In The Mind’s Eye: Gender Dysphoria
Tina Calabrese LCSW-R, CASAC
This professional society was later replaced by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health.
“THE PSYCHOLOGICAL MIND’S EYE IS THE VISION WE SEE OF OURSELVES THAT RUNS DEEP INTO OUR CONSCIOUSNESS FROM A FEELING TO A CRISP PICTURE THAT WE AIR BRUSH.”
Since that time it has been my honor to help this community and grow along with the society in feeling not only pride but admiration for every trans person.
The psychological mind’s eye is the vision we see of ourselves that runs deep into our consciousness from a feeling to a crisp picture that we air brush.
For the transgender, soul and brain are one way and her body the opposite. The resulting experience of depression, frustration and torment are what we in the mental health field call gender dysphoria.
I love working with the transgender population. Not only are they smart, creative and wise but they get happier and happier as therapy goes on. As they begin to transition the dysphoria starts to fade because for the first time in their life their mind’s eye is matching their body.
What a relief!
For the transgender person the experience of emotional pain was normal. The constant state of dysphoria before transition can create suicidal ideation and action. Having to play the role of the opposite gender is one thing but then to develop the genitalia and hormones of the wrong gender makes life excruciatingly difficult.
“WE ALL NEED TO MATCH. THE MIND’S EYE NEEDS TO SEE WHAT THE PHYSICAL EYE SEES IN THE MIRROR IN ORDER TO FEEL COMPLETE AND WHOLE.”
I often ask family members who come into session with their transgender person to be the opposite gender for one day. They find it very difficult and often impossible.
We all need to match. The mind’s eye needs to see what the physical eye sees in the mirror in order to feel complete and whole.
For family and friends that read this article please remember how vital your love and acceptance is. For your person to choose life she must be who she needs to be and see who she really is.
To see anyone else is to live blind and blind sided to who they really are.
Tina is the president of Heart & Soul Counseling Center. The dream and vision of creating a counseling center came to her as she worked at mental health facilities through her twenties. She is a psychotherapist as well as a playwright and master gardener. For the past 23 years she has combined her talents of writing, drama, and community organizing and integrated them into her practice. She specializes in treating psychological trauma and abused children. Tina is considered an expert witness by the courts for child abuse. Also a mental health volunteer worker for the American Red Cross, she sees her practice, and Heart & Soul, as a way to meet the needs of our society in it’s current state of distress.