Gender Inclusivity, Mirroring, and the True Gender Self: Psychoanalytic Tools for Understanding the Gender Expansive Child
Diane Ehrensaft (San Francisco)
An increasing number of children and youth across the globe are articulating a gender that is not one that matches the sex designated to them at birth or does not follow the socially prescribed rules for gender performance in the culture in which they live. Psychoanalysis has been both the best and the worst of worlds in comprehending who these children are and providing them with the care they need. This presentation will discuss the mistakes that have been made, the re-learning of gender that needs to occur, and the unique contributions of psychoanalytic thinking and practice in providing gender affirmative care to transgender and gender expansive youth. The work of D.W. Winnicott and Irene Fast will be called upon as conceptual tools and therapeutic mirroring will be applied as the critical practice tool in a relational model of care for youth exploring their gender outside the binary categories of male/female designated to infants at birth.
Diane Ehrensaft, is a developmental and clinical psychologist, associate professor of Pediatrics at University of California San Francisco, and Director of Mental Health of the Child and Adolescent Gender Center, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital.
(Moderation Jeanne Wolff Bernstein)