Christian psychologist: We are making gender identity issues worse
A Christian psychologist has said that we are making matters worse by the way that we are treating children with gender dysphoria.
Her comments come after it has emerged that record numbers of children have called child protection hotlines about their gender confusion.
Childline held 185 discussions about gender dysphoria with young people in Scotland between 2015-2016, and the NSPCC held 2,796 UK counselling sessions with children who said they experienced confusion about their gender.
Psychologist Louise Kadayer told Premier that in many cases, this kind of therapy actually has a "detrimental effect" by encouraging their confusion, and that other kinds of therapies should be considered instead.
'Talking therapies have detrimental effect'
The most common age range for calls was from those aged from 12 to 15.
Louise Kadayer said that the dramatic increase in cases are "alarming".
She said that we do not evidence to show the best way to treat gender confusion, but there’s so much research to show that "talking therapies for older children and teens… all the research suggests that it doesn’t have a positive effect, and in lots of cases it actually have a detrimental effect."
She added that in other countries such as Australia, these therapies are not used, but "much more robust and effective interventions" are in place.
'Seeds sown in children grow'
Ms Kadayer continued by emphasising that not all thoughts have lasting effects, but "seeds sown in children, if they are watered, they grow… it’s how obsessions quickly form in children, compulsions, anxieties, these kinds of things."
She said that we need to consider evidence that some children who take hormone treatment wish to revert back to their original gender a few years later.
"My problem is the increase in really drastic interventions children are having in terms of things like hormone replacement, stopping the development of bodies. Now once you do that, there's no going back," she said.
"We've also seen a really scary increase in younger people having this dramatic life change and then needing it reversed back."
'Help people to find out who they are'
Alex Williams, who interviewed Ms Kadayer, asked what her message to the church would be in light of this.
She replied: "My first message is always grace, grace and more grace… trying to love without judgement and without strings attached…
"I think the most important thing is learning to love ourselves for who we are and that’s really tricky when we are struggling with any identity. I think the broader picture for the church is that we’ve got a massive identity crisis in this country. Individuals do not know who they are, who they’re supposed to be... So I guess that’s my message to the church – love and walk with people and help people to find out who they are."
Christian psychologist: We're making gender issues worse (Premier)
Childline hosts record number of counselling sessions about transgender issues (Courier)