on the next positive steps to take.

Why not speak to our qualified and supportive therapy team for professional help?

By Eva Domingos, a counsellor at My Solution Well-being. T: 0115 648 7912

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By MSWB Team on 04/01/2024 in Wellbeing

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